Classes disrupted at St Leonard’s Boys’

Classes ended abruptly today at the St Leonard’s Boys’ School, after more than 30 of the 70 teachers at the Government-run institution called in sick, in apparent protest over the dismissal of a clerk typist.

It was just yesterday that President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) Mary Redman served notice during a news conference at the union’s Belleville, St Michael headquarters of possible protest action in support of the terminated worker, and today the union seemingly delivered on its threat.

After more than a third of the teaching staff failed to show up for work, school was dismissed today at noon – just after lunch – instead of the customary 2 p.m. However, up to 1:30 p.m. several students were still milling around the school compound, waiting to be picked up, as parents were seemingly caught off guard by the early closure.

When approached by Barbados TODAY,  Principal Joseph Maynard refused to comment on the situation.

And in the absence of an official comment from Redman, another union official warned that today’s action was just the “first stand” against the school’s board of management, the principal and the Ministry of Education.

The source explained that the clerk typist at the centre of the dispute had been employed at the Richmond Gap institution for three years before she was “unfairly dismissed” on August 31, 2017.

The official also said that over 40 members of staff had written on her behalf calling for her reinstatement. However, the school board has had at least two meetings without addressing the dismissal.

“We as a union and we as the teachers of St Leonard’s Boys’ School will not take it and this is our first stance of action, so they better fly right and do what is right to that woman,” the union spokesman said, while insisting that there was no legitimate reason for the termination.

“She is an excellent worker . . . . She goes above and beyond the call of duty day after day,” the teacher stressed.

The source, who did not want to be identified, also suggested that under Maynard’s leadership, the school was in disarray.

“The leadership skills are very poor and it is chaos. That entire school is chaos,” the source said, while disclosing that the timetable for the new term had only been finalized this week.

“This is week three and the timetables should have been done at the end of last term and because of all the nonsense going on, as a manager and as a leader, the timetables were only fully constructed by the end of this week,” the teacher complained.


41 Responses to Classes disrupted at St Leonard’s Boys’

  1. Ziggy Blessed
    Ziggy Blessed September 29, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    anything to get out the classroom…..when will it end teachers…wunna want putting on contracts and not being appointed…SBA’s, a bad smelling tree, Jones, students in the class room, rain, air…..please resign let us bring in teachers from Singapore…..carry long the CBC staff to while yuh at it

  2. Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
    Cherylann Bourne-Hayes September 29, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Ridiculous. You would think children we be the focus of people in the education profession.

  3. Shelly Ross
    Shelly Ross September 30, 2017 at 12:12 am

    And they have found a way to start the disruption yet again.

  4. Divine Duchess
    Divine Duchess September 30, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Wow term just begin and bs already stupse…anybody consider the kids ….who will be the only persons to suffer through this ordeal? Smdh

  5. Carol Grant Cumberbatch
    Carol Grant Cumberbatch September 30, 2017 at 1:12 am

    Lord have mercy…

  6. Paul Chestnut
    Paul Chestnut September 30, 2017 at 1:14 am

    Wah bout de teacher that was fired….cut out the political spite….and things will go well.

  7. Ibukunoluwa Ayanfe Ozioma
    Ibukunoluwa Ayanfe Ozioma September 30, 2017 at 2:04 am

    This is really too much! The Union under the leadership of this Redman woman is causing too much harm to the economy and the social fabric of this society unwarrantedly! Why did the union have to take such drastic measures – disrupting the education of children and that of the parents – for one incident that could be dealt with differently? This action is uncalled for… and, really pisses me off!!

  8. Ibukunoluwa Ayanfe Ozioma
    Ibukunoluwa Ayanfe Ozioma September 30, 2017 at 2:08 am

    The woman may have been dismissed for valid reasons. Unfair dismissals in schools should not be handled this way at all in any case!! This Redman woman is taking things too far!! This is like using a sledgehammer to kill a gnat instead of a flyswrapper!! It should be taken to a tribunal or something to be dealt with.

    • Cheryl Cumberbatch
      Cheryl Cumberbatch September 30, 2017 at 4:36 am

      Wouldn’t that school come under the BTU and not the BSTU? Ms. Redman is not the leader of the BTU.

    • Ibukunoluwa Ayanfe Ozioma
      Ibukunoluwa Ayanfe Ozioma September 30, 2017 at 4:36 am

      My bad!! The report does say Mary Redman though.

    • Ibukunoluwa Ayanfe Ozioma
      Ibukunoluwa Ayanfe Ozioma September 30, 2017 at 4:39 am

      Still the point remains that whoever made this decision to disrupted the school for no sound reason.

  9. Franqueza September 30, 2017 at 3:30 am

    They are a lot of persons in charge and doing foolishness. You mean to say that people can just be dismissed Willy nilly because of political friends and too many times the powers that be sit on their royal backside doing nothing. It was all over the media about the situation at the particular school but rather than getting the issues solved they picking on personality Redman. Redman is not the issue she is in charge of an organization that represents employees and that’s what she is doing. Persons need to speak out against the MOE and the handling of this and other issues

  10. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall September 30, 2017 at 4:48 am

    It’s total nonsense sending home workers and employing new ones .

  11. Sarifa Patel September 30, 2017 at 5:44 am

    WTH is the matter with this woman REDMAN she is just a publicity seeker. Is she so desperate for recogniction that she would go to any length to get it. Why is she interfering at all levels, disrupting children education. Man go get a life and let the children be the priority. Thank God you were not around when I was going to school you would never have survived you would have been kick out of the education system.

  12. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow September 30, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Kids are man’s investment into our future…The Yard fowl in charged and those who are complicit ought to drawn and quartered

  13. Maureen Burgess
    Maureen Burgess September 30, 2017 at 6:20 am

    I think we as a people need to think, if we were in the place of that lady who does an exceptional great job and was given marching papers, wouldn’t you want JUSTICE, MRS. REDMAN is the head of Barbados secondary teachers Union, who has the right to speak and seek Justice for that body.
    We , as a people should be more caring, and look those children at school two weeks with out a time table . Think before you answer.

  14. harry turnover September 30, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Mary Redman…I AGREE WITH YOU THIS TIME.Don’t fear though cause after the next election ALL of DEM yard fowls,paling cocks ,swamp ducks and POLITICAL APPOINTEES will be sent packing.

    • VoR October 1, 2017 at 11:43 am

      And more “yard fowls,paling cocks ,swamp ducks and POLITICAL APPOINTEES” will be brought in to replace the ones sent packing.

  15. Winnie Meade
    Winnie Meade September 30, 2017 at 7:10 am


    • Sherlock Holmes. September 30, 2017 at 7:34 am

      Sometimes i wish you would just keep quiet, some of your reasonings defy logic and not only in these forums.

  16. Sherlock Holmes. September 30, 2017 at 7:23 am

    You know what is amazing? These days workers can behave as they like flout authority , be disrespectful, believe that they are laws unto themselves and when they are called to account and then be insubordinate run to any union and literally get away with murder and the end result is disrupting the lives of school children who have absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand. Mary Redman believes that she is a tyrant and this tyrannical behavior must stop. No longer must the pupils of this country be held to ransom for the agendas of certain people whose motto seems to be disrupt 2017 and is steeped in nefarious political bias. If those who are aggrieved believe that they have air tight cases take them to the law courts and allow justice to be served this constant holding of our country’s school children to ranson willy nilly must be stopped and now! We have children i am sure in hurricane ravaged countries who would be glad to attend school in comfort and we have a bunch of clowns here on this island who are making our students uncomfortable at their whims and fancy it is down right ridiculous.

    • Breadfruit. September 30, 2017 at 8:22 am

      What law did the teacher, union or Mary break?

      • Sherlock Holmes. September 30, 2017 at 10:45 am

        Who said anything about breaking laws?FYI if the clerk typist is of the strong opinion that she was unfairly dismissed then she and her union should take the relevant authority to the law courts and have justice served breadfruit.

  17. Stell Alleyne
    Stell Alleyne September 30, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Some of you on this page need to really think before you speak…it seems to me that it is always on some political rampage…what could possibly right about disrupting the education of these children… gosh!

  18. Waiting September 30, 2017 at 8:32 am

    We need more Mary Redmans around for authorities are doing as they like and workers are suffering. Honestly, I know nothing about this situation but I know that workers and union representatives suffer a lot before they take action but we just don’t know until it is in the open.

    • Sherlock Holmes. September 30, 2017 at 10:20 am

      How ironic you know nothing of the situation yet the workers and the union in your opinion are literally right. Some of you people amaze me you do not have the facts but for you it is okay to have children’s classes and school time disrupted and in some cases free to engage in deviance when they should be in a classroom during school hours all because of a union whose actions are more than often misguided i will say this the only union representative who seems to thoroughly know union procedure is Caswell Franklin i had the occasion to speak to him directly and question his knowledge of union laws and i will say he is well rounded and on point, the others are mere attention seekers will very little knowledge of what they are doing that is why this place is in chaos with their disruptive agendas.

  19. Sue Donym September 30, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Government must revisit the labour legislation and make some common sense decisions. In the zeal to appear worker friendly, they might have gone overboard in the contracts area, to the extent that to end employment is like stepping into a minefield. Employers – including government – issue fixed term contracts, only to be villified for invoking their right to end the relationship with the employee.

    It is not unusual for employees to abuse their privileges and take unprofessional actions with the confidence that their colleagues and unions will support them. Employers are learning that they have to weigh the welfare of their business against “taking bread out of mouths”. Employers are now obliged to document everything, to avoid accusations of being petty or of not giving the employee enough chances when (s)he is eventually terminated.

    Too often employees are smug in the belief that they are set for life, and will call in sick when they are not. There are too many public complaints about non-delivery of service, slow service or very poor service, with the offenders not worried about losing their pick. Why should every aspect of a contract be important except the employer’s right to end it at the agreed time?

    • Sherlock Holmes. September 30, 2017 at 10:22 am

      Well said sue.

      • Sue Donym September 30, 2017 at 10:51 am

        Thank you, @Sherlock Holmes.
        Now cue the apologists who say that employees are sick because the work environment is sick, as if there’s any one excuse for all the nonsense that prevails in our society. These same people go overseas and fall in, the difference being an insistence on workplace standards and discipline. We’ve practised waiting on something so egregious that separation is the only option and the event itself causes more disruption and scandal.

  20. Jean September 30, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Just to inform Cheryl Cumberbatch that it is the BUT and not BTU

  21. Alex Alleyne September 30, 2017 at 8:47 am

    “They better fly right and do what is right to that woman”. Is this a 4 year old speaking to the media ???????.

  22. Waiting September 30, 2017 at 8:56 am

    We need more Mary Redmans around for authorities are doing as they like while the workers and union representatives suffer in silence. Honestly, I know nothing about this case but I know that we become aware only when action is taken. I am sure that much private discussion is held before.

  23. Sherlock Holmes. September 30, 2017 at 10:34 am

    ” Before she was unfairly dismissed ” now if this is a case of unfair dismissal why not take it to the law courts or the employment rights tribunal ? Why place school children who have absolutely nothing to do with the situation in a precarious position? More and more you see politics and theatrics at work in these situations. The agenda DISRUPT 2017 chief actress Mary Redman it is really time for this nonsense to stop.

  24. Thunder September 30, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I have no problem with people taking a stand if anyone is being unfaired,but how long will this action last for?you can protest during lunch time,before or after school,because what ever you do,no school childl should have to suffer, always put the kids first!

  25. Floyd Belgrave September 30, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Sherlock Holmes I would like to tell you exactly what I think of you….You don’t have a mustard seed of common sense. What is the function of a trade union? As it come to teachers people like you have a lot to say. Teachers are workers do you know that yuh ….you know what.

  26. Im Awesome October 1, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Just let me ask this question to the DETRACTORS. What are the facts of this case. Do you even understand or care about the notion of wrongful dismissal? If your answers are NO I think you should just shut up and stop your IGNORANT rants. Learn to speak from positions of knowledge.

  27. Im Awesome October 1, 2017 at 9:03 am

    It seems that only teachers get flack for standing for rights. How come there is no outcry over the CBC strike? Oh, sorry. My bad! No students are involved!

  28. Mark My Word October 1, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Wrongful dismissal cases are dealt with in the Law Courts or by the Tribunal, not taken out against the students by depriving them of their education.

    Something need to be done with these Unions who are now led by Moon donkeys with Masters Degrees and no common sense, Now that they are Notoriously Sclerotic and indulging in unholy Boondoggle.


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