Nation e-Edition

Court option?

GENERAL SECRETARY of the BSTU, Mona Robinson (right), with Amaida Greaves (second right), Leslie Lett (front), former longstanding general secretary Patrick Frost (left) and other members of the BSTU after the aborted meeting with senior officials of the Ministry of Education. (Picture by Ricardo Leacock)

By Sanka Price and Yvette Best | Thu, January 03, 2013 - 12:10 AM

THE WIDESPREAD TRANSFERS earmarked for Alexandra School that will affect the entire secondary education system at the start of the new term come Tuesday, could be stalled by court action.

A source close to the situation said attorneys were poring over the legal options and could act by Monday. One suggestion is that the nature of the contract appointing Jeff Broomes as principal of the St Peter school could be an avenue.

The insider argues that Broomes’ contract appoints him specifically to Alexandra and as such, it would be a breach of his terms and conditions for him to be shifted to Parkinson School as scheduled, or any other school for that matter, unless he consents to the move. If the matter goes to court for declaration as expected, until there is a ruling on that declaration, the status quo would have to remain.

Quizzed on this scenario, Broomes’ attorney Vernon Smith, while confirming his client had received the letter informing him of his shift to Parkinson School yesterday, said he could not say what action they would be taking.

Please read the full story in today’s DAILY NATION, or in the eNATION edition.

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Posted by Caius Kent 1 year, 9 months ago
Can a Public Officer be appointed to a post that does not exist within the Public Service?
Is there any post entitled "Principal of the Alexandra School" within the Public Service?
I know that there is a post entitled "Principal", but I am unaware of any post entitled "Principal of School X".
Can someone shed some light on this matter?

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Posted by stephen nicholls 1 year, 9 months ago
Did the in excess of $600,000 Waterman Commission's Findings and Recommendations mean nothing? The Ministry of Education continues to botch this entire issue with seemingly deliberate zeal! What could have informed the thinking that would create this forseeable debacle? Neither Education nor Human Resource Development appear to be within the management capabilities of the head and the head of this Ministry.

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 9 months ago
The legal wrangling has begun! I always knew that a possible crisis would loom over the educational system at the start of the new term.

What is noticeable is there has been no official public statement by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development. The name "human resource development" is clearly a misnomer.

tHE Minister of Education has now disappeared when the going has gotten tough. It seems that the policy of the education ministry - and this government - is when faced with a problem of national importance, say nothing and it will just go away.

I am in total agreement with the senior officers in the Ministry for not making any public statements on the matter. Usually the Minister enjoys the limelight when there is something to make himself look good - Common Entrance Exam results, renaming schools, National Development Scholarships awards, Barbados Scholarships and Exhibitions announcement, cellphone ban in schools etc. This is now a time for him to "face the fire" - alone.

If the Alexandra School fiasco finds itself in the law courts, and it appears it will, Ronald Jones should accept full responsibility for his failure of not acting on the report findings that sat on his desk for months, and politely resign.

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Posted by D. Stoute 1 year, 9 months ago
I guess this means Mr. Broomes is untouchable? If he remains what happens to the school? Will there be more antics? Maybe it's time the keystone cops over at the MOE looked into how their employment contracts are written. If this situation wasnt so sad it would be quite laughable.

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Posted by Cheese On 1 year, 9 months ago
And the Plot Thickens!

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Posted by Jane Brown 1 year, 9 months ago
Really? So Bajans still believe he is a loving teacher and he has done nothing wrong? Open your eyes! Looks like he will win most Controversial person in 2013 as well.

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Posted by L V 1 year, 9 months ago
It would have been great to save the money spent on this issue to feed some poor families or provide some social service.

Such a waste, why can't things be done correct the first time? It seems no one has ever seen the contract Mr. Broomes signed. No questions were asked, just a number fo people trying to prove how powerful they are.

I am neutral and i think we should all be since no one knows what Mr. Brooms or these teachers have been through all these years. I just know there had to be a better way to handle this situation and it should have never come to the court of public opinion.

I hope the Ministry is taking notes.

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Posted by Hosea Greenidge 1 year, 9 months ago
I am still trying to understand what the problem is with reassigning Mr Broomes. In any major organization that has a hierarchy, at some point the person above can assign the person below to any position without prejudice. Are we to believe that Mr Broomes as a management employee cannot be reassigned to another location.
That would be like they say: "the inmates are running the asylum and the officers are standing idlly by."
Good luck to the good folks.

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Posted by CARL HUSBANDS 1 year, 9 months ago
Wait, I thought the BSTU was dead set on having Mr. Broomes separated from The Alexandra School? So does keeping the status quo mean they now want Mr. to stay on? Dem get what dey want but dont want wah dem get!! Seems to me The Ministry of Education did what they had to do and there is no need to engage in any more rhetoric on this issue. Just as no principal has unbinding ties to any school in Barbados, I suppose the same holds true to any teacher as well. With respect to the students at both schools I suppose that the issue comes down to teaching style over teaching substance since the subject matter should be similar at both schools. Sometimes we are averse to change but perhaps this can be a fresh start for everyone.

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Posted by shabizz asban 1 year, 9 months ago

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Posted by stephen nicholls 1 year, 9 months ago
@ Carl Harper: Since when has this been about "what the teachers want"? Nonsense! This issue has always been about what is right and just. An official, legal Commission inquired into the whole affair and reported its Findings and Recommendations
Having unmasked Broomes for what he truly is, one of the Commission's Recommendations was to have Broomes removed immediately from the teaching service! It is incredible to me how anyone can condone the continued principalship of a man who, inter alia, indulges in "untenable managerial behaviour", "unorthodox hiring practices", who is a "workplace bully" and a "manipulator of students". Answer me this, Mr Harper, if you can: What did any the other teachers do to merit transfer?

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Posted by stephen nicholls 1 year, 9 months ago
My last comment should have been addressed to Carl HUSBANDS not Carl Harper! Sorry.

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Posted by Dee Cee 1 year, 9 months ago
Amazing how Amaida Greaves wanted Mr Broomes transferred from the Alexandra School and now she up front and centre fighting to stop herself from being should have been sent to St George Secondary or Grantley Adams. Where is Mary Redman was her voice box taken out during the holidays?

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Posted by L V 1 year, 9 months ago
HOSEA GREENIDGE, I like your questions. The problem is that at the Ministry of Education, there seems to be no leader. If you ever have the pleasure of visiting on business, you are directed from one area to another, sometimes ending where you started.

If you call, you have the same run around, it is as if all the departments run independently and no one knows what each department is responsible for.

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Posted by wayne husbands 1 year, 9 months ago
@CARL HUSBANDS, I don't see how you arrive at the conclusion that the bstu want MR. to stay on. what i find hard to grasp, is that the esteemed and much acclaimed attorney and prime minister would appoint a commision without an arbitrary clause, in my experience as a union delegate,when management and labour has not reached a favourable agreement,the case is taken to arbitration and both sides agree that the arbitrators ruling is final. how can we justify spending all that money and time, for this to end up in court again?.i read somewhere that the justice system in barbados is designed and operated to benefit the lawyers etc. here again is proof that supports that statement, i am a supporter and admirer of our prime minister, but this has been a total travesty,he shouldv'e fired jones and give broomes his job,

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Posted by Jane Brown 1 year, 9 months ago
From the comments above it is safe to say that CARL HUSBANDS and DEE CEE haven't read the ENTIRE article in Today's Nation, so I'll ignore the senseless comments.

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Posted by Tech King 1 year, 9 months ago
Can anyone say what the report which was sent to the MOE had recommended?

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Posted by CARL HUSBANDS 1 year, 9 months ago
@Stehen Nicholls: This situation has always been about the group of teachers aided by the BSTU! It was those teachers who refused to follow Mr. Broomes directives after their collective feelings apparently were hurt. It was those teachers who refused to teach their classes. It was those teachers who walked on the students. Are you suggesting that this situation was about the students of The Alexandra School? Or the parents of these students? Please tell who asked the present students or their parents how this situation should have been resolved? We heard from former students, present and former teachers, former head mistresses but what about the present students and their parents. So the answer to your question is that those teachers were derelict in their primary duty to teach their students so they were transferred.

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Posted by CARL HUSBANDS 1 year, 9 months ago
@WAYNE HUSBANDS: Initially, I was somewhat inclined to support Chris Sinckler for Prime Minister. I felt that Mr. Stuart did not display the style required in a Prime Minister. However, I must admit that with every pronouncement or action undertaken by Prime Minister Stuart, I am becoming more and more a fan of him. His deliberative and thoughtful manner shows me that this man is a man of substance, intelligence and vision. In other words he is a boss!!! And Mr. Jones is a boss too!!! They simply outfoxed the BSTU foxes. As far as the Waterman Commission is concerned, the recommendations are just that: recommendations. The Prime Minister or the Minister of Education has the final say of what will be done. The best thing about the hearings was that everything was publicly aired so there is no further need for the back and forth between the BSTU and Mr. Broomes. This was not an action involving the collective interests of all principals and teachers across Barbados and as such there is no need to take anything to an arbitrator if there were disagreements between the parties. This was an isolated, albeit nagging, situation that has been dealt with, end of story.

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Posted by wayne husbands 1 year, 9 months ago
they say the last shall be the first....and i shall start with your last statement..the situation has not been dealt with,. carl i know that you know better, and i know that the statement you made, JONES IS A BOSS,was formulated on personality and not principle,for if jones was a boss, he would have addressed this mess when it was a stream, rather than allowing it to become a river,you gets defensive when one says anything about your profession,yet here you are displaying the same appointing the commision, our prime minister had his final say, that was his resolve, and he may have directed the minister of education to act on the reccomendations, so i disagree with you in saying that jones is a boss, if jones was a boss, there would be no need for the prime minister to be involved in this, there is no way that you can put our p.m and our m.o.e in the same category, they belong to the same party, and there the similarities end, i agree with you on the qualifications, demeanor and strategies of mr. stuart, he is a leader. as you may have personal affiliation with the joneses. your integrity would be diminish if you choose to see this from a "personal" perspective,rather than a "principle." .

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