It’s war!

BSTU primed for battle with Jones

The Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) is sending a strong message to Minister of Education Ronald Jones that it would take a lot more than threats to dock their pay to stop teachers standing up for their rights.

In a fiery address at the BSTU’s annual general meeting at Harrison College Tuesday morning, the union’s President Mary Redman was a picture of defiance as she made no secret of what she thought about Jones’ suggestion that the pay of teachers who had participated in last week’s March of Respect would be docked.

Redman said the teachers had taken to the streets fully aware that the Ministry of Education would attempt to intimidate them by issuing such a threat.

However, she warned that the BSTU would not relent in its demands for Government to address the burning issues plaguing the profession, and would fight tooth and nail against any attempts to tamper with teachers’ salaries.

“A day’s pay cannot phase us or scare us, and those threats will not deter us from doing what we are forced to do to demand respect and consideration like any other worker in Barbados, and we will fight any efforts to deduct our money,” the union boss told members.

Mary Redman

It was while addressing a Democratic Labour Party meeting at the George Lamming Primary School on Sunday that Jones applied the adage of “no work, no pay” to the union’s march during school hours.

He said there was a standing rule that if the employer caused the action across the negotiating table then pay would not be docked, however if the other party were responsible, “you have to suffer the consequences”.

Angered by the ministry’s insistence that teachers would not be paid for marking school-based assessment projects administered by the Caribbean Examination Council, the BSTU last Wednesday staged its 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 dubbed their protest a March of Respect to send a strong message to the Jones-led ministry that they would not back down on their demands for payment, nor would they relent in their quest for respect.

Redman contended that the march did not constitute industrial action, but rather an outdoor meeting.

Even if it were categorized as a protest, it was clearly caused by the disrespect shown to teachers by the ministry, she told Tuesday’s meeting, charging that by describing the march as industrial action, “the ministry means that this teachers’ trade union is not to meet”.

“Under this dispensation that has forced so many meetings because of mishandlings of teachers’ concerns, they [Ministry of Education] have responded to every meeting that we have written to them to inform them about, they have said that they are treating it as industrial action.”

She argued that such categorization was disingenuous, as the ministry had, on many occasion, held meetings during school hours with unions and teachers.

She also took at shot at Chief Education Officer Karen Best, who, like Jones, once served as President of the Barbados Union on Teachers (BUT).

“When the present Chief Education Officer use to hold meetings with the BUT nobody was writing her and telling her that those meetings would be seen as industrial action,” Redman lamented, adding that Jones, as BUT president, had also scheduled meetings during school hours.

The BSTU leader also questioned the minister’s sincerity when he indicated that as a union leader his pay had been docked.

“The minister said that as a teacher and trade union leader, he had deductions made from his salary. I issue a challenge to minister to provide the dates and the occasions on which his salary had been docked as a trade union leader, when this Government had signed ILO {International Labour Organization] conventions that protect union leaders.

“This is the first time since the docking of pay from the brother [BUT President] Pedro [Shepherd] that any union leader has had to suffer as a result of carrying out his responsibilities,” Redman stressed.

The ministry had docked the pay of teachers who attended two BUT meetings during school hours in April and May last year at the height of a major confrontation between the BUT, the BSTU and the ministry, which had contended that the teachers’ absence was tantamount to a strike, since it had not given its blessing to the meetings.

colvillemounsey@barbadostoday.bb

30 Responses to It’s war!

  1. saga Boy April 12, 2017 at 1:01 am

    I think Mary Redman has a political agenda and it is to bring down the gov. It has long been the custom and practice in Barbados that if yah strike yah don’t get pay. Plain and simple. I would like Ms.Redman to assist the MOE in improving the average grades of the students. Rid the system of those many many teachers who year after year fail to get a satisfactory number of CxC passes. Rid the MOE of those teachers who continue to have sex with children and help this nation to be the leading Caribbean country in education. Stop the foolish ranting and raving and go to svhool and do some work. No wonder CXC has ignored you!

    Reply
  2. Everick April 12, 2017 at 6:03 am

    Saga boy. You are to be potties.
    But your name says it all. Idiot.

    Reply
  3. harry turnover April 12, 2017 at 8:12 am

    I thought the Courts of Bdos were to determine if the docking of pay was legal or illegal ? Redman,Jones and the MOE meking bare sport bout the whole education thing.
    Somethings Redman says I agree with and so do things from Jones and the MOE.
    ANY student found BULLYING a fellow student SHOULD BE EXPELLED FORTHWITH.ANY student that ASSAULTS a Teacher SHOULD BE EXPELLED FORTHWITH and placed BEFORE THE LAW COURTS as well as those found with DANGEROUS WEAPONS
    MOE and Jones that is YOUR JOB ….teachers and students don’t feel safe anymore.
    Redman and the teachers if wunna don’t report fa wuk…ya CAN”T GET PAY. Jones and the MOE should let the Law Courts decide that once and for all

    Reply
  4. RB April 12, 2017 at 8:26 am

    If you are deliberately absent from work, why should you be paid? Have we gone crazy? Moved on from paying for poor and inefficient work to no work at all? This is the Barbados of tomorrow – we all stay home but still get paid. I like it

    Reply
    • Peter April 12, 2017 at 8:39 am

      RB, If one is ill, that individual can DELIBERATELY be absent from work. It would be a deliberate act on account of illness, with illness being the reason or purpose of the said absence. Oh yes the teacher was seen on the road marching. Well a good attorney will argue..” My client was on his or her way to the doctor and it was coincidental that he or she used the same rout.”

      Reply
      • Sherlock Holmes. April 12, 2017 at 9:12 pm

        Jackass Alert!

        Reply
      • Coralita April 12, 2017 at 10:09 pm

        You come from mars or sain? How does a person who is ill deliberately absent from work?

        Enlighten me please!!!!

        Reply
  5. Carson C. Cadogan April 12, 2017 at 8:31 am

    No work, No pay.

    Parents will have to take a stand against MARY REDMAN and the BSTU. When these Teachers are called out to march on the road and they leave our children at school to fend for themselves and something terrible happens to any school child who should be supervised by a teacher , who is now on the road marching, can the BSTU and MARY REDMAN be sued in a Court of Law?

    This Woman is putting our children lives at risk as plays her stupid Political games.

    Can parents afford to wait until something seriously wrong happens to one of our children?

    Reply
  6. Kevin Gibson
    Kevin Gibson April 12, 2017 at 8:41 am

    You wonder why the students would fight rather that listen look at the example in this head line!

    Reply
  7. Saga Boy April 12, 2017 at 8:48 am

    This woman is bent on creating strive. It is the old antiquated way of industrial relations. She needs to stop being so confrontational and start having civil conversations. She does not recognize how she contributes to the violence in the society. Be an example for the young people.

    Reply
  8. Nathaniel Samuels April 12, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Carson,boy, I agree that we the people will have to take action against this non-performing DEM group that has led this country from one downgrade to another. Can you think of something worse that has put the lives of the Barbadian citizens at risk? Can we afford to wait until something seriously wrong happens to one of us?

    Reply
    • Carson C. Cadogan April 12, 2017 at 11:50 am

      So then you are admitting that MARY REDMAN moves have nothing to do with teachers. They are only pawns in a political game.

      Reply
  9. Peter April 12, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Carson C Cadogan. You have targeted Ms. Redman as the villain, using the children as bait who are being victimized. Shame on You. You did not castigate Blackett for instigating violence when he said that blood will flow in the streets of Barbados and many will die. Pray tell me what was he thinking then? You Carson, always seem to be defending DEM. I almost think you believe in a flat earth too.

    Reply
  10. Mack April 12, 2017 at 8:50 am

    By Mrs, Redman’s thinking employees can walk of their jobs and go marching because they think that they are not getting respect. Later in the week or month they should have a full pay check like if they were at work.
    I think this woman need her head examining. To me she appear to be on a path of destroying things she don’t like. Before this , it was a crusade against the Broomer, he had to ask the master for devine intervention to save himself from her.

    Reply
    • Sherlock Holmes. April 12, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      Her face says it all, misery like company,and she obviously has a lot of company.

      Reply
  11. Peter April 12, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Route as those marchers….

    Reply
  12. Paul Gill
    Paul Gill April 12, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Yes they are arguing and marching. The students are not being taught in their class rooms. Well done.

    Reply
  13. The truth April 12, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Carson so Steve and he crew that was out Wednesday should not get pay?

    Reply
  14. Sisleen Greene April 12, 2017 at 11:51 am

    You know all wunna “Dem Dogs” who can’t see pass wunna noses or analyse the issues at hand without being personal need putting in a barrel wid all them theifing, ignorant, can’t talk ministers and shipped to Culpepper Island to become bait for the sharks.

    Reply
  15. Alex Alleyne April 12, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    We could just move the midddle east actions over to BIM and get things settle by the way of “guns”. Every second there is a “war” of words in BIM with no end in sight. The vast majority of the elite need political change cause their funds drying up. To hell with the small man/woman in the street.

    Reply
  16. Carson C. Cadogan April 12, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    …and the thing is that they went on strike because they are not “”getting any respect”” yet some of those teachers don’t even respect their spouses who sleep in the same bed with them.

    Reply
    • harry turnover April 12, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      How you know that CCC ? like you slept with one a dem spouses….which one though ..man or the woman ?

      Reply
    • Milli Watt April 12, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      nasty though hmmmmmmmm……

      Reply
  17. Lorenzo April 12, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Carson Cadogan everything is political for you ,have you paid the old lady light bill yet which had you so shame you ran away from Barbados underground?Saga boy and yourself seem to be deaf as Ms Redman clearly stated that several letters written to the Ministry were ignored there fore what are the teachers to do? On another note heard Ms Trini Dem on the call in programme calling on the Opposition to bring solutions.As Mr Thompson said in 2007 his job is not to offer solutions the Government is there to govern does the hyprocrite remember that statement?Where was her call then for solutions.I also heard her talking about politics in the NUPW does she remember that Bobby Morris and Sir Roy were sitting members of the DLP.She is a real hyprocrite.

    Reply
    • harry turnover April 12, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      I thought she was a TriniBEE. unless I got the wrong Trini who is ALWAYS complaining about how things in Bim are run….and I remembered that statement by Thompson WELL Yet we have in our midst a lot of yard fowls and paling cocks continually saying that all the BLP doing is talking but not offering any solutions.
      To those fowls and cocks…opposition Parties DON”T HAVE TO OFFER JACK SH8.
      The solutions will be found in their manifestos …..READ about them when they come out.

      Reply
  18. Milli Watt April 12, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Mary you are, in my opinion, bending over backward to accommodate that minister. Your job will change again come september when cell phones will be allowed in schools. That MUST NOT be allowed to happen. I think we all know where this is going UP DE TING!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  19. antionette sealy April 12, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    This woman is mad. Which part of the world are workers paid for not working? By her argument , teachers can absent themselves from the classroom for two hours every day till they get respect from students and still get full pay at the end of the month. She boasted of having a strike fund and advised the B.U.T to get one. Her union should pay the strikers and stop bellyaching. I do not know what the law of Barbados states re. docking of pay but here in U.K, the law reads as follows

    Deducting pay

    You don’t have to pay employees who are on strike.

    If workers take action short of a strike, and refuse to carry out part of their contractual work, this is called ‘partial performance’. If you refuse to accept partial performance, you must tell employees that:

    they should only attend work if they fulfil their contractual duties
    if they don’t fulfil the terms of their employment contract, you don’t have to pay them

    If you do accept partial performance, you must still pay employees for any work that they have done.
    How much pay to deduct during a strike

    You should only deduct the amount that the employee would have earned during the strike. How you work this out may depend on how they are paid (eg hourly, weekly or monthly) and on the terms of their employment contract.

    You can’t deduct an employee’s pay if they weren’t supposed to be working on the day of the strike.
    Effect on continuous employment and length of service

    If employees return to work after the strike, their continuous employment is not affected, ie they continue to be employed by you. This means that the terms and conditions of their employment contracts still apply during and after the strike.

    However, days when they were on strike don’t count towards their total length of service – this may be important for working out things like statutory redundancy pay or pensions.

    Reply
  20. antionette sealy April 12, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Barbados is the only country in the world where a union can call out members from their work place and expect to be paid for the time they were away from their stations. Here in U.K the law reads as follows.
    Deducting pay
    You don’t have to pay employees who are on strike.
    If workers take action short of a strike, and refuse to carry out part of their contractual work, this is called ‘partial performance’. If you refuse to accept partial performance, you must tell employees that: they should only attend work if they fulfil their contractual duties
    if they don’t fulfil the terms of their employment contract, you don’t have to pay them If you do accept partial performance, you must still pay employees for any work that they have done. How much pay to deduct during a strike
    You should only deduct the amount that the employee would have earned during the strike. How you work this out may depend on how they are paid (eg hourly, weekly or monthly) and on the terms of their employment contract. You can’t deduct an employee’s pay if they weren’t supposed to be working on the day of the strike.
    Effect on continuous employment and length of service
    If employees return to work after the strike, their continuous employment is not affected, ie they continue to be employed by you. This means that the terms and conditions of their employment contracts still apply during and after the strike. However, days when they were on strike don’t count towards their total length of service – this may be important for working out things like statutory redundancy pay or pensions.

    Reply
  21. Sherlock Holmes. April 12, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    It is time Mary Redman retire and stop holding the students of this nation to ransom.This woman would make Christ sin i will refrain from commenting any further lest i be deemed a foul mouthed rouge .

    Reply
  22. Stacey Jones April 13, 2017 at 12:13 am

    Lets be honest. If as an employee your work load has doubled in the last 5 years, with no additional pay, no addition to your terms of reference for employment, you have to give up your Easter Break to assist students to get the SBAs completed, you give give give and for what. The days of persons working for free or in this case being successfully exploited by an Examination board aided by Ministries of Education in the region has to come to an end. You cannot fault teachers for standing up for their rights.

    What is disappointing is that the other teachers Union remains silent on this. Is it perhaps because the current Minister and Snr Education officer came from their ranks?

    More people in Barbados need to stand up against foolishness. CXC need stop the exploitation to satisfy their bottom line. Look at London GCE examinations and Cambridge examination boards, they pay to have their course work marked, why should CXC be any different.

    As far as I am concerned this is the worst Minister of Education this country has had. Suffers from a bad case of foot in mouth disease. Getting on a podium and talking down to teachers is not the way that modern management is executed. As a former Union head he should know this.

    Reply

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