Redman knocks Government

President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) Mary Redman has stated that the Social Partnership, involving Government, employers and trade unions, has been compromised by the Ministry of Education’s handling of the concerns of teachers within the past year.

Speaking at a joint meeting of the BSTU and the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) at Solidarity House Friday, Redman charged that the unions in Barbados have been dismissed and disrespected by Government.

“Barbadian unions today are too often being side-lined, excluded and disrespected in ways unheard of. Their leaders are being attacked in a manner that goes contrary to our own Trade Union Act.

“It is clear that unless attitudes and behaviours change drastically from our employers, unionists are heading for a major showdown,” Redman stated.

Calling for a return of quarterly meetings with the Ministry of Education, Redman said there were many issues, including terms and conditions of employment, as well as health and safety concerns, that needed to be addressed.

“BSTU and BUT must decide that we will write to the Ministry of Education and demand a quarterly meeting by mid-February. If this does not happen  . . . we have to do what we have to do,” she cautioned.

Mary Redman

Referring to comments made by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart accusing the unions of not following procedures, Redman said, “unions were forced to action because Government officials at the highest levels do not adhere to industrial relations practices, or in some cases, they don’t adhere to any rules at all.

“Trade unions are forced into action. It is a pity that when we hold up our Social
Partnership as a world model, we are doing this in a context now where persons are not paying any attention to us,” she added.

The trade unionist also pointed to a grievance which she said was raised at the St Michael School in September 2016, saying they were yet to hear from the Ministry of Education.

“It is established that the meeting should have taken place five days within the ministry’s receipt of our letter, having referred the matter to them on the 21st of September.

“Four months have passed since we initiated a grievance procedure to address a serious matter,” Redman said, adding that they have given the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education ten days to respond to the letter.

“We have to move past talking, passing resolutions and send a serious message that we are about action,” warned the BSTU president.

“As a registered trade union when you write and ask for a meeting . . . with any agent of the employer, you have to be granted that meeting, you cannot be denied that meeting,” Redman said.

41 Responses to Redman knocks Government

  1. Hal Austin January 8, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Why is there a need to discuss terms and conditions of employment quarterly, unless the unions wants a sense of self-importance?
    This woman is to my mind a trouble maker and the media are playing silly games by promoting her fractional concerns as ‘news’.
    Government is also at fault, since it should have introduced tough, new measures to control the bandits running our unions.
    How members of an intelligent, professional organisation could allow themselves to be led by this woman is a mystery, unless it is simply about money.
    Govt can short cut this by offering all non-members of the union an annual pay rise of inflation plus 1 percent. Union activists should get nothing outside that agreed in collective bargaining, but not more than the non-members.

  2. Carson C Cadogan January 8, 2017 at 8:38 am

    The BSTU with less than 2,000 members trying very hard to run the Govt. without facing the electorate.

    • harry turnover January 8, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      ……and they en got INDIVIDUALS less than 4 WHO HAVE NEVER faced the ELECTORATE running this Government too ? so wha you telling me CCC ??

  3. Carson C Cadogan January 8, 2017 at 8:57 am

    The way the Bajan news media publishes what these unions are saying, one could be forgiven for believing that they represent about 250,000 of the Bajan population.

    But the reverse is true. The BWU with about 18,000 members and their numbers are falling, the NUPW with about 8,000 and their numbers are falling, the BSTU and the BTU with less than 4,000 members and their numbers are falling.

    The Bajan Trade Unions have nothing but nuisance value now. They may have been a good idea about 50 or 60 years ago. But now they are only a hindrance to national progress.

    If the news media would stop publishing so much of what this woman says , she would just dry up and blow away.

    • harry turnover January 8, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      CCC….” If the news media would stop publishing so much of what this woman says , she would just dry up and blow away.”
      I said the same thing about Denis Kellman the other day.
      Notice ya got a lot a mout these days .Next year when ALL A wunna gone ya gine still say “The Bajan Trade Unions have nothing but nuisance value now.” ?
      …….and the way the Bajan news media publishes what the DEMS are saying could be forgiven for believing that they represent about 250,000 of the Bajan population.

  4. Dennis Taitt
    Dennis Taitt January 8, 2017 at 10:04 am

    She is becoming a political nuisance.

    • Larry Moore
      Larry Moore January 9, 2017 at 8:30 am

      You should remember that being a political nuisance is only when you stand up to the politicians who we elect how strange when it doesn’t suit you

    • Larry Moore
      Larry Moore January 9, 2017 at 8:30 am

      And she is Bajan

  5. Dennis Taitt
    Dennis Taitt January 8, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Is she a Barbadian? I doubt. You have education stop playing the clown part and fighting down .

    • Wayne T Griffith
      Wayne T Griffith January 8, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      I’m curious. Why don’t you think she is Barbadian?

    • Dennis Taitt
      Dennis Taitt January 8, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      Most non nationals want to run our island. And it cannot happen. Our youths will change that.

    • Wayne T Griffith
      Wayne T Griffith January 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      So I guess you object to Mara Thompson being the MP for St. John

      • harry turnover January 9, 2017 at 7:12 am

        Of course EVERY BAJAN should object…..BECAUSE NO BAJAN could ever represent a constituency in ANY OTHER ISLAND in the Caribbean…the people there would simply NOT STAND FOR IT they have more sense and more patriotic that those St.Johnnies.

    • AniRo Burke
      AniRo Burke January 8, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      What that got to do with the issue?

  6. Hal Austin January 8, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Sorry Dennis. She is not becoming a political nuisance, she is a political nuisance.

  7. Johnathan January 8, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Hal Austin you at times make very constructive comments but is way off target this time. Government has a responsibility to honor the agreements within the social partnership and make necessary adjustments based on observations as the come up for renewal. This Government has been extremely lazy as it relates to almost everything affecting the lies of our people including the renewing of the social partnership.
    The unions have a responsibility to ensure that the its paying members get exactly what they pay for and this government has been reneging on its responsibility. Do not shoot the messenger just understand that she is carrying out a mandate and that this is he responsibility to her people..
    The government on the other hand has been constantly disrespecting the members and Freundel Stuart and Ronald Jones are chief offenders and guilty of gross desrespet in spite of been previously leaders in the union and legal fraternity……

  8. Hal Austin January 8, 2017 at 11:24 am


    Thanks far your kind comments. Bust two things: the idea of the Social partnership is nonsense. We have a social democracy, not a corporate democracy. In practice, I once attended a meeting of the Social Partnership as a guest at Solidarity House. The meeting, chaired by Suckoo-Byer, was more unproductive than the 4-H club I used to chair s a teenager.
    Second, this is the most incompetent government we have had since he end of the Second World War, with a mute as prime minister. That does not mean that someone I consider to be a political terrorist is not a political nuisance. The Opposition is the same. What do they have to say, or are they scared of losing votes?
    She is and should be driven out of public life. We need to clean out the cesspit of public life. We cannot leave it for another generation.

  9. Suzette Clarke
    Suzette Clarke January 8, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Mary,Mary ,quite contrary…….

  10. Nathaniel Samuels January 8, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    “Govt can short cut this by offering all non-members of the union an annual pay rise of inflation plus 1 percent. Union activists should get nothing outside that agreed in collective bargaining, but not more than the non-members”.
    Hal, Sometimes you really go off at a tangent. How could a Government give to one group and not another in the kind of way you suggest. That would be political madness and I would be one to rally with whoever wants to fight against such injustice.
    Start thinking before you make such statements.

    • hcalndre January 9, 2017 at 8:33 am

      Nat Samuels, if you read into Hal Austin on the Unions of barbados, you see that he has lived under the Union Jack for too long, he can`t change, just like most of the home grown bajans they are still bowing their heads to the royal family. Look at the attire of the judges, a musty looking wig looking like some sheep in the midlands with wool on their backs in the cold.

  11. BaJan boy January 8, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Hal Austin thankfully by the time this coming general elections are over we should see a totally new generation emerging from the DLP sadly that is why Donville Inniss feels he is the voice of reason within the party. What is great for Barbados is that Mia has chosen a slate of young,intelligent,honest career people to taken into the elections and will emerge with highly competent,enthusiastic and high intellectual members to help in our recovery.We have the experienced guard that will help to balance the ship and I want to inform that your assessment is again flawed. That lady is a visionary with great ideas for the future development of the country and will make a hell of a difference both regionally and internationally as it relates to the business development aspect of of our financial recovery..

  12. Frances Fontinelle Walcott
    Frances Fontinelle Walcott January 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    She is correct, political affliction causes convenient blindness on the part of many people; some of the same people who condemn Trump supporters. Maybe some of you should sit and have candid conversations with teachers before ridiculing their representative.

  13. Hal Austin January 8, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I hate to think I am borrowing ideas from Margaret Thatcher, but go back to her industrial relations policy in the first term of her government. Also, look at Reagan and the air traffic controllers.
    Both these rightwing examples would not be necessary if the unions get some common sense.
    By the way, just today, the UK Trades Union Congress published a major report on household debt by its chief economist.
    This is the road that Barbadian trade unions should go down, providing highly technical analyses of government economic policy.
    When was the last time a trade union interrogated central bank policy?

  14. Jennifer January 8, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    @Wayne – good question, i am wondering too.

  15. Sherlock Holmes. January 8, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    At the start of every school term the same shyte,by this woman and her cohorts. It is time this nonsense STOP,this constant upheaval is only affecting the students in the school system, i don’t know why some of you just don’t go to hell home,RETIRE early and let the children of this country have a chance to be educated.

  16. Jennifer January 8, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    @Sherlock Holmes – much agree. Why don’t they fight to change the school curriculum to benefit our young people becoming masters rather than servants.

  17. Carson C Cadogan January 8, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    This woman just want to be noticed. One can easily tell when a new school term is about to begin by her nonsense.

    • harry turnover January 9, 2017 at 7:24 am

      Yeah…Dennis Kellman too. Short people always got a lot of mout because if they stay there and don’t say anything ,nobody will ever know that they are …down there.
      Not saying that Ms.Redman is short though.

  18. Larry Moore
    Larry Moore January 8, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    She is Bajan not even barbadian I raised with her in free hill blk rk she’s just demanding the rights of her membership nothing more than that you plp tend to put on political glasses when it suits you HA and CCC along with others sad day when you question her nationality bajans run unions in NY no one questions their nationality what goes around comes back around KARMA just remember that

    • hcalndre January 9, 2017 at 7:47 am

      @Larry Moore, if you stop and think, bajans are some of the most hypocritical and deceitful people you can find any part in this world, as you correctly said that a born bajan is running the NYC transit union with nearly half the population of barbados. They`re in every part of the world because from the early times barbados had nothing to offer, bajans had to leave however they could to make a dollar to remit so their families could eat and now they are the first to tell people leave and don`t come back, America have not told Rhihana that she is not an American and she is not entitle to any of the awards, they have accepted her more than her own people. Check out Guyana and see how many barbadian connections are there for over 70 year years or more.

  19. Khati D
    Khati D'Souza January 8, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Dennis Taitt most non national is employed by our current government to run things. Dexter James a trinidadian at the Hospital. Mwansa a south african was at the BWA. DPP your current director of public prosecutions is a Guyanese. I can go on but to make my point to you, they did not employ themselves, our government did. So stop harping at who wasnt born here. I am not a born Barbadian but lived here ALL my freaking life and contributed but would still be disrespected but I did not ask to be here.

  20. Angela Howard-Graham
    Angela Howard-Graham January 8, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    She need to pray

  21. Sherlock Holmes. January 8, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Angela she does pray, but i am certain it is to the author of confusion,and if you are a praying woman then you know who that is.

  22. E.M. Harewood January 8, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    All I can say is well well well. So I guess it was not acacia trees after all? Nor was it sabotage. Or was it?

    So wunnah can’t admit that the teachers had/ have a strong point, but wunnah cuss out Ms Redman ( not only a barbadian but a Combermerian) for carrying out her mandate.

    You guys see nothing wrong with ministry officials not sharing their findings with teachers, but meeting parents and giving them the assurance that school will definitely open on Tuesday.

    At the end of their five – seven year stint in the school, their children will be out of there. Teachers might spend 20 or 30 or 35 years in de sick environment and they should meekly keep dem mout shut and let it kill them. and that is fine by wunnah.
    Again I say well, well well.

  23. hcalndre January 9, 2017 at 7:23 am

    @Hal Austin, are you anti union or you don`t believe in democracy? Why not tell the PM that all the workers in barbados should be working for the state which I think is already in motion with the amount of taxes that this government is demanding from its people and no raise on their salaries. I believe that you`re living somewhere in the UK among the same the same people that have leave bajans with that kind of thinking 300 years ago. Margaret Thatcher and Reagan were both union busters. Don`t you think that barbados needs strong union reps instead of the yard fowls they had before that after they have manipulated the workers they`er accepted in the same political party that they say they were fighting against for the workers.

  24. harry turnover January 9, 2017 at 7:53 am

    “BSTU and BUT must decide that we will write to the Ministry of Education and demand a quarterly meeting by mid-February. If this does not happen . . . we have to do what we have to do,” she cautioned.

    You want the meeting by mid February or you will write the Ministry by mid-February ? suppose they arranged the meeting for mid-April when MOST Teachers would be able to attend.

    Suppose the Ministry says the same thing and decides they will have to do what they have to do too and tell TEACHERS OF YOUR UNION to STOP using the SCHOOLS facilities to conduct
    AFTER SCHOOL LESSONS for classes 3 and 4 for a fee of $50 per
    month per child.

    The Ministry if they sanction this idea should also demand that TAXES and other allowances be deducted from the $50 since they work to rule ENDS AT 3.00 pm.

  25. Hal Austin January 9, 2017 at 8:06 am


    I think you have a narrow interpretation of democracy. We cannot allow a woman who claims to be representing a few hundred teachers to threaten the government and bring educational institutions to a halt.
    What about the pupils who have to compete in a world that is unforgiving? What about parents who send their children to school to get the bet education? What about non-teaching staff at the school who risk losing their jobs? What about other taxpayers who may have children at other schools or none at all? Do they matter?
    Democracy is a broad church and this woman is, to my mind a thug.

  26. hcalndre January 9, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Hello Hal, what about the welfare of the teachers, they too have children in schools. I must say that these same people that make up the government when they`re either voted out or leave the office, they make sure that they don`t have to work again and live the balance of their lives off the tax payers money. Some folks are telling the workers not to join the union, why they`re not asking the government to let them know where their hard earn money is going?

  27. Hal Austin January 9, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Children come first. If you elect corrupt politicians – or teachers – you get a corrupt outcome.

  28. seagul January 9, 2017 at 9:46 am

    I just want to make a statement about a lot of the issues that matters the most to the struggling, electorate poor that don’t get covered at all or should be promoted widespread across this country. An example Agriculture.
    The same type of components that corrupt our politicians are the same type that corrupt our mainstream media and businessmen. So it’s really difficult for them to talk about income equality, wealth equality because the advertisers that are funding their platform are the same corporations that want to insure that the same system continues……Let’s focus on the things that matters most and expose our expensive educated west minister businessmen.

  29. Hal Austin January 9, 2017 at 10:20 am


    Not since independence has equality or income re-distribution been part of the political narrative in Barbados. I wonder why?


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