It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Religious Affairs that the President of the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT), Lydon Lewis, has again instructed all teachers, including temporary teachers, not to report to work on Wednesday, 7 November for purposes of rest in contemplation of pension.
This ministry announces, for the benefit of all teachers in the Government Service, including temporary teachers, that such a call is in breach of the Labour Relations Act, CAP 157A Section 45, and therefore unlawful. It is also in breach of the collective agreement between the Government of Grenada and the GUT, specifically Article 16, which is the procedure for the resolution of disputes.
The Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Religious Affairs reminds teachers that they are paid to perform their duties and that staying away from work, for rest in contemplation of pension, is indeed irregular industrial action, as defined in the Labour Relations Act. This ministry recognises the right of workers to withdraw their labour, but workers must clearly understand that those who elect to follow the unlawful directive of the President of the GUT run the risk of not being paid for the period of time they do not report to work.
This ministry is disappointed that the GUT can take this action against the nation’s children and their parents, many of whom may not be able to make alternative arrangements. The Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Religious Affairs wishes to thank the teachers who have acted responsibly and continue to teach the nation’s children. We call on all teachers, yet again, to put the interest of the nation’s children first.
The ministry advises all teachers that Wednesday, 7 November is an ordinary working day and expects all teachers and public workers to report for duty.
Signed: Hon. Emmalin Pierre
Minister for Education, Human Resource Development and Religious Affairs