No Alexandra repeat

NUPW president urges parties to sit and work out Parkinson situation together

As Jeff Broomes today hinted that his time as principal of the Parkinson Memorial Secondary School was nearing an end, his union urged all parties involved in the dispute at The Pine, St Michael school to come to the bargaining table.

And the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), which made the call today, sought to give the assurance that the situation would not be a repeat of what occurred at The Alexandra School.

Parkinson principal Jeff Broomes.
Parkinson principal Jeff Broomes.

Speaking at a Press conference this morning to respond to grievances expressed by Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) about his management style, Broomes served notice that December 5 would be his last speech day at The Pine institution.

Pressed by Barbados TODAY after the media conference to explain that announcement, Broomes said he was “unclear at this time as I have not made a definite decision”.

“I still have to consult my daughter. She is my advisor on such issues.”

Broomes is at the centre of controversy again, as teachers complain of his refusal to take suggestions of staff on board, the introduction of programmes without consultation with teachers and unilaterally changing the timetable, and his refusal to write recommendations for teachers who were eligible for promotion, among other issues. More than half of them stayed away from school on Tuesday morning to meet with their representative Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT).

NUPW president Walter Maloney said there was no reason why the situation should deteriorate into a fight between the NUPW and the BUT, or the Ministry of Education.

Walter Maloney
Walter Maloney

“There is no reason why this should be blown out of proportion. I do not like what happened at Alexandra. I think it was badly handled; I don’t think that there is any need for this to be badly handled. I think we have the opportunity now to follow protocol; follow what is laid down in the law,” he said.

“We do not want to see again any level of displacement at any of our secondary schools that is not really worthwhile, that can be resolved between the parties’ sitting down and dealing with the issues.

“Let us sit, let us reason this out together and let the school continue to run and do what it is suppose do –– deliver quality education to the children of this country. As simple as that!” Maloney added.

Defending his management, Broomes said none of the teachers had raised any concern about his management or leadership style, even though there were some teachers who “objected to some policy positions that I have arrived at”.

On the issue of the timetable, the principal said the Education Act And Regulations, 2014, gave him carte blanche on preparing the timetable.

The school’s curriculum, which was designed in 2013 for a three-year period, is also a hot button issue.

“Every single member of staff had an opportunity for input . . . . At the end of the day those heads of department and their teachers got more than 80 per cent of what they asked for. There is nothing wrong with that give and take process, but there are some things that you just do not compromise on; and my educational values and my pedagogical focus will never be compromised,” he insisted.

The principal also expressed disappointment with the manner in which teachers left their duties to attend the BUT meeting.

“I support any teacher, whose union calls them to meeting, going. What I did not like about what happened Tuesday [is that] they never informed me. Neither the teachers nor the union ever told me about any meeting . . . . My secretary told me that something came in at 9:20 in the morning for a 9:30 meeting and I think that’s unacceptable; that is not right,” Broomes said.

He acknowledged that from time to time there would be concerns, but said they should always be addressed in the best interest of the students.

“I believe very strongly that the staff as a whole, inclusive of principal and deputy principal and the most junior teacher, working together, can move mountains within the school,” he said.

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15 Responses to No Alexandra repeat

  1. Linda Freeman
    Linda Freeman October 31, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Damn there they go again with their foolishness and the children are the ones that looses can you please give my daughter some lessons Mr Broomes cause it seems they have a good thing going over there at Parkinson and they rather let pettiness get in their way.

  2. Rusty Ralph
    Rusty Ralph October 31, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Some of these teachers need to work for a few years in the private sector. ALL jobs that are payed directly by me ( mr/ms taxpayer) need to be on a three year contractual basis. ALL. From Permanent Secretary to the lowest grade. That should sort out all these idiotic issues.

  3. Linda Freeman
    Linda Freeman October 31, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Piper Timaya Jordan I call that no respect for authority, and if a said child does not turn up for class or leave class and does not ask permission its chastised. SMDH

  4. Michelle Smith-Mayers
    Michelle Smith-Mayers October 31, 2014 at 7:57 am

    It is not only Parkinson that this is happening. I heard secondary students from some of our top public schools complaining about teachers not coming to class. Just that one Principal dears to actually manage his staff and hold them accountable. Maybe the ministry needs to look at the principals and stop hanging out to dry those who are actually doing their job

  5. Jack O
    Jack O'neal October 31, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Them teachers can say all they want about uncle Jeff management style, but point blank the man don’t tolerate stupidness at all. He taught me back in 85-92. Nice teacher

  6. Bobby Gilkes
    Bobby Gilkes October 31, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Sad so said ok Broomes come home and put up your foot

  7. Bobby Gilkes
    Bobby Gilkes October 31, 2014 at 8:23 am


  8. Ismay Griffith
    Ismay Griffith October 31, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Jeff, doan let dem run you.

  9. bernard and india walker October 31, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Practice for the big issues . Like taxes and stuff

  10. Darren Garrett
    Darren Garrett October 31, 2014 at 11:18 am

    He’s right it’s not Alexandra because at Alexandra it took ten years for people to speak out about the crap this man has pulled. I wish I could say that I am shocked that people are blaming teachers but I’m not what I wish would happen is that he gets moved to couple more schools and watch this problem happen again but what am I saying it will still be the teachers to some

  11. Darren Garrett
    Darren Garrett October 31, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    If I was Jeff I would use my ability to make people believe whatever I said to make a fortune. Barbados the land of Bandwagon jumpers

  12. Amarilis Lily
    Amarilis Lily October 31, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    It is sad that the ministry does not know what is really happening in the school system ,they need to carry out an interview with the students and the real stories will come out

  13. Fiona Griffith
    Fiona Griffith October 31, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Jeff Broomes, keepp looking out for your students…I also maintain that ALL 4th form / 5th form students should be allow to do CXC English & Maths, I will fight for this

  14. Doreen Lewis December 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Mr.Broomes needs a different adviser.His daughter will not want to tell him the truth.He is in need of some psychiatric help and he needs to go home immediately.


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