Categorized | National News


The Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) yesterday announced that a letter requesting a strike vote has been sent to the Minister of Labor, marking the first step towards industrial action.

This occurred after nearly six months of unanswered complaints and no action from the Ministry of Education. 

Acting union President Joan Knowles Turnquest said the list of grievances at the C .H. Reeves High School spans from mold in classrooms to a rat infestation. 

She said, “The Bahamas Union of Teachers stands in solidarity with its members in addressing concerns of an unhealthy and unsafe working environment.”

She added, “we request that the Ministry of Education seek to correct the malfunctions that exist at the school and to look amicably at rescinding the show cause letters as the teachers are bombarded daily with adverse, unsafe, and unhealthy working conditions.”

Area Vice President for New Providence, Vernon Rodgers, spoke on added health concerns.

He said, “one of the major problems is chemicals in the roof that burns their skin if it drips on them. The Ministry has yet to give us an answer for that. We have some teachers with psoriasis, some are breaking out, some thyroid glands are swollen because of the environment.”

As for parents who may have some concerns, Mrs. Turnquest said that health comes first. 

She said, “You can have all of the education you want, and I am 100 per cent behind that; but your health is more important than anything else.”

She added, “We take a lot for granted. We have teachers getting sick, and we have students getting sick as well. We stand in unity with our teachers. We want to do what is right.” 

The union is now awaiting a response from the Ministry in terms of when and if it can take a strike poll.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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