Lecturers in Dominica protest
Roseau – Lecturers at the Dominica State College (DSC) Monday embarked upon industrial action in protest at the dilapidated buildings and other concerns which they say need urgent attention.
But DSC President, Dr Donald Peters said that the industrial action, which coincided with the start of examinations, was uncalled for, since the College has been trying to rectify the issues brought on mainly by the passage of Hurricane Maria more than two years ago.
“I am sure there are some legitimate concerns, but we are confused. They are talking about government’s responsibilities and the College responsibilities and they are mixing both of them up together,” Peters said, acknowledging that since the passage of the storm “we have been working the best we could with a dilapidated infrastruture.
‘We have spent money to refurbish 23 classrooms and limp by for the time being,” he added.
But General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang, has warned of an escalation of the industrial action accusing the Peters of running a one-man show.
“We have seen an institution being run and managed by one man, I repeat one man. As I speak to you now there is not a board of governors in place, one which is required by the State College’s Act,” Letang said, adding that the College was also functioning without a bursar, a human resource manager and a registrar.
“One man advanced in age is doing everything here. This thing has been going on for too long and needs to be stopped and stooped right now. I am very pleased that the staff are all together and they have realised that without their support there is nothing the union can do”.
Letang warned that if the striking lecturers were threatened as a result of their actions “we are not going to joke about it”.
“”You harass one, you touch one, you touch everybody and if the problem cannot be resolved . . . we will seek solidarity from the rest of our membership,” he said, adding that the actions would continue “until it is clear to us that the issues are going to be addressed and are going to be resolved”.
Peters said he is aware of the government working with China in seeking to repair the technical buildings at a cost of US$3 million “and that is going to happen when COVID-19 subsides”.
“My understanding with the Ministry of Education is that a contract has been issued to a local contractor to repair the buildings. The buildings need to be repaired that is a legitimate concern but we have been limping along without it and I don’t know if I would strike on that, but hey that’s not critical.” (CMC)