The three (3) main trade unions representing public sector workers here in SVG, are standing together on the position that, until the Prime Minister presents to them the government’s policy on vaccination and testing which they say was promised since April, they will not encouraged their members to comply with the request for them to get tested every 2 weeks for Covid-19.
A memorandum dated June 11th, 2021, from the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment to heads of programmes and units, stated that, as of Monday, June 14th, all employees of the state who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 are required to get tested regularly for the infection.
The memorandum noted that unvaccinated employees will be required to be tested up to once every two weeks based on risk levels, as determined by the health authorities, in keeping with a directive from cabinet.
President of the SVG Teacher’s Union Oswald Robinson told SVGTV News via a telephone interview, that if there are cases of Covid-19 at any educational institution, it is understood that the relevant authorities will conduct contact tracing, and persons in this case will subject themselves to be tested, however he noted it must be voluntary
Robinson said it is all good that the government has sent out a memo through the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Environment outlining its policy but the Teacher Union stand by the decision the membership took in April.
The SVGTU President said members should not be intimidated by what they are hearing because there is no law that can terminate them for not complying with the vaccination or testing request.
Police Welfare Association views
President of the Police Welfare Association Sergeant Brenton Smith said their members will not be intimidated or forced to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
Sergeant Smith told SVGTV News via a telephone interview, that the Police Welfare stands firm with the Teachers’ and Public Service Unions on the position not to comply with the regular testing until the promised documents are presented to them by the cabinet.
The Police Welfare Association President questioned what will happen after the testing and whether workers in the country no longer have freedom of choice, consent and conscience which is stated in the constitution.
The Public Service Union is also in full support of the position of theSVG Teachers Union and the Police Welfare Association. The PSU president Elroy Boucher told SVGTV News Tuesday that public servants who do not wish to comply with the requirement of regular testing for Covid-19 can sign a legal document with the Public Service Union which they can provide to their supervisors on why they are not giving consent to be tested.