The Dominica Association of Teachers’ (DAT) theme for its nineteenth National General Meeting, ‘A Trade Union Congress: Consolidating for Greater Effectiveness in the Future’, has been hailed powerful and relevant by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development Chandler Hyacinth.
The meeting was held on Wednesday April 19, 2017 at the St. Alphonsus Parish Hal during which three retired teachers were awarded for their dedicated service with plaques.
Hyacinth stated this theme “could not be more relevant” as trade unions are seen as change agents and the DAT’s recognition of the importance of unity is noted.
Further, Hyacinth said thee DAT is expected to play a pivotal role in the realm of industrious relations.
“In this quest, we expect that you all will be working towards raising standards of living, occupational development and promoting the advancement of citizens by representation, negotiating and organizing your members,” Hyacinth said.
She continued, “Indeed there is value and immense benefit in consolidating among bargaining bodies. There is also strength in unity and the time has come for unions to consider unification. But this new approach…requires a shift in thinking, it requires a change in the way of doing business, it requires more dialogue, a synergistic discuss among all key stakeholders.”
The theme she said suggests that consolidation can raise the quality of life for workers in the future. “Hand in hand we can raise the standards of teachers, maintain high professional standards among educators and promote and advance social justice.”
Moreover, Hyacinth challenged the DAT and its membership to decide what difference they want to make.
“As you celebrate your nineteenth general meeting, this theme affords you the opportunity to take some time out to focus on the importance of your role as a professional body as well as your collective responsibility as a trade union.”
She said it serves as a reminder of obligations to enhance the structures which aid in education delivery and a realization of an effective education system, as a reminder of individual contribution to nation building, as well as the impact of collective efforts in enhancing the country’s human resource base.
“We are well aware that amalgamation of efforts serves to provide greater representation to the workforce, and not just on work related issues, but a wide range of other issues as well. A representative voice is integral to the development and improvement of professional competence and enhances productivity. With a unified approach, much more can be achieved in terms of advancing the agenda of the teaching profession, and the role of your union is therefore critical, and more so consolidation will certainly help in ensuring employee satisfaction and enhanced productivity.”
Hyacinth cautioned the DAT to be mindful of their attitude to work as it will impact efficiency and overall output as their work ethics will determine how others view their work and their perspective of the general public service.
Hyacinth added that the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, and by extension the government of Dominica, remains resolute in its support of the teaching profession and will do all in its powers to advance the agenda of the teaching service.
“We are actively seeking to establish structures to make your personal and professional lives more comfortable. We will continue to engage you in areas where your joint efforts serve to increase productivity and consequently increase efficiency within the public service. With increased efficiency, we will no doubt better the chances of success of our students. This is turn will contribute to a well prepared and efficient future workforce.”
“Remember we all have a collective responsibility to ensure the success of the system however the success of the system can only be realized if we all play our part in a productive and meaningful manner,” Hyacinth said.