The St. Vincent Grenadines Public Service Union, St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union and the St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Welfare Association, in solidarity, make this joint statement in response to the government’s new position that public officers must either vaccinate or be subjected to COVID-19 testing every two weeks, and failure to comply with either offering will result in disciplinary proceedings.
We are cognizant of the fact that COVID-19 has become a public health threat and that the world is craving to get back to some sort of normalcy with the roll out of the vaccination programs. However, the manner in which the government has been rolling out its vaccination program is very troubling and amounts to an attempt to assassinate established inalienable human and constitutional rights.
We do not intend to have any conflict with the government. We have an obligation to address the concerns of all members and, in particular, any apparent assault of their rights. After intense deliberations, the Unions stand resolute that the government’s position is unreasonable, arbitrary and an infringement on the rights of Public Servants.
For the record, categorically, we are not against vaccination and testing. As a matter of fact, we have advised our members to exercise their constitutional right to conscience, belief and thought. Furthermore, where there is any doubt they must use objective information to inform their consent or rejection of vaccination and or testing.
We wish to express the following:
- That public servants may consent to testing; however, they ought not to be subjected to any frequency that is not demanded from the wider population or any other special group. Further, the either-or approach has and punitive element attached.
- The current scientific knowledge is that none of the vaccines can definitively prevent anyone from getting or spreading COVID-19.
- State authorities say that the vaccine is not mandatory, but their approach appear to give our members little or no choice. Its message is taking the vaccine or else we will punish you.
- According to the latest figures, the country recorded 1739 Covid-19 positive cases with over 1500 persons having recovered after experiencing mild or no symptoms. They required no medical intervention to recover. This reality begs the question: how is the vaccine assisting persons whose immune system does and can do what the vaccine purported to do?
- We have written to the Government for an urgent meeting before Friday 2, April 2021.