A new General Secretary of the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT), Don Howell, has been appointed following the resignation of Doctor Virginia Albert-Poyotte who previously held the post.
Albert-Poyotte, a veteran teacher and former President of the Saint Lucia Teachers Union (SLTU), quit amid a controversy over her tenure.
The current President of the SLTU, Julian Monrose, told a news conference this morning that when Albert Poyotte was elected in 2013, it did not go down well with about four of the CUT member unions, with the legitimacy of her position being questioned two years after at a conference in Dominica.
“Despite the noise made by some units the majority expressed confidence in Doctor Poyotte and reelected her General Secretary/ Treasurer,” Monrose said.
However he disclosed that that the minority units seemed not to have been happy and attempted to influence a boycott of a CUT meeting in Saint Kitts, which the vast majority attended.
“While at the meeting elements outside of Saint Lucia put in the Saint Lucia media matters concerning Doctor Poyott’s appointment; in fact those persons who did so knew very well that the executive meeting in Saint Kitts would deal with the issue, reopen it and discuss it,” Monrose recalled.
He asserted that the very persons who used the local media knew that those who were in a position to respond to their story were not here.
Monrose revealed that before a position could be reached at the Saint Kitts meeting, Albert-Poyotte chose the moral high ground and decided to resign, feeling that her presence as General Secretary was being used by a minority to create problems in the CUT.
He asserted that Doctor Adolph Cameron of Jamaica who held the position of General Secretary for 14 years had not taught for more than ten years in his entire life.
“He was not a teacher so the argument of the minority group that Doctor Poyotte is not a teacher does not hold,” Monrose declared.
Albert-Poyotte was not a teacher at the time of her appointment.
He also dismissed the argument that as a member of the Teaching Service Commission (TSC), Albert-Poyotte should not have held the office of CUT General Secretary.
“The fact is that being a member of the TSC is not a job; you don’t get a salary; it is a voluntary service so she is not appointed by TSC and it does not conflict with her role in CUT,” Monrose told the news conference.