Categorized | National News

BUT Files Trade Dispute Against Gov’t

The Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) has filed a trade dispute against the government for what it is calling a breach of several articles in its Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The trade dispute was filed yesterday at the Ministry of Labour’s Clarence A. Bain Building on Thompson Boulevard.

BUT President, Belinda Wilson told the Bahama Journal that the dispute is in reference to World Teacher’s Day.

“We signed an agreement on April 18 this year and the agreement was to govern us until June 2013,” she said.

“As you may be aware, Friday is World Teacher’s Day throughout the world. Teachers will be celebrated, events will be held, teachers will have days off, there will be pep rallies among other activities. We would have agreed in Article 27.1 the attendance for school days and World Teacher’s Day is one of those days where teachers should be celebrated honoured and recognised.”

Mrs. Wilson said since 2006, the union’s members have been celebrating the special day and have been getting a full day off from teaching at school.

“This year, the Director of Education, Lionel Sands, sent out a circular which states that school will come out half day,” the BUT president said.

“We are concerned about this because first of all Mr. Sands sent out a circular dated August 28, 2012 and at the bottom it is copied to me. I can say to you that I never received this memorandum until October 1. It was sent to me by one of our members and we already have plans in place. We’ve already made plans throughout the entire Bahamas – some teachers will have special guest speakers, others will have a special lunch, others will have picnics and pep rallies so all over the country beginning Friday morning.”

Mrs. Wilson also explained that the government, can not at will, amend articles in the agreement as they wish.

“We have this letter a few days before telling us we have a half day,” she said.

“It is in breach of several articles in our agreement and not fair to the teachers. I’m trying to resolve this matter quickly. I sent an email on Tuesday to Prime Minister Perry Christie, Minister of Labour, Shane Gibson, Minister of Education, Jerome Fitzgerald, the Department of Education, Director of Labour, Harcourt Brown stating our opposition to the circular sent out by Mr. Sands. We filed a trade dispute [yesterday] and I hope that we will be able to get into the Department of Labour as early as [today] because we know that October 5 will be a full day off.”
Mrs. Wilson said if there is no resolution by Friday, 75 per cent of the teachers will still carry on with their activities and have the day off.

Calls were placed to Minister of Education, Jerome Fitzgerald and Director of Education, Lionel Sands but were not returned up to press time.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook