WITU urges School Boards to honor December pact

President of the Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU) Stuart Johnson in an e-mail to all school boards over the weekend reminded the parties to honor last month’s pact brokered at the University of St. Martin (USM). 

“I sent an e-mail correspondence to all school boards requesting our agreement be upheld,” Johnson’s missive said about the joint December 13th, 2021 pact among the school boards and WITU.

Johnson is concerned that the government has scheduled a meeting for early next week with the school boards while sidestepping two WITU correspondences seeking a meeting with the education ministry and finance ministry.

“I took note of the apparent scheduling of a meeting on January 18th, 2022 by the Honorable Minister of Education drs. R. Samuel through the respective department within the ministry of ECYS. The WITU is still awaiting formal word from the Honorable Minister of Education in regards to our two written requests for a meeting. I stand behind my word and promise, that we will not have an audience unless you, as school boards are also present,” Johnson’s email to the Boards counseled. 

“It is on this note, I trust the agreement made in our meeting of December 13, 2021, at the University of St. Martin will be honored in the best interest of all. May we all find solace in this quote, “No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That’s the only way to keep the roads clear,” the WITU president’s email said.

In an e-mail response of unity with Johnson to her colleague school boards, drs. Peggy Ann Dros-Richardson Chairlady of the National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA) promised WITU her body’s solidarity stating, “The NIPA stands by its commitment to honor our agreement made during the meeting referenced by you, between parties. We eagerly await the meeting with Minister to discuss the cost-cutting measures and the strain on the executing of quality education. As such, we will not attend the meeting of January 18. We await a response from the Minister.” 

“WITU is calling on all school boards to uphold the agreement as there are some serious challenges which need to be addressed within the education system of St. Maarten and the mutual interest of all must be respected,” Johnson reminded.