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RELEASE US FROM OUR IGNORANCE by Concerned Trade Unionist/Student

posted 23 Jul 2013, 21:38 by Gerry Kangalee
“Ignorance is bliss” so goes the age old saying, but this is not always the case. Ignorance is also a state of being uninformed and this cannot be a blissful place to be, especially when something negatively impacts you.

As a rank and file trade unionist and a student of the Cipriani College, it is indeed stressful to see what is happening at this Institution. First off, it is unfortunate that most of the students and part time lecturers in the organisation are unaware of the goings on and infighting that are taking place, and those who feel they know but are really uninformed take sides. For instance, the President of the Students Guild indicated that the institution “became a true academic institution that is fully accredited” because of the effort of the Director. This is not so. Not taking anything from the Director, Yes he played his part, but this was in the making long before he came.

The only information, which can readily be obtained, seems to come from the rumours which state Comrade Remy, Board Chairman and his Board of Governors, wants to be involved in the day-to-day running of the school. They want to do their work and the director's as well.

Another thing, via rumour, is that the Chairman wants the Act governing the institution to be amended, which would have implications for Trade Union representation on the Board. This, it is said, would be in favour of himself and a certain floundering political party that is no longer part of the Government.

While all this is going on, the staff negotiations continue to run on and on, with the Chief Personnel Officer’s (Government) continued ridiculous offer of 5% to these workers. This 5% was fought against by other unions and sectors resulting in a 9% and sometimes more increase to the members of these unions. Yet 5% continues on Cipriani’s table for tea, lunch and dinner.

Where are the trade union leaders who are in the Chair and on the Board and hold elevated positions in their own unions? It must be remembered that a survey revealed that in terms of educational institutions, this tertiary institution is the lowest paid in the country.

In terms of the latest bacchanal raging at the “premier tertiary educational institution in the Caribbean” (so says the vision statement)…come-on people, if there is just cause to get rid of the Director, out with it, let us all know what it is. Let us all be a part of the discussion; after all, amongst the stake holders there are educated, knowledgeable and otherwise interested persons who can contribute positively to the discussion.

Let this thing that is going on, what seems to be a fracas between the Chairman and the Director, take place with open and frank discussions, not the Chairman making allegations, while hiding behind a lawyer’s advice not to talk. There are situations existing in the College that need to be changed, such as the promotion of heads of department, and then turn around and rotate the position, where those who were down suddenly are put in charge. Come on bright boys; release us from our ignorance. Bring this to an end so that the business of the College can continue in the best interests of the frustrated but committed low paid employees and persons seeking to advance their lot in life … ‘the students’.

Unhealthy situations do not fix themselves nor, do “facts cease to exist because they are ignored”

Concerned Trade Unionist/Student