Categorized | Featured, National News

BUT Executives Meet Labour Officials


Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) executives were determined for teachers to have a day off today so much so that they met with labour officials for just over an hour Thursday at the Clarence A. Bain building.

The union filed a trade dispute with the Ministry of Labour on Wednesday after Ministry of Education officials circulated a memo Monday telling teachers that they would have to work a half day.

BUT President Belinda Wilson told the media yesterday that over the last five years, on World Teacher’s Day, teachers in The Bahamas have always had the entire day off.

“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, cannot at will, amend articles in the agreement as it wishes.

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

She told reporters just after coming out of a meeting with Director of Labour, Harcourt Brown that it was a “sad day” because they had to meet with labour officials to plead their case about why they should receive the full day off.

The theme for this year’s World Teacher’s Day is “Take A Stand for Teachers.”

“We are not perfect, but we try to do the best with what we have before us and so we want everyone to celebrate with us, students, parents and the community,” Mrs. Wilson said.

Mrs. Wilson told the Bahama Journal on Wednesday that 75 per cent of the teachers would 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 they were not returned up to press time.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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