KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, (CMC) – The St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union (SVGTU) is calling for continued protest on Monday following the weekend action to highlight its opposition to the government’s mandatory coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination policy for “frontline” workers, which includes teachers.
Parliament meets later on Monday (at 1pm local time) and SVGTU president, Oswald Robinson stated that he was pleased with last Friday’s demonstration, describing it as “overwhelming.
“I am very happy that the parents, the teachers, all workers, the unemployed, everybody who loves teachers came out and showed their love. I am excited; I am happy. And we are preparing for the next round. This is just the smoke; the fire is behind. We are waiting until the Parliament is going to meet,” Robinson said.
Teachers risk losing their jobs if they fail to get vaccinated or produce a weekly negative test under the government’s mandatory vaccination policy that went into effect on December 3, after a 10-day grace period.
Legislators are expected to debate the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2022 and Robinson told CMC that the union is preparing to take legal action against the Dr Ralph Gonsalves government should any teacher be fired as a result of their unvaccinated status.
“The legal instruments are being prepared. The lawyers are fine tuning it. I should be signing sometime soon to give the final say in terms of what is going forward.
“We are compiling all the cases of what this government, the wickedness that this government has brought upon the Vincentian populace and we are moving ahead, forging with full force,” he said.
As of last Friday, 57,295 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in St Vincent and the Grenadines. So far, 24,175 second doses, representing 21.98 per cent of the population, have been administered, while there have been 32, 104 first doses.
The country has recorded 5,692 cases of COVID-19 and 77 deaths since March 2020. There are 504 active cases of the illness in the country.