There is a crescendo of criticism rising in the air about the performance of the Vice Chancellor of UG. In a forthcoming column on UG I will do a fantastic chauvinistic act for which all readers, in and out of Guyana, will accuse me of showing off. But I will show off and ask your forgiveness because when you read the context, you will understand why I am boasting.
Last year, a senior Cabinet Minister confidentially requested of me to facilitate a meeting with the two UG unions. I am not going to refer to the minister as he or she. When I was contacted I got the distinct impression, it was not a Cabinet decision to meet with me but that minister must have heard voices whispering concerns about what is taking at UG. For the record, I never associated in anyway thin or thick with that minister before or after 2015.
Strict confidentiality was asked of me. I told the leadership of the two unions that the general membership of the unions cannot be told about the meeting because leaked information could put the minister in an awkward position with the rest of Cabinet.
I suspected that there are two ministers and President Granger that are close to the Vice Chancellor and if they know about the discussion, the event could die before it was born.
Of course it didn’t make sense that the minister would keep the data acquired from the unions from the president since the President would have to give approval on any re-direction at UG. But still, I insisted that only a tiny group from both unions make the journey.
For the academic union, only Dr. Jewel Thomas (the chairperson) and for the non-academic union, only Bruce Haynes and Khemraj Narine (chairman and vice chairman respectively) were present. I left after the necessary facilitation into the ministry’s premises and returned after the meeting was over. I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to sit in.
I say in all honesty, what came out of that dialogue I don’t know and never asked. My role was to facilitate not to enquire about the unions’ business. Now that there seems to be a re-think in Cabinet about UG’s leadership, I am wondering if my little “consultancy” paid off.
But the crisis at UG is just another indication of how eerie is this country. I cannot elongate on this eerie nature because I will devote an entire column to the “show off” analysis mentioned above.
Now here is another thing about UG I did not disclose and I am doing so now. The two unions complained to me that the TUC representative to the Council of the University, Ivor English, was voting against the interest of the unions at Council meetings.
In a recorded interview with English, he said if the unions do not want him he will resign. I told English, I think the unions would prefer that. Coretta MC Donald told me that English was appointed by Lincoln Lewis and that she as President of the TUC did not know about the selection and it did not come from any TUC’s executive session.
In a recorded conversation with Lewis in which I completely lost my cool, I reminded Lewis that he keep repeating with funeral boredom in his condemnation of the government that time-honoured principles must be embraced by the Government of Guyana.
Each time I see Lewis, (last time was at the wake for PNC youth activist, Bevon Currie), I tell him about his stuck record of “time-honoured principles.” In the conversation about English, I told Lewis he, Lewis was not adhering to time-honoured principles.
Two years after the first conversation with Lewis and English, respectively, I had to accost them again on the unions’ disgust with English. Now last week the two unions announced to their membership that English continues to ignore their intgresrfts at Council meetings and that they are coming out of the TUC.
How will the “principles” man explain his double standards to the nation? Lincoln has been a friend for over forty years, and sadly he has become a victim of the dead society Guyana has morphed into.
This explains his insensitivity to the pleas of the unions. Why did he emulate David Granger and make a unilateral appointment? Do you want to know the answer? Ivor English and Lincoln Lewis are best of friends and maybe through Lewis, English acquired the status he has at Critchlow Labour College.
Lincoln Lewis is sacrificing the livelihood of UG staff without adhering to time-honoured principles. God help Guyana, please!
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