Students negatively affected by struggles teachers union

POSTED: 10/26/12 12:51 PM

St. Maarten – The work done by teachers in the past has had its negative effects on students wanting to join the teaching profession, Windward Islands Teachers Union president Claire Elshot said. This is because students who would like to join this “noble and privileged profession” have heard about the struggles by the union for teachers’ rights.
Elshot noted that this does not necessary have a negative impact on the students who are interested in becoming teachers. “If the students want to be teachers, they should understand that the benefits teachers have today are the direct result of the struggles by our forefathers. There were times when these struggles especially on the labor front, went with negative aspects which include bloodshed, protest and violence.”
However, she said, ”today it is a privilege for the young people in education to have a vibrant union that can use modern day techniques such as social dialogue to accomplish what needs to be done. As a union we can never put aside things like having strikes.” Elshot said that these days strikes are done in a more modern way whereby unions call their members to a meeting where they could be part of the decision making process.
These efforts by the unions are to ensure that the decisions are not made by a selected few. “These meeting will be held during the working hours so that the members can be present. It is therefore a privilege to become a teacher. Those who are interested should first look at the “pros and the cons” but there are more pros in the teaching profession,” Elshot said.
She called on students that the struggles of the union that appear in the media should not dissuade them from joining the profession.

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