BUT puts its proposals on the table
The Barbados Union of Teachers has put on the table a number proposals which they would like Government to consider before it cuts the jobs of 3,000 civil servants, starting in another 11 days.
President Pedro Shepherd gave his membership assurances that their jobs were safe, for the time being, following a meeting yesterday morning at the Barbados Workers Union headquarters.
There he called for schools to be zoned, boards merged and the free bus fares programme for school children be discontinued.
“[Boards] are a fairly signicant expense . . . schools could be zoned and three or four boards could have the responsibility for [some] schools [within a zone]. We [also] believe that it would not be too harsh a measure if the reinstatement of the payment of bus fares for school children is done,” he said noting that some teachers had made the point that there were children who are abusing the system.
“If it is reinstated, those persons who are unfortunately disadvantaged, the social services can pick up the slack. The Prime Minister would have made reference to having the safety nets in place for [those] who would be disadvantaged by the fallout,” Shepherd added.
The general secretary also placed another proposal on the table that Government abandon its free summer camp programme and make children pay to attend.
“[The] large sums of money being spent on summer camps [is] one of the areas where Government can look seriously at. [Certainly] the tender for summer camp meals . . . make sure that tender go[es] out to and is given to the School Meals Department. They would have to make better arrangements with School Meals because those persons are on vacation during that period. We believe that some special allowances for the department will be necessary if they are willing to accept to prepare the meals,” said Shepherd.
Other proposals include Government cutting back on its fleet of vehicles, the reduction of the number of statutory boards, and the selling off of some of the existing lots in its 500 lots programme and at other locations at Constant in St George, Coverley in Christ Church and Parish Land, St Philip.