Categorized | Featured, National News

BUT Expects Fewer Sick Days For Teachers


Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson anticipates that teachers will take fewer sick days and be more productive now that the new government subsidised medical insurance plan is in effect.

Mrs. Wilson said while most people simply view the insurance plan as an added benefit for the teachers, she believes it will greatly assist the educational system.

“Teachers should be out less now because of sickness,” she said.

“A lot of times teachers are sick and they even get sicker when they don’t know how they are going to pay for the medical services. So that alone is going to be a plus for us.”

It took almost some seven years to get the health insurance, but the government subsidised plan came into effect on July 1.

The teachers now have full medical coverage with Colina Imperial – with the government paying 80 per cent of the total costs.

Yesterday marked the first day that members of the 4,000-plus member union were able to pick up their medical cards from the union’s Bethel Avenue headquarters.

Mrs. Wilson said the collection process has been a smooth one with a steady flow of teachers coming into the union’s headquarters.

She encouraged teachers to collect their cards as soon as possible.

Lisa Hutchinson, a teacher at S.C. McPherson Junior High and Haldean Stubbs, a teacher at Programme Sure both said they were happy to have full medical coverage.

“I’m very excited about it,” Ms. Hutchinson said.

“First of all, it’s a savings for myself as well as many other teachers. I would like to thank the Bahamas Government along with our president and the rest of the union for working so hard to ensure this for us. We’re very appreciative of it and we can’t wait to use it.”

“I feel that this was very, very important and it means a lot to us teachers,” Mr. Stubbs said.

“We’ve being trying to get a contract from the Ministry of Education in reference to insurance from our first bargaining agreement. So, when they agreed to the 80/20 we were very pleased and it means a lot to us.”

Card distribution continues today as well as next week Wednesday and Thursday at the BUT’s headquarters until 5:00 p.m.

Teachers in Grand Bahama, Abaco and Exuma can collect their card from Colina offices on those islands while those in the remaining islands can pick up their cards from their respective post offices.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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