Stuart lauded for decisionPrime Minister Freundel Stuart
By Ricky Jordan | Sun, April 22, 2012 - 12:23 PM
TWO INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS EXPERTS are lauding the decision by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to launch a commission of inquiry into the impasse between teachers and the principal of The Alexandra School.
Former Chief Labour Officer Elsworth Young sees Stuart’s move as an attempt to find the truth of the matter and National Union of Public Workers’ general secretary Dennis Clarke feels an inquiry should have been launched before.
Clarke told the SUNDAY SUN that “from day one” the NUPW was trying to get across the point that the Prime Minister could not discipline principal Jeff Broomes, since Broomes was directly responsible to the Public Services Commission.
He also recalled that despite comments from the Opposition about “swift action”, the previous administration had dealt swiftly with four senior officials at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital – Neville Millington, Tennyson Springer, Keith Sandiford and David McAllister – by sending them on special leave in 1996, which resulted
in their being paid more than $200 000 in damages and court costs.
“This inquiry,” Clarke said, “would give Mr Broomes the chance to explain what occurred. Furthermore, certain matters related to Alexandra were dealt with in 2010 by the Ministry of Education, and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) has not [since] filed any charges against him.
“What we have on paper are the ministry’s findings, while Broomes has not been found guilty of anything, but the BSTU is insisting he must go.”Clarke said the Prime Minister, as a veteran lawyer, understood there was a process that had to be followed in this complex case.
Young, meanwhile, said that any decision on whether to move Broomes must be based on facts. “The Prime Minister, as a lawyer himself, has an obligation to get to the truth of this matter.I cannot fault that,” he added.
He also said it would give all related parties a chance to have their say.
“I don’t think 30 people would wake up and get agitated unless there was something wrong,” he commented.
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