Massive victory for Lydon Lewis

Teachers have demonstrated confidence and faith in the leadership of their union by re-electing Lydon Lewis for another two year term.

Lewis easily defeated former President of the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT), Marvin Andall in elections held Monday to reign supreme.

Scholar – a first timer on the GUT National Executive

Scholar – a first timer on the GUT National Executive

In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper on Tuesday, the newly re-elected President-General of GUT described the three-week election campaign as a “heated” one for the membership.

“That’s the spirit, this is the life that I have brought to the Union” exclaimed Lewis who, copped 1092 votes outnumbering Andall who amassed a total of 661 votes.

During the election campaign, Lewis was faced with several accusations of inappropriate actions that were circulated on social media, including not spending the teacher’s money the way it should be spent, and getting 100% duty-free concession on a vehicle from the Keith Mitchell-led government.

He denied the allegation and invited this newspaper to come and inspect the letter in his possession that speaks to a 50% duty-free concession on the vehicle.

According to Lewis, he was entitled to the 50% duty-free concessions based on a collective bargaining agreement reached between GUT and government covering teachers who have given 15 years service in the profession.

Fingers were pointed at the Andall slate for the “propaganda” warfare against the outgoing GUT boss.

Lewis refused to be drawn into the plethora of allegations, insisting that teachers are “smarter, they are wiser and more educated on the issues.”

During Tuesday’s interview, he told this newspaper that “there is a forum where teachers can come and question the working of the Union” and  “are free to challenge the leadership and bring up the issues and we will deal with it there. But I am not going to comment on what was posted.”

Lewis said the GUT has “achieved a lot” under his leadership, which he believes was mainly responsible for his return to office.

“Teachers were aware as to how the struggle has been and they were able to look at the issues and make a determination as to whether or not they would continue with the current leadership of the union,” he  remarked.

Lewis has led the Union for the last two years and gave insight in to the game plan going forward, noting that “it won’t be easy” as there are “a number of issues that must be addressed head on.”

He said, while he is happy that government is regularising the status of teachers, the GUT would continue to closely monitor the process.

“Although, we may have done it a little differently in some areas we believe that if we monitor it properly and if we are brought up to date with how the process is unfolding, we will be happy and we will be able to tackle some of the issues that may come up from time to time,” he said.

“It is well deserving of the teachers to have that process started,” he added.
Lewis made mention of “the issue of the increments,” which he said, “the Union is not going to back down on.”

He said, GUT is forging partnerships with the Public Workers Union (PWU) and the Technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU) to determine how government is going (to) treat us with that very important issue.”

Teachers pension is another important issue.

Lewis revealed that Government has agreed that the State need to pay a female public officer who won a case in court on her right to receive a pension after 1983 and is confident for positive results on the issue in going forward.

The newly elected GUT President-General further expressed confidence that the new executive would be able to make a meaningful impact on behalf of its membership.

Former 2nd Deputy President-General Davis Union (TAWU) to determine how government is going (to) treat us with that very important issue.”

Teachers pension is another important issue.

Lewis revealed that Government has agreed that the State need to pay a female public officer who won a case in court on her right to receive a pension after 1983 and is confident for positive results on the issue in going forward.

The newly elected GUT President-General further expressed confidence that the new executive would be able to make a meaningful impact on behalf of its membership.

Former 2nd Deputy President-General Davis Adams has moved up a rank to 1st Deputy President-General as he defeated  former GUT President-General, Kenny James in a battle for the position.

Like Adams who was on Lewis’ slate, another team member, Finley Jeffery known in the calypso world  as ‘Scholar’ was easily voted in as 2nd Deputy President General.

Chairman of the GUT Credit Union’s Credit Committee, Kelly Calliste is the new Treasurer replacing Glydon Christopher, Dianne Abel-Jeffery is the new Assistant General Secretary replacing Ann Pierre.

Two new Trustees – Jude Bartholomew and Magdalene Carmichael were elected to serve alongside Delores La Qua who retained her post on the GUT Executive.
Lewis is confident that his newlook team will be able to get the job done on behalf of the nation’s teachers.

“We have Mr. Adams, Principal of the South St George Government School… whose record speaks for (it)self and Scholar”, he said.

According to Lewis, Scholar holds a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management and brings to the table a wealth of experience to help boost members confidence in their union, as well as to keep the general membership “in the

“It is a perfect blend…that …would augur well for the continuing advancement of the GUT,” he added.

The new GUT Executive will be officially installed when the union holds a two-day Conference on March 31st and April 1st in Carriacou.

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