Categorized | Featured, National News

BUT Seeking Int’l Help

Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson said she’s ready to take her disputes to the international arena if Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald does not budge.

The union has been at odds with education officials over what they call poor working conditions, which include non-functioning air-condition units as well as rodents.

The union president sat with education officials in a conciliation meeting at the Department of Labour yesterday and said it didn’t seem as though the minister was willing to cooperate.

In the event he didn’t, Mrs. Wilson said the BUT would seek the help of their international partners.

“If the minister continues his posture, we’re going to have no other choice but to seek international assistance in this matter,” she said.

“Our affiliates include Education International, The Caribbean Union of Teachers, the International Labour Organization and the United Nations. We’re going to have to draw all our colleagues from within the region.”

Meanwhile, teachers at Uriah McPhee, Stephen Dillet and Carlton E. Francis Primary Schools all returned to the classrooms yesterday, but some were left to teach outside.

When The Bahama Journal arrived at Stephen Dillet Primary, fourth grade teachers were giving lessons outside the school building.

Poorly functioning air conditioning units are to blame, which Minister Fitzgerald claims are being sabotaged.

On Sunday, the minister along with representatives from the Department of Environmental Health services accompanied PTA and school board officials of both Stephen Dillet and Uriah McPhee on a tour of the respective schools.

The idea was to bring an end to the hysteria that’s surrounded the schools in recent days and to satisfy parents that the schools pose no threat to the students, teachers or staff.

There was, however, one positive thing the union president did note.

“Uriah McPhee teachers are in the classrooms today,” she said.

“They said all of the air condition units are working, the school is cleaned up and apparently they had a meeting with the minister of education.”

Until the matters are resolved, Mrs. Wilson said all teachers remain on alert.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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