Teachers back away from court threat
The Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) has scrapped plans to take Government to court over the docking teachers’ pay back in May.
BUT President Pedro Shepherd told Barbados TODAY this evening that the union had been advised by its attorney that the court route would be too time consuming and costly.
“The lawyer is advising that it is going to take years to go that particular route,” said Shepherd, who revealed that his union was no longer interested in pursuing legal redress for over 700 teachers whose pay was cut by about $300 each after they attended two separate meetings called by the BUT back in April and May.
The action came at the height of an impasse between the BUT and the Ronald Jones-led ministry.
While the union has been insisting that teachers were well within their right to attend the meetings called by the union, the ministry has been contending otherwise, with Shepherd reporting today that all they have been getting is the official run around from Government.
He said even though the matter had been brought to the attention of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and his entire Cabinet “nobody seems willing to make a decision on it”.
At the same time, Shepherd said the union had attempted to use moral suasion but those efforts have failed, with the Ministry of Education simply refusing to budge.
And with teachers still complaining about their individual losses, Shepherd pointed out that the BUT itself had spent over $12,000 in legal fees “and still ain’t nowhere”.
He also expressed concern that his union would not be able to pull off any more meetings with its members during school hours since “people are afraid to come out”.
“We are going to have to find a strategy to get some discussion on it,” said Shepherd, who had earlier promised that “we are going to fight this issue until there is a decision one way or the other”.