Retired teachers in Grenada are being encouraged to become members of the newly formed Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) Retirees Association.
The plans for the formation of the body began in June 2013 and a committee comprising of two representatives from each parish was set up by the G.U.T. Executive to spearhead the organising process.
Though still in its fledging stage, organisers believe that with the support and input of retired teachers, it will be ready to take flight and soar.
After approximately two years of planning, the 103 year-old GUT, which was the first trade union to be registered in Grenada, launched the new association last week Tuesday under the theme, “Enjoying the fruits of our labour,” at the Public Workers Union (PWU) building Tanteen, St. George, with the aim of representing, uniting, and providing avenues for the holistic enhancement of all members.
The event was attended by several retirees from the teaching profession on the mainland as well as the sister isle of Carriacou.
Chairman of the National Committee James Alexander, who provided a brief overview of the newly formed organisation, expressed optimism as he looks forward to the contributions that members are expected to make.
He said the committee which has been put in place, will be charged with the responsibility to manage the affairs of the Association and plan activities to meet its objectives.
The aims were identified as follows: To maintain partnership with the GUT; organise social, educational and spiritual activities for the membership; render moral support to members and the wider community and represent members’ concerns with relevant organizations.
According to Alexander, the new body will be working in close collaboration with GUT.
“We would be working hand in hand with the parent body” – GUT, whose “role is to provide legal representation and negotiation, collect and disburse subscriptions and to support activities planned by the association,” James said.
The six district committees appointed to push the work of the association are charged with the responsibility to recruit members from their parishes, as well as implement the plans of the national body and to come up with activities in keeping with the objectives of the association.
According to James, membership of the newly launched association is open to all retired educators who were members of the GUT, with a subscription of $10.00 per month to be paid by deduction, or over the counter annually or on a quarterly basis.
Making remarks at last week’s event was Education Minister, Anthony Boatswain, who commended the retirees for their contribution to nation building.
“Your efforts are seen today in the professions of many…in our teachers, doctors and lawyers”…et cetera Boatswain said.
President of the Grenada Association for Retired Persons (GARP) Carol Vasquez delivered the feature address encouraging the retirees to enjoy the “rare moments” in life and enjoy it to the fullest.
Vasquez, who is a retired St. George’s University (SGU) Human Resource Manager, also encouraged the retirees to be very sociable noting that it would go a long way for them when they get older.
The GUT Retirees Association is one of five affiliate organisations of the GUT including the Grenada Union of Teachers Credit Union (GUTCC), Grenada Teachers School Supplies, Grenada Teachers Social Security and Welfare Authority and the GUT Group Medical Plan, which is the first of its kind in the Caribbean.