Ellerslie teacher still on sick leave

The Ellerslie Secondary School teacher allegedly attacked by a student last academic year has yet to return to work, it was revealed today.

President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) Mary Redman told reporters the teacher, who was reportedly spat on and kicked in her vagina by a then 13-year-old female student in April, remains on sick leave.

Mary Redman
Mary Redman

Violence in schools, particularly student-on-teacher violence, was one of the issues discussed today at a meeting with teachers ahead of the start of the new academic year.

The Ellerslie School incident gained national prominence and brought attention to other such occurrences, including one at The Lodge School and another at Deighton Griffith, where a teacher’s car suffered $11,000 in damage.

“In relation to Lodge School, the two students [involved] have been recommended for transfer. In the case of Deighton Griffith, that teacher has been sent to another school while the investigations continue because his car was vandalized severely and there had been missiles thrown at him in the classroom on more than one occasion. He reported that he feared for his wellbeing and the Ministry [of Education] saw it fit to transfer him to another school while they carried out their investigation. I suppose they are still investigating because he is still at the other school.

“Meanwhile the teacher involved in the incident at Ellerslie is still on sick leave,” Redman told reporters after the meeting at the Barbados Workers Union’s Solidary House headquarters.

The union boss said the teachers also dealt with the vexing issue of the docking of pay, although very little time was spent of the subject.

However, she said it remained an area of concern because of the “serious implications” it had for the trade union movement.

The Ministry of Education docked the pay of teachers who attended meetings held last year by the BSTU and the Barbados Union of Teachers to discuss their concerns on indiscipline, security of tenure and terms and conditions of service, among others.

Redman said today the move was an attempt by the authorities to “break the backs” of the island’s trade unions.

“We discussed it [docking of salaries] very briefly and not in the depth we would have liked because of time constraints, but the members all see it as very important issue and one which has serious implications for the continued effectiveness of the unions.

“As one member said, it is an attempt to break the back of the union because it was an attempt to instil fear and cause persons to hesitate with regards of their right to freedom of association. It is fundamental issue – I don’t know if the Barbadian public realizes the precedence it has set in terms of unions’ ability to swiftly intervene for emergencies,” Redman said.

She vowed the union would put the ruling to test, but did not say how.

The outspoken trade unionist also spoke about the announcement during the 2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals that public servants acting for three years or more would be appointed.

She said there was no reason for the “song and dance” about the announcement since it should have been done more than eight years ago.

“It was already in the Public Service Act. It was supposed to have been done since the 1st January 2008, so I don’t know what all the song and dance is about. We still have persons who should have been appointed since January 2008 because they were in established post and had been there three years prior. So their appointment should have been automatic, so they have been essentially acting for over ten years,” she said.

Redman had earlier told Barbados TODAY that while membership among trade unions here was on the decline, the BSTU was enjoying its largest membership ever. 

“Our membership has been growing steadily and as a matter of fact we are the largest that we have ever been, we are up to about 550 members,” the fiery teachers’ advocate said, throwing cold water on the notion that the unions were losing their teeth.

“You hear that constantly but unions are as strong as the perceived support of their membership. To a large extent it is perception, and if members do not come out and openly support unions then the unions are not seen to have the teeth that they are supposed to have; and those who can will take advantage of what may be simply a perception,” she added.   

9 Responses to Ellerslie teacher still on sick leave

  1. Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
    Cherylann Bourne-Hayes September 8, 2016 at 5:57 am

    Why transfer the students if they were found responsible? To me the problem will follow them. Guess they will be hopping around from school to school if they do not change their behavior.

  2. Jacqui September 8, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    What happened to the young lady from Ellerslie, is she hopping around too.
    Would like to hear what the Ministry of Education and Police Department would suggest.
    Most importantly, what did her parent(s) have to say about her behaviour.
    If I missed the outcome about her, is it possible for someone to repeat it here.

  3. Samuel Morrison September 8, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Oh how I despise that wicked woman. Her aim is always to destabilize the education system. The teacher at the heart of this matter was all about the island during July and August. She now finds it convenient to be absent from work but do not mind being fully paid. It is time that these slackers and pretenders are brought to discipline. The government should have her checked by a state appointed Doctor. Mary Redman is nothing more than one who spreads propaganda. Ask the past and present students of Lodge about her work ethic. They would prefer to see the back of her. The increase in membership is due to her poaching the members of BUT but that is right to happen to that clown Shepherd. He spent too much time sucking up to Redman and little time being an effective leader. Goddard and Shepherd have brought the once proud Union to its knees. They are interested in their own egos and name building. These clowns need to give up their posts in the interests of Teachers and Education. This period will go down as the most unprofessional in the history of education in Barbados. Shepherd, Goddard and Redman have collectively exposed the poor standards of the organizations they represent and have made the once noble profession the laughing stock.

  4. Nanci September 8, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    The teacher still on sick leave, boy how bajans can get slack leave without submitting a doctor’s note. She should be back to work and stop playing games.

  5. Nanci September 8, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    They think they entitled , and think no one is above them, that’s why the educational leaders only care about themselves. Check how they can strike and answer to no one. I think there’s two sides to the story about teacher/student fighting. Some teacher bring their biases in the class room. Half of the kids they put down and criticize have succeeded later in life. Parents send your kids to outside classes if you want them to pass the cxc cause the teachers don’t care, they make bad for the good teachers. That’s why most of them didn’t like the head at Parkinson he called them out when he see their unprofessional behavior.

  6. Hal Austin September 8, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Being spat on and kicked in her private parts and till off from work. This is scandalous. Minister Jones should order that she has a medical examination immediately.

  7. harry turnover September 8, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Wait and see if she reports for work on Monday. She cannot submit sick leave certificates indefinitely with FULL PAY.
    Let’s wait and see when that time for full pay sick leave is exhausted if she would submit sick leave certificates with half pay.
    Doubt very much that would happen as it is all a SCAM…probably looking to be declared medically unfit by REDMAN.
    Knowing Jones though as Minister responsible for teachers his Ministry can order that teacher to undergo a medical examination and if found shirking can be sent packing

  8. june September 9, 2016 at 4:52 am

    All who criticizing the teacher for being “off” would stan home too.

  9. harry turnover September 9, 2016 at 7:09 am

    “All who criticizing the teacher for being “off” would stan home too ” ??????????


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