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Union hoping for end to row

rhondathompson, [email protected]

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Alexandra School could face industrial action in September if the long-running feud with Alexandra School principal Jeff Broomes is not resolved, says the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU).The warning, though veiled, came at a Press conference yesterday at the Patrick Frost Centre on Belleville.President Mary Redman said that the union wants to see the matter come to an end next month. She is hoping for a breakthrough when they meet with the Ministry of Education on July 28.“We are hoping that the ministry is coming with a level of seriousness, a level of commitment that will be necessary to finally address those issues outstanding. Its been more than four years,” said Redman.She stated that there could be some repercussions if the issue is not resolved before the start of the next semester.“We will like to see the matter resolve before the end of the holidays because if it goes into the new school year, there will be a very unstable start to the new school year.“We will use the avenue that is available to us, to make sure that the matter is handled once and for all,” said Redman, noting that it has been a difficult period for the teachers at Alexandra School.“The teachers at the school need some relief. They have been through much pain and suffering. We need to bring back the positive atmosphere associated with Alexandra. I hope the ministry is ready to deal with this matter in the way that it needs to be dealt with,” she said.Redman, a teacher at the Lodge School, said the ministry has been weak in dealing with this dispute.“The ministry has failed to act in a number of issues. They failed to mandate that he [Alexandra principal Jeff Broomes] attend a meeting that they agreed that he should attend to resolve the dispute that dates back to 2006.“They refused to mandate that he attend meetings which resulted in us having to go on strike to cause the meetings to happen, and then they turned around and attempted to victimise and punish teachers for having to assert their rights to bring into being something that they at the ministry agreed to.”The president said the scheduled meeting between the BSTU and Minister of Education Ronald Jones, slated for Thursday morning, was cancelled because of the minister’s busy schedule which included a Cabinet session. (MK)