Categorized | Featured, National News

Teachers On Alert


Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson has placed all public school teachers from Grand Bahama to Inagua on alert.

The union leader made the announcement through a press statement this weekend. The announcement hints that more severe industrial action may be on the way.
Last week teachers at Charlton E. Francis Primary staged a sit out, protesting poor working conditions, joining the likes of teachers at the Uriah McPhee and Stephen Dillet Primary Schools.
“There are many issues that are negatively affecting our teachers and the schools that are not being addressed,” Mrs. Wilson said.
“Teachers are being threatened; class sizes are very large, [there are] teacher shortages [and] unhealthy and unsafe working environments, millions of dollars [are] owed to teachers and much more.”
On Friday, Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald announced that his ministry suspected that the air-conditioning unit at Uriah McPhee was being ‘sabotaged’, prompting them to place 24-hour security at both that school and Stephen Dillet Primary as well.
He added that the Department of Environmental Health also conducted an investigation into repairs at those schools and was pleased with their state.
However, he said there were a few more things that needed to be complete over the next few days, which include spiraling and vacuuming of air conditioning ducts, fogging inside the building using an approved disinfectant; and treating the schools of rodents.
During that news conference the minister also called out a junior high school teacher by the name of Khalil Francis, whom he said conducted an ‘independent report’ of the incidents and presented it to the ministry, via the BUT.
“He is a trained teacher who is facing disciplinary action for an exorbitant amount of absent days,” he said.
“It is unfortunate that one may deduce that his side business may have contributed to his extreme absenteeism. I believe that my ministry has engaged some of the most intelligent teachers anywhere in the world and they are capable of reading between the lines. We therefore place no weight or credibility on that report and quite frankly we are surprised that the Union would associate itself with someone who record as a public servant is less than stellar.”
The BUT president, hearing this, is now encouraging all public school teachers to join the fight.
“Teachers at Stephen Dillet, Uriah McPhee and Carlton E. Francis have taken a stand and they now need your support,” she said.
“The president and secretary general were again locked out of Stephen Dillet Primary School on Thursday and the president was physically assaulted by Garth Johnson, head of Security at the Ministry of Education.”
She said a complaint has since been made to the police.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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