While discussing the legal action being pursued against the Government, local unions, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, in response to a question from co-host of the Issue at Hand program, Philbert John, stated that the union had not reached out to the Government for any formal discussions, pertaining to the matter.
Prime Minister Gonsalves said that none of the demands, such as the reinstatement of the teachers, have been communicated to the Government in any official capacity.
“Has the union approached the Government formally with a document, laying out its demands for the issue? Have they called for any kind of meeting to sit down and discuss it anyway?” John asked.
The Prime Minister then replied to the question.
“No, no, no. They have asked nothing, in fact, the Minister of Finance had written a letter to the unions in relation to his promise to have conversations leading towards possible agreements to address salaries and working conditions for the years 2023, 2024, and 2025. I’ve seen a draft letter and I believe it has been sent. But I have received nothing from the unions.” Gonsalves said.
The Issue at Hand host then proceeded to ask “So for the instance, the demands for reinstatement, damages, and so on, are they just at the placard level? Have they not been brought to the Government officially?”
“Yes, that is absolutely true. But the point is this, they’re making those demands—those teachers and public servants—in the law courts. Let the law courts decide that,” Gonsalves replied.
Prime Minister Gonsalves appealed to teachers that may be party to a case, challenging the constitutionality of the Government’s vaccination requirement to reapply for their jobs. Assuring them that reapplying for employment will not affect their chances of success in that case.