Mr. Kenneth Burgin
8th February 2022
The Elections Committee stands as a sentinel in the vanguard to protect and uphold the constitution of the SVGTU, to protect that which is most sacred to the life of the Union. Too often in the past I have observed that there have been too many instances where questions with regard the functioning of various bodies set up within this austere organization have brought the Union and/or its functioning into disrepute.
During the last election cycle of the SVGTU I was sorely disappointed to discover that there were persons who were duly nominated and elected to office but were, according to the constitution, not eligible to be successfully nominated to stand for office but were nevertheless elected.
To wit, I hereby challenge the nomination of Oswald Robinson for the position of President of the SVGTU which is contrary to article 3, subsection 3.2.1 and subsection 3.2.2 of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union Constitution.
Article 3 subsection 3.1 identifies who can become members of the SVGTU. Subsection 3.2 identifies the types of membership being (i) Full (ii) associate and ((iii) Honorary.
Subsection 3.2.1 outlines who is a full member, eligible to hold office and the rights contained therein. The relevant portion is highlighted for easy reference.
A full Member is a member in good financial standing as outlined in (3.2) and is entitled to all the rights and benefits of union membership, including the right to vote and to hold office. A full member must be actively involved in teaching, except if employed by the Union or if he/she did not voluntary give up his/her job as a teacher.”
Subsection 3.2.2 clears up any misconceptions that may arise from subsection 3.2.1, the relevant portions are highlighted
Associate membership may be granted to persons in the following categories
former members of the Union
retired teachers Vincentian teachers resident overseas teachers on contract in the teaching services of St Vincent and the Grenadines
It entities holders to the services of the Union. Such members shall be free to take part in Union activities. They shall be empowered to vote at meetings but cannot hold office.
Associate members shall pay the current dues”
It is my contention that Mr. Robinson is retired and his nomination is therefore in breach of the SVGTU constitution. I further contend that the meeting of the Elections Committee which approved of this nomination was brought into disrepute and acted ultra vires of the constitution by virtually amending the said constitution to allow successful passage of this nomination. I further contend that the said Committee was further brought into disrepute when the members acted in the stead of the Annual General Meeting which is the ONLY meeting that can amend the constitution.
I would further contend that the Election Committee should, post haste and with immediate effect, withdraw the nomination in question and reopen nominations for further consideration or allow the other nominee Ms. Nikeisha Williams be elected unopposed to the position.
I await a response.
With respect, I remain
East Kingstown Branch