Redman denies nepotism drove recent BSTU action

President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) Mary Redman is refuting claims that nepotism played a part in the union’s response to the alleged unfair dismissal of three of its members.

One of BSTU members at the centre of the dispute is believed to be Redman’s son, giving rise to concerns that teachers may have found themselves in the middle of a personal grudge match between the union and the St Michael School (SMS) board.

While classes at SMS appeared to have continued normally last Friday, at least three other secondary schools, Combermere, Graydon Sealy Secondary and St George Secondary, were forced to close early as teachers staged industrial action, a day after they had walked off at around 1 p.m. claiming to have had appointments.

The BSTU was upset over the sacking of an SMS teacher, a principal at the Barbados Learning Centre and a laboratory technician at Combermere, describing their firing as textbook examples of egregious violations of the grievance procedures by the three school boards.

Redman had said that despite the union’s best efforts to adhere to industrial relations best practices, the three cases, one of which dates back almost eight months, were no closer to being resolved, and industrial action was the only option left.

Monday morning an adamant Redman refused to confirm or deny the claim that he son was involved, preferring instead to question the relevance of the argument.

“Let us say that is so, how is it a conflict of interest? As long as the person is a paying member of the union from day one, the person is not supposed to receive representation because they are related to me? I don’t see that is of any relevance,” she said.

The teachers’ advocate told Barbados TODAY all of her members were fully aware of the detail of all the cases and they had decided to support all three members.

“All the facts of the case have been made aware to the union members since the first week in September. All the union members are committed to the case because the persons are paying members of the BSTU and are entitled to representation like any other member,” the BSTU president explained, while also arguing that the only question of impropriety which could arise from a relationship with the member in question was one of victimization by the school’s board.

“In my mind the only considerations from any relationship with the president would be whether or not the person was being victimized because of the president,” Redman said.

The union has summoned members to an urgent meeting Tuesday to discuss the next steps.

“Remember, we made a commitment that 2017 will be a year of stepped up action by our union,” Public Relations Officer Carseen Greenidge said in a note to the membership.

21 Responses to Redman denies nepotism drove recent BSTU action

  1. Saga Boy May 16, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Well well well Redman is defending her son’s dismissal 9 months after the fact. She is claiming unfair dismissal after her son’s contract was not renewed. And she is claiming unfair dismissal after a lab tech was dismissed while on probation. Teachers who follow her are like sheep. No wonder why some of our children can’t think for themselves.

  2. joan Worrell May 16, 2017 at 2:14 am

    Well said Saga Boy. Since Sunday night I was trying to publish a Whatsapp circular which expressed similar sentiments to yours but I was blocked left right and center here on Barbados Today. However the do-do has hit the fan and the whole of Barbados knows the facts.

  3. joan Worrell May 16, 2017 at 2:16 am

    Here is a copy of the Letter to its members Quote” Something’s happening. Get ready Members” Meeting…. All members invited… This Tuesday May 16th 2017 at 1 P.M…. Venue:- Solidarity House Matters for action……Update on unresolved grievances The unfair dismissal of members from their schools and denial of rights ( the Learning Centre, Combermere School and the St. Michael School) The Formulation of Action Plan for potential implementation should any member’s salary be docked for participating in March of respect 25th April, 2017. Ends Quote

  4. joan Worrell May 16, 2017 at 2:37 am

    Is this the level to which Trade Unionism has sunk in Barbados ? An employer is threatened with and Action Plan, in case any of its member’s salary is docked for being on strike? The ILO, of which this union is a member, clearly states that any work stoppage, however brief and limited, may generally be considered as a strike. Furthermore, in the ILO principles concerning the right to strike, it does not criticize member states for the docking of wages when union members are on strike. My advice to the members of the this union , is that a union does not go on strike and then look for public sympathy. The correct process is to get public sympathy first and then go on strike. Right now the public is fed up with their continuous disruption of classes when their children need their presence to help them prepare for their promotion and CXC/CAPE EXAMS.

  5. joan Worrell May 16, 2017 at 2:51 am

    Whatsapp jokes are calling the sickness from which some teachers are suffering, the ”Maryson Flu”. The cure for it is to drink lots of water and rest during working hours.

  6. Saga Boy May 16, 2017 at 2:57 am

    Mary Should be asked to resign. This is nepotism and bullyism at the highest level. Imagine how many students have been disadvantaged and how many teachers have lost more than a day’s pay for Mary’s selfish and unprofessional behavior. None of the two persons have been working for more than a year. Hence they are both disqualified from claiming unfair dismissal. This is therefore a case of intellectual dishonesty if indeed Mary Redman has even read and understood the ERA 2012. Teachers you should start thinking for yourself. Stop following a man woman.

  7. Ley Simmons May 16, 2017 at 3:11 am

    Saga Boy is an idiot. I claim no breif for Mary but Wrongful Dismissal applies to workplaces covered by the Employment Rights Act. Teachers are Public Officers – it doesn’t apply to them. Teachers are workers like anyone else. Whether it is Mary’s son or your mother does not affect the person’s union fighting for them. When doctors strike, they are worng because patients suffer; when bus drivers strike, they are wrong because commuters suffer; when teachers strike they are wrong because students suffer. When doctors, bus drivers, teachers are treated like garbage by their bosses they will not happily work. Who suffers then? Do any of Joan Worrel, Saga Boy work, or do they think that workers have no rights. You want teachers to let the children see that the right way to behave is to sacrifice yourself like a slave to make massa happy? Mary’s problem is she talks too much. Shut the place down – except for Caswell’s union – all the union leaders are taking people’s dues and doing nothing for their workers who are being treated worse that before Grantley Adams.

  8. joan Worrell May 16, 2017 at 8:17 am

    The Union leader is quoted above quote ”“Let us say that is so, how is it a conflict of interest? As long as the person is a paying member of the union from day one, the person is not supposed to receive representation because they are related to me? I don’t see that is of any relevance,” she said.Ends quote…Madam, in circumstances like this , one recuses oneself and allows someone else to carry the fight to the employer. Lord Have His Mercy, is this what Trade Unionism has come to? Don’t you know procedure? Is there anyone in the BSTU who can pull back the leader and tell her to cool it while damage control is done? Is there anyone outside the union,par exemple, Madam Toni Moore of the BWU who jumped and pranced with her for the Labour Day celebrations, take up the phone and tell her that her slip is showing? There is an old Bajan adage which says that the higher monkey climb, the more its buttocks is exposed. Please, Toni, tell her to put on a pair of jeans so that we can’t see her buttocks. lol

  9. Helicopter(8P) May 16, 2017 at 9:14 am

    When any Union Body within the public sector disregards its countries interest and proliferates without closed door intercourse it becomes a political issue rather than a union issue.

  10. Mikey May 16, 2017 at 10:28 am

    You people who are trying to beat up on Unions and Union leaders.
    Please REMEMBER that whereever there are WORKERS, then there is ALWAYS need for Workers’ representatives,,, Your son, daughter or grandchild may? be a worker some day ? Or will be capable of being their own Self-employed worker.

  11. Saga Boy May 16, 2017 at 10:42 am

    @Mickey. What is your definition of “beat up?” This is not an emotional exercise. It is one based on fact. Are you saying that even though the employee was correctly dismissed we should allow a union who should know better to continue to mislead the whole country. Are you saying that even though the Labour Dept has informed her that she is wrong she should be encouraged to continue to disrupt the education system? Are yin saying that even though there is no legal redress for her in the dismissal of the two employees that she should continue to waste the countries time on frivolous and vexatious matters? As a trade unionists does it not matter if she tells the truth? Does it still matter?

  12. joan Worrell May 16, 2017 at 10:58 am

    My dear Mikey, the problem is not with workers being unionized. It is the leadership and the direction in which it is heading and carrying along its members like lost sheep. Before I got married and eventually became self employed, I was a member of the Barbados Workers Union and attended every available course at the Labour College. My father before me was a Port Workers’ delegate of the BWU. Why should I beat up on a sister Union. All I am asking is that the leader follow ILO procedure when contemplating strike action and ensure that the union’s strike fund is financially strong enough to pay its members for the time they were called out on strike. No other trade union any part of the world, including the Barbados Workers Union, takes industrial action against its members” employers and then cry foul when the employers dock their pay.

  13. Ricci Khan May 16, 2017 at 3:54 pm


  14. Anonymous May 16, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    The public sector unions around the Caribbean are a shame

  15. Lorenzo May 16, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    The usual suspects on here criticizing the unions for defendeing their workers Saga Boy ,Joan Worrell, and Ricci Khan all Dems upset because Ms Redman and me McDowell who The Dems wanted removed but failed big time as the Members are supporting them in spite of you yardfowls noises.Do you remember Mr Clarke ,and mr Maloney who sold out the workers because of party affiliation ,the workers are now being represented properly as they battle the Government for workers rights I know this upsets you Dems tremendously but they have the majority of the members support so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  16. joan Worrell May 16, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    @ Lorenzo, is that all you have to contribute to the discussion? Sorry sir, I have passed that stage in life many moons ago. Sounds like you never spent a day in a trade union. Have a great night.

  17. sunshinecanada May 16, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Mr Broomes must be singing la la, whats goes around comes around

  18. Saga Boy May 16, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    @Lorenzo. Proper representation? Surely you are joking.
    (1) Tell me which part of the world people get paid for striking and if the do under what conditions? This is a long standing custom and practice in Barbados
    (2) Sec 27 (3) Employment Rights act – The right not to be unfairly dismissed

    “An employee has the right not to be unfairly dismissed and this right comes into effect after one (1) year of continuous employment. Dismissals for the following reasons are considered unfair”

    (3) Every trade unionist knows that an employee on probation can be dismissed without notice

  19. Lorenzo May 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    joan Worrell I have been in a union member for over twenty years so what is your point .I did not hear your voice when workers were sold out under previous leadership,that is why I can call you three Dems hyprocrites because all this is about is your party being criticize which you all cannot stand.I call it as I see it.

  20. Ron May 16, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Question for u people. I am a union leader, my son, daugbter, husband or wife is a member of my union and an issue comes up which must be dealt with, should I not bring tbis matter up for attention, as I would any other matter? Is this individual not entitled. to be represented? Is tbis not the way we do things in a democracy? Why are we allowing our rights to be trampled. Is this a deliberate attempt to target the families of union leaders in an effort to weaken and destroy the unions?

  21. Sunburn May 17, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Why do we spend time educating our children. So that when they know that they are being unfairly treated to sit back and take it?
    Or when their lives are threatened while at school to pretend it never happened. Workers like children have a right to draw unsafe situations to any administration without feeling that they will loose their jobs as a result. Maybe the question should be why did these people get fired and then some real truth will help.


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