As someone with many friends in the teaching fraternity, I feel compelled to echo some of the concerns raised by teachers with whom I am close. Many of these very teachers are afraid to speak out themselves because they fear being targeted by some in the GTU’s leadership. It is, for this reason, I feel compelled to bring these matters to the attention of the public and those in authority so that they can be addressed.
During the course of the week, I met up with about 10 of my friends in the teaching profession and we had conversations about the ongoing issues with the GTU. One of the things that they all related was that they want the automatic deduction of union dues from their salaries to be stopped. However, they expressed concerns over the fact that if they were to make this known to the GTU, their names might end up “In The Ring” and they might suffer attacks similar to those meted out to the Minister of Education. My friends in the teaching profession are of the view that the GTU in its current configuration is not working in the interests of teachers and this is in spite of them collecting millions of dollars in union dues, which are deducted out of their salaries. They related the absence of support from the union on issues related to their welfare and their ability to cope with the economic and other challenges brought on by the pandemic. They contrasted this against the support received from the government and said that there is a great disparity between the two even though the union collects millions of dollars in union dues.
Many of the views expressed I agree with as I believe that the GTU has become political and is operating as an extension of the APNU+AFC. I can clearly see where many teachers are coming from when they say they want the automatic deduction of union dues to be stopped.