March on

Teachers to stage march of protest Wednesday morning

Teachers will trade the classroom for the streets of The City Wednesday morning, in their own version of the march of disgust staged here last month to protest against the Freundel Stuart administration’s handling of the economy.

However, to separate themselves from the Opposition Barbados Labour Party-organized event which saw an estimated 10,000 people walk through the streets of the capital, the teachers have dubbed Wednesday’s protest a march of respect to send a strong message to the Ministry of Education that they 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 two weeks ago for an emotionally charged meeting at which they decided to not only defy the ministry over the SBA issue, but also to fight fire with fire.

“At our last meeting just under two weeks ago, the membership insisted that they wanted to engage in some form of protest and they were tired of the number of ways in which teachers and the union were being disrespected . . . and we decided [that] whatever action we took had to be to highlight the disrespect and demand respect . . . and [teachers] mandated the officers to come up with some form of action that should happen before the term ends,” said Mary Redman, President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU), which is spearheading the march.

The march will start at 10 a.m. in Queen’s Park, a stone’s throw away from the ministry, and travel along St Michael’s Row, Bridge Street, River Road, with a brief stop in front of the Personnel Administration Division offices on Culloden Road.

From there, the demonstrating teachers will return to BSTU headquarters on Pine Road, St Michael to conclude a three-hour break from the classroom.

Redman told Barbados TODAY the BSTU has invited sister unions – the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT), the Barbados Workers Union (BWU), the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations (CTUSAB) – to lend whatever support they deemed appropriate.

BUT President Pedro Shepherd has said his organization would not be marching, even though individual teachers were free to do so.

While the NUPW is backing the BSTU in its cause, it would not be on the streets due to its elections tomorrow.  Neither BWU General Secretary Toni Moore nor CTUSAB President Cedric Murrell could be reached for comment.

20 Responses to March on

  1. Bryan Mayers
    Bryan Mayers April 4, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    2nd last day of school? How effective

    • Jaybeth April 5, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      And if they had done it in the middle of the school term, they would have been vilified. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  2. Suzi Griffith
    Suzi Griffith April 4, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    I would like to know why each term ends with a week+ of nothingness? The stop start mentality isn’t doing these children any favors. So because it takes a week to prepare the reports, etc. a week of nothingness exists. I am vehind the teachers on the SBA issue 100%. But the amount of teaching and learning time that is lost term after term is worrying. Continual assessment is out there…systems exist to keep parents in the loop on progress. And in the end of the day the report generated after the fact is just that a report.

  3. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore April 4, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    It would appear as though every fibre that holds the society together in Barbados is broken. Almost every civic & governmental organisation is non-functioning as those elected to lead us hibernate in the dead of Summer as the country drifts from one crises to another. Whose turn is it next for some entity to march up & down the island’s streets registering their disgust with a failed govt? God speed.

  4. Joey St
    Joey St April 5, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Waste of time

  5. Sandra Madea
    Sandra Madea April 5, 2017 at 12:26 am

    Sorry I can’t be there in person but I’m with u all the way.

  6. Saga Boy April 5, 2017 at 3:32 am

    It’s time the MOE demand results from these teachers who get paid and fail to produce results. Year after year most of them continue to be ineffective. Too many schools continue to get only a few CxC passes. Instead of marching they should be devising plans to improve results.

    • Bajan Marvin April 5, 2017 at 6:57 am

      @ Saga Boy. I am in agreement with you. Mathematics teachers need to be retrained, English A teachers also need the same because many students do not come out with at least five CXC O’levels inclusive of Mathematics and English A. This speaks volumes about the effectiveness of many teachers. Save and except for the fact that some of these very teachers boast of the fantastic results of students some of them teach at lessons after 3pm daily.

      What are they doing in the classroom?

  7. John Henry April 5, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Theses teachers got their SBA’s corrected as students for free and now they asking for pay what a bunch of greedy teachers.

  8. Ricci Khan April 5, 2017 at 7:17 am

    When was Ms Redman last in a classroom? Is she still being paid by the Ministry of Education for a job that she apparently does not do and is encouraging the entire teaching profession to boycott as well during School hours? Just wondering!

  9. Bajan Marvin April 5, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Do your job!! Teach the nations children!!

  10. Janice Worrell April 5, 2017 at 8:23 am

    All Ms Redman doing is encouraging the teachers not to work this is high class robbery i have a grandson who suppose to be doing
    his SBA and other subjects and for the whole term he hasn’t brought home any homework on evenings he will say that this teacher didn’t come to school or some other excuse but yet i still have to give him thirty dollars to pay for lessons at the same school on Saturday even the children are complaining about the teachers not doing their work THE TEACHERS DOES HAVE MORE FREE TIME on their hands than any thing else they have weekends they have bank holidays if the rain drizzle too hard the school shut down and every other day/week they have some sort of meeting and i could go on and on

  11. Marvin April 5, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Teach the children please. Stop compromising their academic future!

  12. Marvin Husbands April 5, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Teach the children please

  13. Milli Watt April 5, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    give dem hell MARY!!!!!!

  14. Saga Boy April 5, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    @ Arthur Collymore. Surely you are not serious? What crisis are you talking about? It is time that bajans settle down and start working for their money. Public Servants need to put in a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. Time to be productive and get this country going. Time for the Private sector especially the retail sector to help earn foreign currency instead using it up like parasites. Time for the Private Sector to stop charging exorbitant fees a for services; for food; for car parts etc. Time for teachers to teach for results. Time for government to pay teachers based on results. If they don’t get passes they should not get an increase. Time for persons to get off their behinds and start working for the good of country. Time to move on. Politicians on both sides are friends and will remain friends. People at the grass roots need to be realistic. We have to earn our way. This dependency has to stop.

  15. wendy Pollard April 5, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Good luck MaryAnn!

  16. F.A.Rudder April 5, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Now Lord look at life! Forget about children ! I come first! If yuh don’t like it ; yuh could lump it! Look what distruction a bunch o’ unions can duh! We hope that those unions are willing to look out for the good of the youth of the land. In so doing we would be expecting to see more scholaships being endouded to the youth!

  17. Carson C. Cadogan April 5, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    This woman don’t realise that Bajans with the notable exception of some teachers are sick and fed up with her rabble rousing. Her political slip is showing.

    That is why parents didn’t turn up for her meeting.

    Another thing how is it that teachers can only march when it is school time?

    The last time the teacher trade union called out teachers for protest on their holidays, fewer than a dozen turned out.

  18. Lorenzo April 5, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Ricci Khan and Saga Boy have you ever taught in a school?Both of you are quick to condemn teachers but the teachers have been highlighting various problems with no response from the Ministry.What is wrong with Ms Redman position or is it because the union is opposing your party?Get over it.


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