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SVG: Unvaccinated school staff given deadline to apply for employment

The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines is now inviting unvaccinated teachers and ancillary staff who were employed by the State and subsequently became disengaged due to the government’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate, to apply for employment.

It says those desirous of being hired must submit a letter of interest addressed to the Chief Personnel Officer, Arlene Regisford-Sam, and delivered to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and National Reconciliation, Michael Burke.

To be considered letters must be emailed to [email protected] and also hand-delivered to the Ministry of Education’s main building on Halifax street, Kingstown by 4:15 pm on August 15.

The Ministry of Education states this invitation comes on the heels of an amended regime for frontline workers, whereby the Government has approved the employment of unvaccinated persons in specific positions covered under Statutory Rules and Orders No: 28 of 2021.

Last week, the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines approved the employment of unvaccinated persons in specific positions covered under the Statutory Rules and Orders No. 28 of 2021.

Cabinet decided that individuals who apply for positions within the Public Service for which there is currently a vaccine requirement under Statutory Rules and Orders No. 28 of 2021, may be considered or employed on a case-by-case basis.

Any offer of employment will be contingent upon the acceptance, in writing, in correspondence addressed to the CPO, the PS or Head of Department, where applicable all terms and conditions associated with employment in the specific positions, as advised by the Chief Medical Officer and approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, including but not limited to the following:

  • Mandatory and correct use of appropriate facial masks in the workplace at all times;

  • Strict adherence to all sanitation protocols;

  • Adequate physical spacing;

  • Mandatory testing for COVID-19 infection at a frequency to be determined by the Chief Medical Officer. Unvaccinated workers will be provided with the first four (4) tests free of charge; however, all subsequent tests will be at the individual’s expense.

Testing, of an approved brand, must be presented weekly and the first test should be presented on the first day of work and by the second working day of each week thereafter. Tests may be done at a Health Center, or at the workplace in the presence of the Headteacher/Principal, Deputy or designated senior teacher.

Unvaccinated teachers and ancillary staff employed at educational institutions, including the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, will be subject to the aforementioned conditions and also the following:

Employment of unvaccinated persons in the employment categories stated may be on a contractual basis, initially.

The Public or Police Commission, may, on the advice of the relevant Permanent Secretary or Head of Department, and upon the satisfactory completion of the employee’s contract, consider those individuals for permanent employment.

In such cases, pension provisions under the applicable legislation will apply, including the taking into account of prior service in the computation of retirement benefits.

The SVG Teachers Union has accused the government of economically assassinating teachers by taking away their jobs in the first place.

Union leader Oswald Robinson said recently that teachers are struggling and finding it hard to find money to send their children to school.

He said what was done to the teachers was a ‘government hurricane’ that scientists forgot to put on the list.

“This is a wicked storm that is impacting our nation. That is why people are talking in their sleep now, they can’t sleep properly.”

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves made it clear that it is not a reinstatement of teachers as they must re-apply for employment. The SVG Teachers Union leader continues to insist teachers should be reinstated with all benefits.

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