Shepherd: Nothing to keep out principals
President of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT), Pedro Shepherd, is undaunted by St Bernard’s Primary principal Everton Briggs contesting the union’s top position when the election is held on Friday.
“My position is that BUT is open to all its members. We do have principals who are members, and if a principal wants to offer himself or herself for office in BUT, it is quite open.
“I think the challenge there would be a number of teachers having issues with principals heading teachers’ unions. I always dispel that by saying across the region when we go to CUT (Central Única dos Trabalhadores), most of the presidents of the units are principals, so I don’t think that being a principal should be a problem,” he said.
Yesterday was the opening ceremony of the BUT’s 44th annual general conference at Almond Bay Conference Centre, Hastings, Christ Church.
However, Shepherd noted that issues being raised by most teachers were dependent on the principals and how they responded to them.
“I know there are a number of principals too who might have negative things to say about the union.
“Some years ago we had the establishment of the Association of Public Primary School Principals, and a number of persons who were elevated to principalship then relinquished their membership from the union. Along those lines it might be a challenge for him, but I wish him well in the election race,” Shepherd said.
Shepherd said the important issue was for professionalism to be maintained. I don’t think that if per chance he happens to become the president of the BUT that it would be any conflict of interest.
“I don’t think that the issue of his association with the chief education officer can be questioned. I don’t think it should prevent him either from going forward,” he said. (RA)