The Teaching Colleagues of Sister Sylvia Findlay and former National Executive Officers of SVGTU continue their expression of solidarity with their embattled sister in her substantive capacity as Supervisor of Elections.
On Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 the Group met with the National Labour Congress (NLC) highlighting especially the industrial implications of the sustained onslaught on the electoral office.
This leads to the undermining of the electoral system, the most important mechanism of our young democracy. At issue, therefore, is the survival of the constitutional underpinning of our country a grave national concern which, if ignored, could result in the descent of our country into political tribalism.
There are also serious implications for the broader industrial climate compromised as it is by the continued violent protest action around the office of the Supervisor of Elections and her staff.
The meeting noted especially the involvement of Teachers in the electoral system, serving as Presiding Officers, Returning Officers, Poll Clerks and Registering Officers. This has happened over many decades of the electoral process, some 90% of the functionaries of the system being Teachers.
Moreover, all Supervisors of Elections have emerged from the Teaching Profession. How can the electoral system be maintained as an independent body when these officers are subjected to the vicious attacks we see levelled at the Supervisor of Elections and her staff?
We note also that these attacks take place with impunity; protection is virtually non-existent and society looks on in silence while an invaluable national service is debased in the most deplorable manner.
The Group is alarmed that there is no recognition nor protection for these Teachers who give national service.
The silence of the leadership of the National Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union under these circumstances represents a betrayal of its sacred trust to protect and support its members and our national interests.
The NLC has endorsed the positions advanced by the Group and has supported the intention to reach out to other national organisations in their continued efforts to draw national attention to the grave wrongs being perpetrated in the name of justice and freedom. ,