President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teacher’s Union (SVGTU) Oswald Robinson has refuted claims made by challenger to his Presidency, Nicole Martindale.

Ms. Martindale during a call to WE FM’s Issue At Hand program raised several issues that she has with the current leadership of the union. In particular she raised the issue of teachers dismissed as a result of the Government’s vaccine mandate not receiving money pledged in support of them.

“Permit me to go back to that telethon that we would have had, that telethon that was hosted by the NDP trying to get some money for dismissed teachers. So I believe about approximately $20,000 was pledged; the union, the SVGTU, we got $1800 from that, and I want the dismissed teachers to listen, that money was not given to the dismissed teachers as promised. So when you say you are standing for a particular group of people and you reassure them that “this is what I’m gonna do for you and get for you”, and you don’t give it to them, that’s problematic, that says something,” she said.

Mr. Robinson while speaking at an emergency press conference held after Ms. Martindale’s radio appearance explained why the money received by the union had not been disbursed to dismissed teachers, refuting claims of a lack of transparency, as well as highlighting the assistance the union has provided to teachers in their time of difficulty.

If what is being reported is correct, if it is $1,800 received, we have 212 teachers dismissed, you do the math, each teacher would have gotten approximately $8.49. So the executive decided that it doesn’t make any sense to give that—somebody from North Leeward, North Windward, or someone from the Grenadines come up on the mainland to get $8.49. So it was the executive that made that decision to put that money aside until we are able to attract other funds to give to our teachers,”

The SVGTU’s President made mention of the aid that they provided to the dismissed teachers.

“It must be known that the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union has been coming to the assistance and supporting the teachers who dismissed in many ways, because we took a holistic approach in which we provide support. We provided monetary support to our teachers, we gave each teacher $250, amounting to about $53,000,” he said.

Mr. Robinson noted that following that initial $250 payment to the dismissed teachers, another payment was rolled out, as well as made mention of other forms of support that were administered such as food packages, psychosocial support and more.

He also noted that the amount mentioned that the union had received was also not accurate.

“What we could say, what was quoted in the paper, we never received that amount,” Robinson noted

He said that it was unfortunate that claims of lack of transparency on the union’s part had been put into the media, but assured the public that all funds in the SVGTU’s accounts are efficiently audited.

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  1. The money was not their to decide what to do with, the money should have been handed over the the person’s for whom it was collected or the decision be made by them as to what to do with the money. The lady was right to raise it as a concern. People must stop this raising of money for a project and then use it for another, that is fraud.


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