Categorized | National News


The Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) yesterday announced a  long awaited strike certificate has been secured from the Ministry of Labour .

 B.U.T. President Belinda Wilson told reporters outside of CH Reeves Junior High School that during the Christmas break, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of  Works would have corrected health and safety concerns at the school.

A walkabout was scheduled to take place that afternoon with the Minister of Education and team of officials, lawyers from the Attorney General’s Office, and the union’s lawyers. 

Mrs. Wilson expressed that she hopes that the union will not have to use the strike certificate, likening it to an insurance policy that one may acquire “just in case” something happens. 

She also indicated that the union is giving the ministry until January 7th to fix the issues causing them to take a strike vote. 

The issues at the school  of which teachers complain span from rat infestations to mold growing in classrooms. 

Last month, the union took a strike vote where 62 out of 74 teachers voted in favor of a strike. 

However, Director of  Labour John Pinder indicated that there may have been an issue certifying the vote because only C H reeves teachers participated.

Mrs. Wilson told The Journal that neither the director or minister had the authority to refuse giving the union the strike certificate. 

She said, “in accordance with the Industrial Relations Act Section 20, their job was in ensure that the poll was taken; which they would have done, and their next step would have been to issue the strike certificate.”

She added, “now, you know I had to go up to a higher level to ensure that we get this strike certificate. So, I’m happy that we’ve received it, and I hope that we won’t have to use it.”

At the last minute, Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd could not accompany the union on this assessment sending the government’s negotiations  representative  Zane Lightbourne in his place. 

The Media representatives were  banned from taking part in the assessment, and the police  were  contacted by the school’s administration in an effort to clear the campus. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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