BUT warns of ‘further action’ over docked pay
The threat of industrial action hangs over the Ministry of Education as the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) again hinted today at the possible disruption to the start of the school year next month.
The BUT today ended a two-day protest over the docking of teachers’ pay for attending two union meetings earlier this year.
BUT President Pedro Shepherd made it clear today that his union was not playing games with the Ministry of Education and was adamant that teachers must get their money back.
The union’s executive body today returned to the playing field next to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, just a stone’s throw away from the Ministry of Education, to continue a demonstration that began yesterday, to protest against the ministry’s decision.
Shepherd again threatened to take further action come September 5 when the new school term begins for teachers, unless the matter was resolved by September 1. He said the public would be given an update on the matter as the date for the opening of school approached.
“We are going to use the next three weeks or so to give the Ministry of Education the opportunity to put whatever systems they have to put in place – maybe meet with the union, seek advice from the Cabinet of Barbados, whatever it takes we are prepared to give them until the first of September to do that,” he said.
“Failing that, come the first of September when the school year is about to begin, then we would have to take some action to get a positive result out of this whole situation.”
Shepherd said his executive had met with senior personnel from the Ministry of Education, as well as Prime Minister Freundel Stuart on the matter, but they were not happy with the outcome of those meetings.
The union leader said he intended to write the ministry for a fourth time today in a bid to find a settlement.