As an American Federation of Teachers member let me take this opportunity to congratulate my fellow colleagues in their efforts for justice. Oct. 1 marked contract day, and yet our governor decided that when it came to the teacher's contract (as it pertained to salary increases) the government would once again fail to uphold its agreement . Just like the retro pay of the 90s, our government has once again robed the teachers of their salary increases in the name of "cost saving measures". What I don't understand is why didn't the governor operate from this cost saving measure when he met with the Legislature during the lame duck session of 2002. I do clearly recall that his attitude was quite different when it came to his own salary and that of his executive staff.
Clearly, despite the fragile state of our economy in 2002, the governor and senators still felt they were well worth a whopping pay hike even though it was not budgeted. Neither was it a "cost saving measure." Yet, when it comes to teachers, the governor would rather hold back budgeted raises and keep our schools in deplorable conditions which contributed to the lack of accreditation. We must "suck salt" while he "sucks sugar" living large and coasting easy on a salary that will carry him into a very comfortable state of retirement.
If the Governor does not watch himself, he may see "fireburn" revisited in St.Croix. The only problem with this "fireburn" is that with the governor's refusal to pay the fire fighters their salary increase, the flames will not be so easy to extinguished.
For a governor who went on television less than a year ago saying that a group of protestors in Frederiksted showed great disrespect to the people of the Virgin Islands, I must say that this one "Dancing" protestor feels the only one who is disrespecting the people of the Virgin Islands is Charles Wesley Turnbull. That is why I will close my letter by saying …Dear Governor, You do not have to worry about me running out and signing a "recall petition" to get you out of office. That's because I already took recall action in November of 2002 when I voted against you!
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