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Simmons approved leave for principal

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Simmons approved leave for principal

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Chairman of the Alexandra School Keith Simmons approved leave for principal Jeff Broomes to go on duty as manager of the Barbados Under-19 cricket team in 2011, because he thought it would avert industrial action by the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union.
The chairman made this revelation to a Commission of Inquiry today at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
Simmons said prior to the industrial action earlier this year, he felt months before that a first strike was looming, but felt it would not come off once Broomes was away from the facility. He then quickly approved Broomes’ leave from the school to go on national duty with the cricket team.
“It ( a strike) didn’t happen, but I felt it was going to, based on my feelings at the time.”
According to Simmons, he had met with Barbados Secondary Teachers Union president Mary-Ann Redman and another board member earlier, at which time a number of contentious issues regarding the teaching staff at the school, and the management style of the principal were raised.
He said a week after accepting Redman’s offer to meet, Broomes sent a letter to board members informing them that no members should come to Alexandra’s premises without informing him.
The chairman said he only attended that meeting with the BSTU officials, after Broomes had refused to do so, claiming he had met with them already. 
Full story in tomorrow’s DAILY NATION