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Egos inflamed situation

An unfortunate situation caused by “a lot of egos” and the absence of calm heads.

But that does not mean it is too late to fix such an undesirable situation at the Alexandra School, said temporary teacher at the school, Roger Broomes.

Broomes spent his second day in the witness chair when the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra continued today at the Wildey Gymnasium, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.

He also made it clear that while he respected the right of a trade union to represent its members, he had not and would not now be joining the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union or any such organisation, although there was industrial strife at the school.

“I think that the whole situation is very unfortunate. I believe that a lot of egos … are being played out. I think that calmer heads should have prevailed based on all the information which was being placed in the public’s domain,” he said.

“I think that what has happened here or what is happening here today is really a test to the educational structure of Barbados.” Broomes believed the commission would go a long way towards resolving conflict not only at Alexandra, but the island’s entire education system.

“I think that at the end of the day the governance of education would probably be better off because of the events which manifested themselves and gave cause to this commission of enquiry,” he told the tribunal.

Additionally, the teacher, while not being critical of the BSTU, said he personally did not want to be represented by a union. Speaking while being examined by BSTU counsel Hal Gollop, he said: “I think that the union’s quest for the situations within the broader educational and the administration of education in Barbados has been achieved.

“I came from an organisation where because of the cause for someone taking industrial action is not anything that I really paid very much attention to. If the union believed that they have a legitimate right to seek redress for their membership then kudos to the union.

“I am not here as pro union or anti union, I am down the line, I don’t think from my experiences coming through life that I would be part of a union, but I love history and I know that the shaping of Barbados, for example, was caused by unionism and persons banding together and that type of thing and that is an admirable thing.

“But I don’t think that I would be part of a union because of the experience which I would have had in my former job where you had to stay for law and order and you were not allowed to be unionised,” he added.

As a result, the former policeman said he would not join the BSTU, Barbados Union of Teachers, National Union of Public Workers, or the Barbados Workers’ Union.

“I would not join a union if I am a member of the Alexandra staff, I would not join a union if I am not a member of the Alexandra staff, I would never join a union,” he asserted. (SC)

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