Several lectures at the Technical Division of St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College with over ten years of service says it’s time for them to have their pension plan as stipulated by the SVGCC act of 2005.
Lecturer Sheflorn Ballantyne told News784 on Friday 19 November 2021 the institution is operating illegally.
“This pension plan should have been implemented 14 years ago, so as long you are employed by the board of governance of the school at this point, there is no pension plan. So really and truly the college is operating illegally”.
“They have not fulfilled their legal obligation according to the SVGCC act, and that is wrong. You know what took place last Wednesday night (17 November 2021), we saw and were very surprised, and am speaking about lecturers, seeing our positions being advertised to be filled temporarily”.
Ballantyne says the authorities are very much aware that several lectures are unvaccinated.
“So they have gone ahead since last Wednesday night (17 November 2021) and published that advert inviting people to apply for those positions, and that is sick. This is the level of care they have for the people who are loyal to this college.
“Some of us have never taken a day off, coming in the pandemic and which we are still going through, because this a training institution, sitting in classes with students risking our lives, and this is the thanks you get”.
Ballantyne said that while the pension plan situation would not affect him, it would affect his colleagues hired under the school’s board of governance.
Another lecturer Azuba Adams who spoke with News784, said she has been with the college for ten years and what is not accepted is that they are all doing the same job as lectures; however, some are pensionable, and others are not.
“We cannot all be lectures with the same job description, the same duties and hours, and yet you say some are pensionable and the rest are not”.
“So I have been here for ten years, and I really would like a pension”.
The lecturers and other workers at the Department of Technical and Vocational Education of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College were engaged in industrial action last Friday.
The staff had cited several reasons for engaging in such action:
Non-existence of a Pension Plan which should have been implemented since 2007.
No reclassification of employees.
Mandatory Vaccination of employees.
No provision for severance of employees.
No clarity of employees’ status (whether they are Public Servants or statutory employees).
Poor working conditions.