WIFOL dissatisfied with USM’s president/ board’s handling of commencement for CLA negotiations

& other matters;

The WIFOL union continues to express dissatisfaction with the manner in which the USM president and board are handling the commencement of the collective labour agreement (C.L.A.) negotiations and other operational matters at the island’s sole institution of higher learning.  

online casino

These remarks come after the USM president finally sent the union a letter on behalf of the board—after at least three formal requests—stating that the board was unavailable to meet with the union to commence negotiation for a collective labour agreement (C.L.A.) until January 2010.

Some of the operational matters the union is concerned about include the president and board’s ignoring of staff after they had submitted a written petition requesting that the dean selection process be reviewed and declared null and void. Since the nomination of the dean, the staff continues to show their disagreement with the appointment of the dean in a number of ways, including wearing all-black, walking out of meetings, and writing of letters concerning the dean’s behavior. In one example, the staff have questioned how after only two days on the job, the dean could issue a warning letter to a subordinate employee who had received accolades and served with distinction under four previous deans. Another long-time, senior staff member, the Education Division head, was issued a strongly worded letter by the dean within the first month on the job, and since then, the dean and the president have refused to meet with the Education Division head to resolve the matter although WIFOL attempted to mediate. Neither has the president or the board acknowledged or responded to the staff’s written petition, which was submitted on October 28.

Without the knowledge or consultation of the language division head, USM administration submitted the name and credentials of the division head to secure USONA funding for a major project, which was prepared by the former dean (R. Pribble) and the current dean while she was "accreditation officer," without the input of the Language Division. The matter is currently in the hands of an attorney. Another USM staff member had to secure the services of an attorney to fight for her compensation for work she had performed. To date, the staff member has not been paid even though the USONA funding has already been received by USM.

Just recently the USM president told certain staff members that at least two additional board members have either resigned or are on the verge of resigning as a direct consequence of the board president’s interfering in the day-to-day affairs of the University. From WIFOL’s perspective, the board owes the staff and the general public an explanation for the unrest at the board level and the direction in which it is taking USM.

The staff is speculating whether the USM president’s inaction on these and other matters, such as the dean’s incompetence, are due to her expressed political aspirations. Furthermore, staff is also apprehensive about who will be acting president when the USM president is off-island.

The WIFOL union is calling on the USM president and board to …rectify these and other matters, including the settlement of severance pay for former USM employee, Aida Bryson, who was forced out of service after serving 19 years at USM and 13 at Mullet Bay, simply because she joined the union. The WIFOL is also hoping to have the CLA negotiations commence and conclude within short in the new year so that, USM can progress into the institution to serve the needs of the St. Martin community.

St. Maarten need the current USM or another USM to produce the competent recourse personnel needed for country St. Martin.