President of the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) Julian Monrose has defended Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte, who recently resign as CUT general secretary following a recent meeting in St. Kitts.
Monrose told a media conference on Wednesday, December 16 that Dr. Poyotte chose to resign, feeling that her presence as general secretary was being used by a minority to create problems in the CUT.
The CUT president said when she was elected in 2013, four of the CUT member unions were not supportive of her. They also questioned the legitimacy of her position two years later in Dominica.
But despite the disagreements, Dr. Poyotte was re-elected general secretary/treasurer.
Monrose said the minority CUT members boycotted the recent CUT executive meeting, even though the matter was expected to be brought up for discussion at the recent meeting.
Some unions had said the CUT constitution was undermined because Dr. Poyotte had a full time job at Education International and was no longer in the teachings service, but continued to serve as CUT general secretary.
But Monrose, who is also the president for the St. Lucia Teachers’ Union explained that Dr. Adolph Cameron of Jamaica held the position of general secretary for 14 years, despite he had not taught for more than ten years.
He also dismissed the argument that Dr. Poyotte should not have continue to serve as CUT general secretary, while being a member of the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) at the same time.
“The fact is that being a member of the TSC is not a job; you don’t get a salary; it is a voluntary service so she is not appointed by TSC and it does not conflict with her role in CUT,” Monrose stated.
But the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers said the CUT constitution states that any executive member of the organisation, upon appointment to any position or job in the government or anywhere outside of the teaching profession during the biennium shall resign forthwith.
The CUT has since moved to appoint Don Howell as the union’s new general secretary.