June 16, 2021

UG unions maintain threat to break away from GTUC

first_img– want TUC’s English off Council; deny claims it’s not certifiedGTUC General SecretaryLincoln LewisUG Senior Staff Association President Jewel Thomas and UGWU President Bruce HaynesThe University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA), along with its fellow University union, is sticking to its position that it wants Ivor English, who has been accused of not representing its interests, off the University of Guyana Council as the Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) representative – failing which it will leave the umbrella body.In a brief interview with Guyana Times on Wednesday, UGSSA President, Dr Jewel Thomas made it clear that the union has not changed its mind. She also responded to a letter written by GTUC General Secretary Lincoln Lewis, in which he, among other things, said the union did not have its certificate of recognition.“He’s not right about the certificate of recognition. He is also incorrect about the list. There were no union leaders on the list of UG lecturers who had outstanding grades,” Dr Thomas explained to this publication.“We have not changed our stance. We had a meeting yesterday (Tuesday) with the GTUC at which Mr English was present. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a very fruitful meeting,” she said, adding that the union would have to have internal talks before commenting further.In a letter on May 30, Dr Thomas on behalf of UGSSA and Bruce Haynes as President of the University of Guyana Workers Union (UGWU) had combined to call for the removal of English as the GTUC representative on the UG Council. They noted that his positions on issues seemed to lean more towards UG Vice Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith than the UG workers he was supposed to represent.In their letter, they had articulated that “during the Council meeting of Thursday, May 23, every position adopted by Mr English on critical issues under deliberation was in opposition to the unions’. He expressed his support for the Vice Chancellor being paid in lieu of leave. He also stated his support for the Vice Chancellor gaining a new contract without any evaluation.”“He advised that there should be a mechanism so that “minor irritants” of staff are dealt with and not come to the Council to “grind” Council down. He also expressed support for the vice-chancellor’s spending; stating that he (English) viewed it from a businessman’s perspective.”According to the union leaders, English’s views show that he “does not grasp that these are fundamental governance principles for which the unions have been advocating, and moreover what they perceive as ‘minor irritants’ of staff go to the heart of workers’ rights”.They also complained that English did not appear to understand that the University was experiencing financial difficulties. According to the unions, these difficulties are affecting the University’s ability to even educate the students, and they went on to threaten to break away from the GTUC if English was not removed.last_img read more

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