Nation e-Edition

Staying put

Staying put President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union, Mary Redman. (FP)

By Yvette Best | Sat, January 05, 2013 - 12:07 AM

At least three of the close to 20 teachers targeted for transfers from The Alexandra School will be returning to the St Peter institution when school resumes on Monday.

Head of the Science Department, Amaida Greaves, who was sent a letter informing her that she would be transferred to Harrison College, was one of them.

Head of the Fine Arts Department, Gail Streat-Jules, who was listed to be transferred to the Christ Church Foundation School, is believed to be another. The identity of the third teacher is unclear at this stage.

The move will be a direct disregard of the orders of the Ministry of Education and the Public Service Commission.

In a statement issued yesterday to all the media houses, except the SATURDAY SUN, president of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU), Mary Redman, said the teachers’ continued tenure at Alexandra was based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiated with the Ministry of Education dating back to the 1980s; and Barbados’ signing and ratifying the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 135, which speaks to the protection and facilities for workers’ representatives.

Please read the full story in today’s SATURDAY SUN, or in the eNATION edition.

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Posted by Jane Brown 1 year, 9 months ago
Mrs Jules can't leave because she is the Union Rep at AX. If she leaves there will be no union rep.

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Posted by Leonard B 1 year, 9 months ago
This is an extremely serious situation and could result in much turmoil and unrest in the school system. While I agree with all of the transfers that have been recommended I also recognise that it may not be prudent to make them effective until the end of the school year. It appears that there have been some misguided and poorly researched actions on the part of the Ministry of Education. These could lead to reversal of many of the transfers. Of course, the BSTU secured the position of Amaida Greaves and other friends first of all but in the interest of continuity, there may need to be reversals on a larger scale. What a shame, what an embarrassment!! The Ministry will take a beating on this fiasco. LB.

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Posted by Tony Waterman 1 year, 9 months ago
Can Someone,Anyone please find Jeff Broomes's speech which seemed to be the straw that broke the camel's back, and tell where in that speech did Principal Jeff Broomes, MENTION Amanda Greaves' NAME.
as far as i remember (Subject to Correction) he ONLY referred to a SENIOR TEACHER who had not Teached class for the mentioned time. and as far as i can remember (Subject correction) it was Mary Redman and the BSTU that Identified the Teacher by Name. if i am correct can anyone tell me this, HOW DID MARY REDMAN AND THE BSTU KNOW THAT IT WAS AMAIDA GREAVES. DID THEY HAVE ESP OR WERE THEY AWARE OF WHAT WAS HAPPENING???????????

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Posted by Kathryn Daniel 1 year, 9 months ago
The soap opera continues... A proposed shake up of this magnitude was bound to create major shock waves. I would like to know what the relevant legislation has to say about the rights of the government to move teachers around, and the rights of the teachers to refuse any such moves. My deepest concern is for the students who are in the middle of this nonsense. Those young people should be concentrating on their books instead of having to worry about who is going to be their teacher on Tuesday. We are setting a terrible example for our youth and exposing our systemic inadequacies for the whole world to see. We boast of our educational system, it was a key factor in my decision to return home in 2008, and here we are in 2013 face to face with a metaphorical rampaging 800lb gorilla. DEAL WITH THIS SWIFTLY AND THEN FIX THE SYSTEM.

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 9 months ago
Here we go, again! It will be plain for the world to see on Monday the kind of person Jeff Broomes had to deal with, if Amaida Greaves refuses to obey a directive from the Ministry of Education and Public Service Commission (PSC) to report to Harrison College for duty.

After a costly Commission of Inquiry that characterized a principal with a strong personality and high work ethic with the most disparaging terms, it failed to see the root of the problem at Alexandra.

Firstly, Broomes was met with resistance from the first day he took up leadership at the St Peter school. The deputy principal refused to ensure she was there to help him settle in, and immediately went on long leave. I hope she's not given the same reception at The Lodge School.

This initial resentment of Mr Broomes was due to the fact that the teachers felt the longstanding deputy should have been the heir apparent to the top position at Alexandra, and in so doing, someone from among their ranks promoted to second in command.

Broomes saw what he was up against and acted accordingly. He refused to be intimidated by the clan behavior that existed and got on with the task of educating the people's children, with great success through his staff, amidst the challenges... (cont'd)

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 9 months ago
Cont'd...Broomes does not have to be perfect or be Mr Congeniality. There are different leadership styles; none "better" than the other. All that was expected of him was to foster an environment that delivers success to his students. If he was unable to garner the support of his staff to achieve the desired results, the Ministry of Education had a duty to intervene and resolve the matter. And there is where the Ministry failed.

Secondly, there was an incident when Broomes requested proof that the staff participated in Teachers Professional Day. It was widely believe that some were using the time to travel overseas for the weekend.

Broomes' attempt to be vigilant and supervise his teachers attracted the ire of the BSTU for docking their pay. Again, a union upholding their members in nonsense.

And thirdly, the more recent impasse where Amaida Greaves refused to teach a class for a period of time, even on the direction of the principal. That was gross insubordination and disrespect for the office of the principal.

These are the problems that will occur when performance appraisal systems are not in place with metrics to assess Key Result Areas (KRAs).

The BSTU is now scrambling and seeking support from every corner, citing a 1980s MOU where teachers "cannot be transferred without their consent." What the BSTU may not know is that Broomes may be holding a similar contract that appoints him principal of Alexandra, and he too cannot be moved without his expressed "consent."

It appears that Ms Greaves is prepared to show her true colors of insubordination and disrespect once again, this time to her employer and the PSC and not only disrupt an attempt at returning Alexandra to a state of normalcy, but to place the entire education system in crisis.

As one blogger correctly put it, Ms Greaves and the BSTU "got what they want but don't want what they got."

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 9 months ago
What does the BSTU really want? What if Broomes exercise his right to remain at Alexandra, does that mean the BSTU is prepared to have him there in the interest of keeping their own stay in place?

All of a sudden Mary Redman and the BSTU are "concern" about the students' well-being. This is indeed laughable, and can be considered Comedy Fest 2013.

The BSTU is caught between a rock and a hard place, with to room to go up or down.

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Posted by Bim Bum 1 year, 9 months ago
IF this move is indeed a direct disregard
of the orders of the Ministry of Education
and the Public Service Commission...
then I see grounds for dismissal, not so?

In other words..

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Posted by SANDREA BUTCHER 1 year, 9 months ago
O Father, when will this fiasco end? It is probably a good thing that Mrs Greaves isn't going to Harrison College, because I would love to see her teach that CAPE Chemistry Syllabus! Who decided on these transfers anyhow? Is Mrs Streats-Jules aware of the requirements of the CAPE Art and Design SBA's? Why could they not just have offered Mr Broomes a 'promotion' in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development or the Ministry of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth (Wow, those ministries are a mouthful)? Stupes!
Yuh know what, The BSTU did want separation for Mr Broomes, dem get it. Tek what wunna get!

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Posted by Sarah Layne 1 year, 9 months ago
for what possible reason would the head teacher of science from one school be transferred to another school at this time.. would she go into the position of Head Teacher in the Science Department?? and if so, what would happen to the person already in that position.

I was also told she is short of retirement, so why transfer her.. leave her be and let her retire..

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Posted by Bold Lady 1 year, 9 months ago
Mr Harper I agree with you 100 per cent, I told my daughter here in Florida the same thing you wrote. Then Mr. Broomes should stay because he has a contract. Mr Broomes you and your family have a blessed New Year.

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Posted by Bold Lady 1 year, 9 months ago
Mr Harper NO ONE could have said it any better

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Posted by Jane Brown 1 year, 9 months ago
Some of you are making statements about things you know nothing about. Carl Harper I remember his first day at Alexandra( I was in 4th form then) and the same teachers supported him. The ministry wanted to put him on probation when he first came and those same teachers supported him and said he is a grown man don't put him on probation. Mrs. Lashley not getting the position was never a problem for any of the teachers. And if you really knew Mrs Lashley, what you said about her not helping him settle in makes no sense. It's not in her character.So I don't know where you are getting your info from. Two, the Waterman reported stated that the allegations against Mrs. Greaves were not true. @ Tony Waterman I was at the same same speech day and he did call out Amaida Greaves name. Please get your facts together before making those kind of statements. Everyone has this image that Mr. Broomes really did nothing wrong. I still maintain that some of you never followed the inquiry with all these statements that are being made.

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Posted by En Dee 1 year, 9 months ago
One unholy mess! The Ministry will now have to show who is running the education system in Barbados. Redman, Frost and Greaves or the Ministry.Will the real leaders please stand up! It appears that we must revisit the various MOU's and sweetheart contracts issued over the years. Nullify them and let us start again. We must have only one group giving orders and they must be obeyed. Simple. By the way, let us not forget to put the students interests first. Nigel D.

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Posted by wayne husbands 1 year, 9 months ago
my question to all the "BROOMERS",did anything in the findings of the commision contribute to your opinion on this matter?1. the ministry of education is/has not acted on the recomendations of the commision, I am sure that had to be the the blowhards,'bimbum,carl harper,carl husbands, tony waterman etal'.please tell me "if the ministry of education and its officers acted in an unjust way, how can you blame Mrs. Redman for protecting the rights of the membership of the BSTU?

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Posted by CARL HUSBANDS 1 year, 9 months ago
@Leonard B: Why should the Ministry of Education "take a beating"? It is my understanding that the Waterman Report was laid officially in Parliament sometime in early November, 2012. The BSTU wanted the Ministry to take actions immediately after the report was laid in Parliament. Moreover, the BSTU was not going to tolerate another school term with Mr. Broomes as the principal of The Alexandra School. If the Ministry did not act then we would surely have had another school term of stagnation at The Alexandra School. It would seem to me, given the circumstances, that the Ministry acted by making the transfers at the earliest appropriate time. If the Ministry didn't undertake the subject actions then we would be here cursing them for being unresponsive to the situation. However, they have acted forthrightly, yet they are now being criticized for being too forthright?!?! The ball is in the BSTU court: if the teachers are going to behave themselves for the next school term and teach the students then I am sure the transfers of Mr. Broomes and the teachers can wait until the end of this school term.

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Posted by CARL HUSBANDS 1 year, 9 months ago
@CARL HARPER: Glad to see that you are able to get "enlightened" on this situation. So now I am even more hopeful that we could work on getting you to see the light on the "BLP" thing. (Smile) While I appreciate your reference to my earlier comments, I do believe that you owe the Prime Minister and Minister of Education an apology for your criticism of them in your comments under another article concerning their actions in this matter.

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Posted by Nigel Nicholls 1 year, 9 months ago
This whole situation is an ignominious failure and a disgrace to both the Ministry of Education and the Human Resources section. To move so many teachers who have gained the trust of the pupils, and who also have inculcated their ethics and morality and goodwill upon these pupils is very disruptive and counter productive.

Perhaps the ministry consulted with psychologists on this, but I hardly believed they did.

I wish all of them well, but it is going to be a long and difficult transition.

Bonne chance.

  • 0
Posted by Tony Waterman 1 year, 9 months ago
@ Jane Brown!!!!! since you were at the speech day, i would ASSUME that you were a Student at Alexandra School, and i iam also going to ASSUME that you took ENGLISH, and i am also going to ASSUME that READING and COMPREHENSION was a part of your Study of the ENGLISH language.mY first Paragraph is a requwst for someone/Anyone to FIND that SPEECH and examine for a reference to Amanda Greaves by NAME.The Others were Statements from MEMORY and were all subject to CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION, so why are you asking me to get something (FACTS) straight when my comment did not contain any facts , just QUESTIONS. I can see that you were not Taught by Jeff Broomes othewise you would be a lot Smarter Than that.
As for the WATERMAN REPORT,that is just a piece of ($6000.000) Garbage, he made it useless when he Pre_Judged MR.Broomes in front of the Inquiry instead of just being there to take in the Facts as they were Stated in order to come to a final conclusion with recommendation (s)

""Mrs Jules can't leave because she is the Union Rep at AX. If she leaves there will be no union rep.""

That is the Union's Problem , are they not another 19 or 20 Union Members at Alexandra are you telling me that only ONE is smart enough to be a Union Rep?????????

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