The SKTU recently held a press conference during which the media was apprised of the union’s biennial plans for the progress of the body, its membership, the teaching profession and the education sector.
President of the SKTU, Bishop Ron Collins gave insight into the organisation’s plans for the upcoming biennium.
“The St. Kitts Teachers Union is taking – very serious – its position as the guardian of the teaching profession and we are striving over this biennium 2011-2013 to introduce several measures that will expand our agenda…for the teachers union that will propel the organisation forward and provide a high level (of) representation for our teachers; at the same time improving the overall education sector. To do this, we have been in various discussions and we are seeking not to implement a number of these measures.
President Collins told the media that the union – over the ensuring two years – would be placing focus on forging and improving on partnerships with various sectors which would redound to the benefit of the St. Kitts and Nevis society.
“In this biennium we are seeking to do a few things, for example, form strategic partnerships with, not just persons, stakeholders within the education sector, … but we are also moving into the non-education sector, the business community, to form partnerships with parent organsiations, parents themselves, student organisations. We have revived and renewed our commitment and affiliation with the Labour Department. We are seeking again, representation on the national tripartite committee and also to tighten our relationship with the International Labour Organisation.”
The issue of collective bargaining is one which President Collins indicated would also be give much focus during the biennium 2011-2013.
“We see partnership with these organisations as crucial to the success of our work and we are seeking to give real meaning of our mantra ‘Agitate, Educate and Liberate’. The union has been involved in strategic development and intervention. We are presently in discussion for a collective bargaining agreement; that will be the first for us as a union, having been formally introduced as a union in 1991. We are seeking through the collective bargain agreement, to improve and to form a good relationship with our employers, industrial relations and to ensure that the environment is conducive to a high level of professionalism.”
There is need for reform in the education sector, an issue which Collins indicated that the SKTU will also be seeking to address.
“We have taken very serious the need for educational reform and the teachers Union provided leadership as far as the career path is concerned. We are presently seeking to put our final proposal together for the teacher’s career path and so our intention…is to ensure that we provide the level of representation that is well-needed in our sector.”