Angry teachers to stage March of Respect

Having considered staging its own March of Disgust, the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) settled instead for a March of Respect at a yet to be decided date, to send a strong message to the Ministry of Education that its members would not back down on their demands for payment to correct school-based assessment (SBA) projects.

It was an angry crowd of teachers who packed the auditorium at Solidarity House this afternoon for an emotionally charged meeting at which they decided to not only defy the ministry, but also to fight fire with fire.

Members of the BSTU paying close attention.

The long running feud over the SBAs escalated last week when the ministry wrote to the teachers advising that they would be slapped with misconduct charges if they refused to correct the projects, a necessary component for matriculating the various Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) certification programmes.

The BSTU has insisted that correcting SBAs was not part of a teacher’s job description and that the SBAs were an external examination for which teachers ought to be compensated, a position supported by the Caribbean Union of Teachers.

However, the ministry has maintained that the teachers had a duty to mark the exams and would not be paid to do so, with Minister of Education Ronald Jones accusing the teachers of putting the educational well-being of the students at risk for a few dollars more.

Today, defiant educators vowed to deliver unmarked SBAs to their schools’ principals, while they directed the BTSU to set the earliest possible date and route for a march geared at demanding respect from their employers.

“When you don’t stand up for yourself and demonstrate that you are professionals and that you need to be treated like that at all times, then you are treated like a cornered animal. Everybody will then take jabs at you and that is the reality,” BSTU President Mary Redman said.

Mary Redman

Redman stressed that her membership had reached the tipping point with a litany of woes plaguing the profession, including acts of violence and sexual assault perpetrated by students against teachers, and that it was do or die time for the island’s educators.

“The ministry has shown that they have no empathy or care for teachers and they will resort to any means necessary, which includes bullying and intimidation. We have as members and professionals, the right to be dissatisfied and register that dissatisfaction with the Minister of Education.

“When you leave here today you have to be committed to sticking by what you have promised, to not correct those SBAs; pass them on to the heads of department who will pass them on to principals. We are sending a message to the minister that the assistance that he promises for persons to correct SBAs, let those persons come out and correct the SBAs that we will not be correcting,”
Redman stressed.

She contended that by insisting that teachers work for a third party for free, the Ministry of Education was turning them
into slaves.

The trade unionist said she was concerned that a climate of fear may have taken its toll on the teaching fraternity, stating that a decision taken in the past not to mark the SBAs was met with partial compliance.

However, she warned members that anything less than a strong, united front would set the stage for future exploitation.

“The BSTU abhors the bullying attempts of the ministry in this regard and recognizes the attempted precedent to unilaterally change the terms and condition of work for teachers in Barbados. Further it recognizes the precedent for future unreasonable directives,” she argued.

54 Responses to Angry teachers to stage March of Respect

  1. BIG SKY March 21, 2017 at 2:33 am

    I am surprised that so many educated people could be manipulated by the devil’s daughter.I know now what is meant by education and wisdom are not the same.

  2. I m Awesome March 21, 2017 at 6:11 am

    You obviously have no idea about what teachers go through. It is also obvious you have no idea how unions work either. The leader is the spokesperson for the rank and file and enunciates publicly their positions. Go learn something and consider YOURSELF educated.

  3. Patrina Drakes
    Patrina Drakes March 21, 2017 at 6:18 am

    So when only Barbados teachers do not mark the SBAs then the barbados students will fail the CXC . That it. Is the rest of the Caribbean teachers paid to mark SBAs? If not are they also refusing to grade the SBAs? Must say it very disappointing to see that all of these educators care nothing for the country’s youth . Kind of ironic that when some of these same teachers were at school doing CXC their SBAs being marked was not an issue and in my school days I had to do way more SBAs then today students some subject e.g. history I believe 12 -15 SBAs for that one subject today believe it was 5. But as most of these teachers like to tell the students them got them education already do them don’t care and it is really showing. Mrs Redman how many days you get pay for doing union business during school hours because you are hardly on the school compound and when you are on the compound you hardly in a classroom is that fare to the students or thetax payers?

  4. Marcia Jpaul
    Marcia Jpaul March 21, 2017 at 6:22 am

    It’s really sad to see our educator behaving like this .

  5. Natalie Murray
    Natalie Murray March 21, 2017 at 6:25 am

    I am happy to see Teachers standing up for their Rights. To many people accept nonsense and we are teaching our children to do the same!!
    I will stand in solidarity with you!

    • Dave Person
      Dave Person March 21, 2017 at 6:33 am

      Rights to get more money for the same thing when it’s not working? Well teachers also have a right to improve the system they operate under in fact teachers have a responsibility to improve the system they operate under because only the teachers know how to fix it.

  6. Dave Person
    Dave Person March 21, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Well you teachers got two options….1, give everybody 100% or change your image in the eyes of the parents…..right now we see you as greedy…..we all can see the system is failing…..we all can see its not your fault……BUT we can’t see you doing anything to fix it…….if you teachers start making changes to the system I would be up front demanding money for wanna.

  7. Tamina Darkies
    Tamina Darkies March 21, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Only time they can strike or March is during school time,smh

    • Jay Manny
      Jay Manny March 21, 2017 at 8:00 am

      It is the only time it makes sense to do that

    • Sharon Taylor
      Sharon Taylor March 21, 2017 at 8:05 am

      Well, shrugs, march all wunna like, but don’t expect to get paid! Simple…. It’s wunna choice to march….

  8. Kim Smith
    Kim Smith March 21, 2017 at 6:32 am

    So what bout the teacher that have leasons at the schools on evening and charging a whole set of money? It can go both ways, teachers gain and loss but most of them gain. #just saying

    • Jennifer March 21, 2017 at 6:48 am

      Kim – hail hail. And using school property, no rent paying. Then as my high flying friend would say, and they ain’t paying any tax on that extra lesson money either.

  9. Dave Person
    Dave Person March 21, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Has teachers as a group always been predominately young females?

    • Jennifer March 21, 2017 at 7:57 am

      Dave you may have a point to a lot of underlying issues.

  10. Nathaniel Samuels March 21, 2017 at 7:02 am

    ‘Minister of Education Ronald Jones accusing the teachers of putting the educational well-being of the students at risk for a few dollars more’ yet he and his kind will demand the 10% return of their salary. In fact Jones was up front and centre with the demand. The teachers should be paid for marking the papers.
    As for changing the system under which they operate, they have been many times when they have made suggestions but the head honcho who was also a teacher believes that he alone has all the answers and he is therefore not prepared to listen to anyone. The union leader has been elected from among her peers and she is their representative and union leaders by law have the right to represent their members so stop trying to attack the lady. Is it because the leader is a woman we think we can disrespect her and her position?
    If the union has a right to something, it must defend its position on behalf of its members. I am in solidarity with the teachers on this.

  11. Sisleen Greene March 21, 2017 at 7:05 am

    When the Minister of Edication introduce University fees and reinstated his 10% salary cut was that a sign that he cared about the Students.
    Look Teachers stand on principle, it does’ nt appear that you were included in the” fatted calf syndrome” because wunna so poor,wunna can’t afford to give “kickbacks”.
    Maybe most of wunna got the wrong colour scheme or come from the wrong working class, so you don’t know how to spend money that is legally earned.
    Do not relent on your stand, sorry students .

  12. Dennis Taitt
    Dennis Taitt March 21, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Hope it is about cel phones in schools. Some teachers want free money. Do not teach the children nothing,just keep watching the clock hoping that the time for the children to leave the school premises to come. We hardly have caring teachers again. Some behaving just like the children. Playing with their cel phones. Cursing children,children cursing them. Everything seems to be going hairwire.

  13. Natalie Murray
    Natalie Murray March 21, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Stop attacking teachers and speak to the unfair issue!

    • Ejd March 21, 2017 at 8:01 am

      Natalie, you are so right. It pains me that so many comments were negative and unsympathetic to a good cause. They always justify this criticism by talking about poor students.

  14. Dennis Taitt
    Dennis Taitt March 21, 2017 at 8:12 am

    I say no to cel phones in schools. People walking on the streets in front of cars stopping in the middle of the road misusing the phones anyway. Everyone it seems has a frenzy and turning stupid with the craze. Some not even taking care of their responsibilities at all. It is sick.

    • Ras Unjay
      Ras Unjay March 21, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Them cant walk under a bus at school,

    • Dennis Taitt
      Dennis Taitt March 21, 2017 at 9:13 am

      They on their phones mostly though. Look how our children education had decreased over the years. They are writing just how they spell on their phones Ras jay. If cel phones are helping them in schools I cannot see it. Without an education people can google things and get educated to it. Ras Jay if we need them (cel phones) in schools. Why are our children education decreasing when google is there to help them along the way. I am of the opinion that cel phones in schools has contributed to most of our children failing grades. Even if we are going to allow them as part of the school program then we have to start to educate our children about the proper use of the cel phone . And the way it appears that will take a life time. Porn and mischeviousness seems to be the order of the day. I am saying this to the teachers as well. They does actually the same nonsense. Wise up and now.

  15. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor March 21, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Too many teachers are unable to put over their knowledge in a way that their kids can understand! Simple… So they do teach but the kids understand nothing… Then u have the ones that go to class and say read a book! (I love those, lol) Then they are the ones who talk about face book and Instagram for 15 to 20 minutes before starting their subject, then they are the ones that go to class unprepared every single time, take up the children’s lunch time ( at one school a child was suspended for putting on her social media that her bio teacher takes up all her lunch periods, probably used a couple of expletives. I wonder if the headteacher tried to find out if that child had reason to be fed up or just suspended her because she could!) There are so many problems involving our teachers, some make a lot of money doing extra lessons(a few of these actually deserve it) but they want money to mark Sbas! I hope d gov end up paying a few select teachers at every school to mark them….

  16. Jennifer March 21, 2017 at 8:18 am

    This situation with these teachers is multifaceted. The thing is that when you have an irresponsible, nonstrategic, callous government you will get plenty of issues arising across the board. I am tempted to say that the government should rewrite the teachers job description to include SBA correction. But when you have a government who is looking out for itself and the 1% of Barbados and their much needed concessions to help to keep us enslaved you really have to say to the teachers to fight your cause. The teachers on a whole can also put things in place to ensure that all children have a fair change to go into pole position, but some are not doing so and all of us know this too. And this woman who is talking about all of this slave talk really need to stop it as all of the working class are actually slaves. Only the 1% who are the Engineers are excluded, from this category. The ones who create the diseases, make and sell the vehicles, create the drugs, etc. I would like to see so called bajans wake up and take a good look at their surroundings and help to debride this slough covered infected wound created by all these ministers both past and present, and allow the blood to come to the area so that healing can be promoted. And this sexual harassment thing, who’s fault is that?????

  17. Tessa Trotman
    Tessa Trotman March 21, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Let cxc pay to get the sba correct they are a private entity . Some people so bias you get hired to front desk receptionist . But cow re build the pool them need two labours and the send you the receptionist to do the work . Man no man .

  18. Tessa Trotman
    Tessa Trotman March 21, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Teachers give everyone 100 thats a strike too .

  19. Jennifer March 21, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Correction – fair chance.

  20. Cynthia March 21, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Most persons who speak bad about teachers don’t know half of what is going on in the system and those teachers you are crying down have to try and train and discipline the disrespectful children even before a lesson start that is physical work then teach them that is mental work I could go on and on but give the teachers and break everyone have rights those teachers sometimes have no time for their families when at home book to correct test to mark lessons to prepare etc . Give them a fair chance please.

  21. Ernesta Catlyn March 21, 2017 at 8:44 am

    This is one of the many problems in Barbados. No one cares to walk even a mile in another person’s shoes. I support the teacher 100% and I am not a teacher. It will not be the Ministry of Education that will have to pay the teacher. CXC pays teachers every year to correct the scripts that are done in the formal setting with invigilators etc which represents I think 70 or 75% of the total exam. Why shouldn’t teachers demand to be paid for the SBA’s which represent the other 25 or 30%? Why wouldn’t your employer – Jones – not join with his employees to secure what is fair for them. Is it the usual – black man jealous over his fellow man getting a little money. Crabs in barrels; kick down the ladder mentality.

    Parents do not have to send their children to lessons they can do the extra work with them themselves, NOT.

  22. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay March 21, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Done wid d sba folly .not. o

  23. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay March 21, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Fitness walk,lol

  24. Wayne R. Pilgrim-Cadogan
    Wayne R. Pilgrim-Cadogan March 21, 2017 at 9:00 am

    You know, we are a real follow pattern society! In this case, what will a march prove?

  25. Gearbox1964 March 21, 2017 at 9:02 am

    In my opinion Ronald Jones is a incompetent idiot who almost always say the wrong things at the wrong time. He mishandled every major issue in the school system since he became MoE.

  26. Mazie Taylor
    Mazie Taylor March 21, 2017 at 9:12 am

    If Jones said it is just for a few more dollars pay them from the money you and your mp friends increased salaries that​ you don’t deserve.Our children should not be the failures of a messed up ministry, teachers correct the SBA deal with Jones at the poles

  27. Lana Walcott
    Lana Walcott March 21, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Similar to the Cawmere saga anyone stopped for a minute to think about the children? #gemofthecaribbean #50yearsofindependence #depressing

  28. Fed up March 21, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Stupidity….4 weeks vacation like the rest of government/private businesses…. while the children are on holiday the teachers can continue doing their job correcting SBA or whatever else… You get about 3 months in all with pay …Easter, summer and Christmas holidays…. it needs stopping,..some of these same teachers go and work privately during that time….nah…stop it

    • harry turnover March 21, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      Well said Fed UP.I have been saying for years that Teachers are grossly OVERPAID due to the amount of vacation leave that they get.
      Every year some Teachers of Classes 3 and 4 use the Schools facilities after 3 pm to conduct lessons for MONEY.
      They are NOT TAXED,they don’t pay NIS and they ARE NOT responsible for the welfare of the same children since it is after 3 pm.
      I say TAX THEM using the overtime rates ,let them pay NIS and let them be responsible for those same children.

      • Coralita March 21, 2017 at 9:15 pm

        You want to tax the people Miami money?

        All that extra lessons money is to buy the tickets and provide spending money to go on the shopping sprees they do yearly in Miami.

        Don’t mek sports!!!! LOL

        The days of caring, nurturing teachers are a thing of the past.

  29. Ernesta Catlyn March 21, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Minister Jones’ comments about a few more dollars is, as per usual, derogatory. I am beginning to think that he is incapable of displaying any class in what he says or does. I can think of some Sirs and Dames and even Ladies who, as former Educators, cringe every time they not only hear him but see him as well.

    As someone said earlier I am also inclined to say to abandon the SBAs. The concept is very good – I have no problem with course work contributing to the final examination. Here is the question though? Barbados Today family should investigate and find out is really doing the SBAs. Is it the children? the parents? Older siblings? Some of the teachers themselves? Tell me, who are really preparing these SBAs? Are they serving the purpose for which they were intended?

  30. lester March 21, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    I am amazed at the foolery of this saga, teachers like most “professionals” behave as if they are untouchable, they are using our children as pawns in this game of greed, SBA’S are hifuluted exams simple, i suggest that all teachers do not hold fast to ms redman’s position but will tow the line, PARENTS NEED TO SPEAK OUT, they are messing with our children’s future that is tantamount to terrorism, this must stop, if they do not correct these sba our children will fail, not because they are duncy but the ones who we place in charge to see them succeed undermining them, oh btw common sense have not yet been offered at UWI just saying

  31. roger headley March 21, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Lester, Ms. Redman cannot come with a position; it does not work that way she has to come with the position of her constituents

  32. Jennifer March 21, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    @Ernesta Catlyn – “crab in barrels” I have been saying this for some time now. This is actually a SPIT over from the plantation construct and Willie syndrome. Even the I am better than you mentality starts with the schools, into professions and then into the work places, which is actually causing a divide in strategic planning and productivity and growth and is altering the cohesiveness in general among this people. Parliament the same thing too. Hence nothing is being done. Mind you that good old 1% sitting there continuing to monopolize and waiting patiently to get their hands on the entities coming under privatization. Trust me we will need all the extra coffers we can get too. Just wait.

  33. Boo March 21, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    I am disappointed in those of you who are attacking the teachers. Is there any among you who work overtime or extra duties for free? Why should teachers have to? Teachers already go above and beyond for parents students and a society who are all ungrateful. Teachers stay late after school or take books home to correct. They spend their time planning lessons and making materials to help students. Teachers spend their OWN money to buy charts and other resources. Tell me who among you at times fund out of pocket the materials needed to ply your trade? How is it that other government workers get to work at 9 and go to lunch at 10 for 2 hours then leave at 2 when some days teachers don’t even get a lunch hour? And the parents who attack teachers saying they get too much vacation and don’t teach anything.. How many of you have taught your children respect or even basic manners? Plus teachers don’t have to give lessons but they want to help students. Classroom time with so many students with so many needs plus all the different activities they want to expose your children too is not enough to adequately help everyone the way they need to be helped. If parents have such a problem with teachers charging for lessons then don’t send them…but the problem is they want the help of these say good fa nutten teachers but expect it for free… Really? When I go to a doctor at the hospital but then want to see him privately does he see me for free? Please stop attacking teachers and respect them

  34. Ann Thomas March 21, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Please explain this to me.

    I do not understand how people could refuse to do part of their job, hold children to ransom and demand extra payment for something that is fundamentally part of their job.

    If you are employed to teach a particular subject for a specific examining body and SBAs are part of the curriculum, how then could you be demanding extra pay? This seems to be unreasonable in the extreme.

    Try as I might, I cannot understand it. How do we expect our youth to be any better if this is the example that is being presented to them?

  35. Ernesta Catlyn March 21, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Dedicated to all the teachers

    From A School Principal’s speech at a graduation……

    He said “The Doctor wants his child to become a doctor…The Engineer wants his child to become an engineer…
    The Businessman wants his ward to become CEO…
    BUT a teacher also wants his child to become one of them, as well..!!
    Nobody wants to become a teacher BY CHOICE”…
    Very sad but that’s the truth..!!

    The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.

    One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become only a teacher?”

    To stress his point he said to another guest; “You’re a teacher, Mrs Sharma. Be honest. What do you make?”

    Teacher Mrs Sharma, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, “You want to know what I make? (She paused for a second, then began…)

    • “Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
    • I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor winner.
    • I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can’t make them sit for 5 min. without an I- Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.
    • You want to know what I make? (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table)
    • I make kids wonder.
    • I make them question.
    • I make them apologize and mean it.
    • I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.
    • I teach them how to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn’t everything.
    • I make them read, read, read.
    • I make them show all their work in math.
    • They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.
    • I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about India while preserving their unique cultural identity.
    • I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.
    • Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life. (Mrs Sharma paused one last time and then continued.)
    • Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn’t everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant. You want to know what I make?

    What do you make Mr. CEO? Only money?

    His jaw dropped; he went silent.

    • Biscuits March 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      Wow…that is a teacher! Now…can we have some more like her in Bim?

  36. David Hall March 21, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    CXC is a third party. It is not the employer of the teachers of Barbados. Therefore if they do work for this body they ought to be paid. The Caribbean Union of teachers support this stance. Jones needs to stop trying to bully teachers and dialogue.

  37. Not Today March 21, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    So tired of hearing this black people like crabs in a barrel narrative. Are you aware of the caste system in India? I know persons from the Middle East who have the same thing to say about their own people. Please stop ascribing to black people a negative stereotype that can be ascribed across the human race. We are not unique in that area. Stop making us all look stupid.

    • Jennifer March 21, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      Until we can become truly unified and hold each others hands instead of their feet that is exactly how we will look to the other races, and the entire world, stupid and non-cohesive. We do this type of behavior more than all those other races. Someone has to say it. This is why Malcolm X and MLK was shot down, for trying to correct this people for the same mind set they still have today. ALL of those other races support each other to help them up way more than we do as a people. There will always be the poor among us the scriptures said it. Barbados got a caste system too, we too self induce blind to see it.

      • Not Today March 22, 2017 at 2:11 am

        It would be great to have empirical evidence on that instead of ppl’s limited and naturally biased observations. Minorities tend to hold each other’s hands. Ppl tend to gravitate toward each other when they are just a few. Chinese have a collectivist culture and even among them you can often see a lack of honesty and caring among each other (speaking of those living in China) aside from attempts to “save face”.

        We are not going to come together as a people if we are constantly told we can’t be trusted. The more we preach it, the more we believe it and the more infighting. Just my humble opinion.

  38. Mark Adamson March 21, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Again, we have another backward and parasitic trade union making a mockery of governance in this country, whilst Barbados slithers down a slippery slope to near anarchy.

  39. BaJan boy March 21, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    Reading some thes very iliterate comments make we wonder if some of really went to school. We continue to focus on the messenger and the message is lost. How many of us would go to work at Cave Shepherd for a salary and then go next door at Collins Ltd and pack the shelves for free. This is quite a simple matter and If the big rough looking tar baby heading the Ministry had any class or consideration for his staff it won’t be at this rediculous stage.
    The senseless talk of teachers getting too much holiday make me want to puke.Why don’t some of us the big positions drawing the 6 digit cheques annually don’t go and be teachers for the holiday. We need to understand the difficulty these people face daily in their own schools with the unmannerly,iliterate,disrespectful ugly children’s that we expect them to work miracles with. When ever they march I will be with them all the way. This dumb government just increased their pay in preparations for their pensions without consideration for the economy and everybody else must suffer just for those iliterate Ministers who can’t get this country run to get fat literally and figuratively….

  40. Narcissus March 23, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Can’t say if they deserve the pay or not but fair is fair. Not all teachers are bad but they have a few. Too many teachers absent or just not in the class. For almost a whole term my son had no math class, when u address it at meeting not even the year head can give u an answer. How can a child be getting below 50% every term in English still come and get a grade 2 when he did the CXC in 4th form (had to pay for extra lessons btw since many times I heard teacher not in class). I seem to remember doing SBAs when I was at school, over 20 yrs ago, who corrected those and were they paid? Just asking.


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