BUT member breaks ranks with teachers’ union

He may be a member of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) but Victor Benn is not pleased with way the union’s executive has been seeking to get Government to resolve pressing issues affecting teachers.

Recalling that the Ministry of Education and the union had met on the issues before, Benn, who is also treasurer of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) St Peter branch, said “at the end of the exercise we were satisfied that the ministry has taken the position that has been expected of the ministry.

“But I have a serious concern. I am a member of the Barbados Union of Teachers and I have the following concerns. One, why is the executive of my union seeking to escalate a matter in a public forum; a matter that I believe could have been handled quite differently.

“The question I would ask is, who is going to benefit from the position that has been taken?” he said.

Benn was addressing a St Peter branch meeting at the All Saints Skills Training Centre in Mile-and-a-Quarter Sunday night.

“I am extremely concerned that the Barbados Union of Teachers did not seek to use their leverage,” he said, pointing out that both Minister of Education Ronald Jones and Chief Education Officer Karen Best were both past presidents of the BUT.

He argued that by “bringing the matter in the public domain” the current BUT executive was disrespecting the Minister of Education and ignoring the Chief Education Officer “to the detriment of teachers”.

“They have more leverage inside the ministry than any other union at any point in time in Barbados. And I am concerned that they sought to go to the public without addressing a situation, which had the possibility of affecting the lives of teachers, without making a phone call,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman warned BUT President Pedro Shepherd to be careful of how he was going about the matter, adding that he was “about to now dilute himself”.

Kellman, who was also addressing the
St Peter branch meeting of the DLP, said “if every time you ask the Minister of Education to do something for you and you come to the press and say he is not doing anything, it means that you too not achieving anything then”.

Highlighting the recent appointment of hundreds of teachers, Kellman said the president of the BUT had not recognized “how much he has been able to force the Minister of Education to do for him”.

“What he needs to do is stop bad-mouthing the Government and what he needs to do is start telling his members how much we have been able to do for them in such a short period of time,” said Kellman.

8 Responses to BUT member breaks ranks with teachers’ union

  1. Angela Maria
    Angela Maria May 10, 2016 at 7:52 am

    De man taking a bros before hos stance. Who can blame him. More money in politics than in union, just ask Jones.

  2. BaJan boy May 10, 2016 at 7:52 am

    #dumbkellmanembarres. The DLP needs to get out of campaign mode and respect Barbadians. Just like the Benn who is obviously a traitor is a DEM,Pedro Shepherd is one. Pedro however understands his responsibility to his membership whilst the Benn man if he is one prefers his loyalty to the DLP..

  3. Gloria Barrow
    Gloria Barrow May 10, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Kudos to Pedro he is doing a good job .We had other union’s before that was also looking out for the workers a man is to do whatever to let people know you cannot treat workers so .I know Pedro and if you are wrong he will let you know.Seeing that he is a serious party man for the DLP ,something has to be wrong ,and I want to say he is no chicken

  4. Gloria Barrow
    Gloria Barrow May 10, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Let him go he gine get bear licks

  5. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay May 10, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    lolol,de real colors gine show just now,ah dead.

  6. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay May 10, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    tell de union donkeys,to much haste makes waste.i said the union=bstu was the teachers downfall.never curse yah cook.read de lines.and when hand in lion mout,tek time and pull it out,ah gone,lolol

  7. harry turnover May 10, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Pedro done call meetings now or wha ? a paling cock that needed talking to it seems.
    This man Benn will rejoin the Union after the elections.Wonder why he waited until NOW to break ranks or was that ‘ talk for the occasion “?
    When ya gine call out the teachers for more meetings Mr. Shepard ? understand more and more teachers are getting fed up wid you,some even calling you ‘powfull foolish “….you don’t know the sun hot and Jones got ex teachers and volunteers line up for when de war starts.

  8. Meakai May 11, 2016 at 12:39 am

    Just recently, amidst great pomp and pageantry, it was proclaimed for all to hear; the party and its mission come first.
    This by an organization hoping to form the next Government.

    Small matter then for a union member to choose his party over his union. I am willing to bet that he has not tendered his resignation.


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