Broomes looking forward to long leave
Embattled Parkinson Memorial School principal Jeff Broomes appears to be preparing to take a break from the teaching service.
He told Barbados TODAY he was looking forward to long leave soon and would “see how things go” after that.
At the end of October, Broomes, who has not been seeing eye to eye with his teaching staff, said December 5 would be his last speech day at The Pine, St Michael institution.
At the time he would not say definitively whether he was retiring, and while he stopped short of saying that he was walking away from his position as principal, he told Barbados TODAY in Brooklyn, New York, over the weekend he was taking his “health issues” into consideration.
“It will be my final speech day speaking at a function because, if you could look at it, I am not getting younger. I am not 16; I am 60; and come December 25, I will not be 16, I will be 61; and I have been due long leave for a number of years now and I have had health issues, and I am looking to take long leave, and I suspect that will be the time that speech will be taking place,” he said.
“What happens after that, we don’t know; we will see how things go. This is my 40th year and everything must come to an end at some point. I have fewer years to serve now than I served already.”
Long leave is a term’s leave given to teachers who have worked for 15 years. Thereafter, they are entitled to a term’s leave every five years.
Teachers get that entitlement every five years after that, while principals are alotted their special leave every four years.
“I have not taken long leave now in over seven years and I am entitled to 42 days vacation every year and I applied and I have never got it,” Broomes said.
It is a situation that the outspoken principal is not at all happy with.
“[It] is one of my main disappointments this year, and if I have to have an issue with the Ministry [of Education], that is my issue –– that I applied for vacation leave in July/August and never heard back from the ministry . . . but I got a letter from the ministry in September after the time had gone giving it to me and I wrote to them asking them when can I take it, and I haven’t got the courtesy of a response yet,” he said.
Broomes made it clear that was his only issue with the ministry and nothing else, contrary to what was being reported in the media about the situation at Parkinson.
“I have been reading some things in the newspapers and hearing things that I know are totally misrepresented, and I just smile when I read some things that I know have no bearing in truth or fact.”
Parkinson School teachers are at odds with what they have described as Broomes’ management style. They claim that he has refused to take suggestions of staff on board, has introduced programmes without consultation with teachers and unilaterally changed the timetable, among other issues.
Despite this, the principal told Barbados TODAY he was “at peace”.
“There is no cloud over Jeff Broomes, despite what is going on. I sleep peacefully at night.”