Categorized | National News

Teachers Protest Causes Early Dismissal

Classes are expected to resume at the Stephen Dillet and Uriah McPhee Primary Schools today, a day after teachers complained of unhealthy working conditions forcing the schools to dismiss classes.

The teachers at both schools claim that their work environments have deteriorated over the years and have now become unbearable.

There are complaints of malfunctioning air conditioning systems, rodent and pest problems.

At Stephen Dillet the teachers say their fear becoming ill from the fumes they have been inhaling from paint that has just been placed on the inside walls of the building and the lack of ventilation within the school

Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson quickly clarified that the teachers never withdrew their services and remained at the schools until the dismissal.

On Monday, the union led teachers on demonstrations outside the Ministry of Education and the Office of the Prime Minister.
Since then Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald has promised that those teachers who participated will have their salaries cut for missing school.

Mr. Fitzgerald is also refusing to meet with the union until it tempers its actions.

“The way it happened was not what I would consider proper leadership on the part of the union,” he said. “I have had an open door policy with the president of the union since day one but I will not meet under these consequences and I don’t want for there to be any mistake with regard to my kindness being interpreted as weakness because I am resolved that we will do whatever it takes to ensure that our campuses are safe.”

The union meantime has been meeting this week with officials from the Department of Labour over the six trade disputes it has filed against the Ministry of Education.

Those talks are expected to continue for several more days.

Meanwhile teachers and students will return to the classrooms of both schools, however, classes at Stephen Dillet will be dismissed at noon both today and tomorrow.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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