The Courage to Go Forward

Author, social justice and labour activist, Bernadette Hood-Caesar stood up for her rights and for the rights of others. Her courageous journey is documented in her book entitled,
‘The Courage to Go Forward.’

The Courage to Go Forward chronicles Bernadette Hood-Caesar’s journey when she grabbed local headlines in 1987 and chose to make a stand in a class-action lawsuit against the State of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Through an Act of Parliament, public servants herself included, were deprived of their cost of living allowances and increments established via the democratic process through collective bargaining. She was a front line worker, providing an essential service and rallied on behalf of 65,000 staff employed in the public service.

Living in Trinidad, in the mid eighties, Bernadette had to assume two mortgages and she had three
young children. It did not appear that the union members had a chance for fair wages in Trinidad and
Tobago until she stepped in.

The stand that Bernadette initiated eventually led to a change in the Trinidad and Tobago
Government.  It was a lengthy fight and her strength, tenacity and courage will always be remembered.

-Bernadette Hood-Caesar

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