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Govt reps a no-show at BUT conference

The Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) began its week-long annual conference this evening with a clear indication that its strained relations with the Ministry of Education are no better, as Government representatives were a no show.

During the introductory session set aside for fraternal greetings, BUT general secretary Herbert Gittens noted the absence of a ministry representative.

Pedro Shepherd

BUT president Pedro Shepherd

Later, touching on the breakdown in relations, the union’s president Pedro Shepherd said in his address: “Their absence this evening is an indication of it.”

“The Ministry of Education is in a state of dysfunction and the wider system is reeling from it,” he added.

Meantime, Shepherd warned education officers against micro-managing teachers, and called on some school principals to stop threatening temporary teachers.

Noting that teachers have not enjoyed salary increases, he called on the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados to bring Government back to the bargaining table.

“Of all the civil servants, teachers are in the worst conditions but are expected to produce the most,” Shepherd said.

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