St Leonard’s dispute still not settled

The Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) says the ball is now in the Ministry of Education’s court as far as the dispute at the St Leonard’s Boys’ School is concerned.

On two occasions over the past two weeks, the school was forced to close early after teachers and other unionized members of staff called in sick at the height of the impasse over the sacking of a clerk typist on August 31.

“We are awaiting a response from the highest levels at the Ministry of Education who we wrote at the end of last week, urging them to use their good office to either instruct, persuade or direct the board of management to meet with us to find a resolution that is fair, that is just and that is reasonable,” BSTU President Mary Redman told Barbados TODAY this afternoon with the threat of further protests still looming over the Richmond Gap, St Michael institution following sick out action on September 29 and October 5 in support of the sacked worker.

It is understood that the clerk typist was employed on a temporary basis for three years up until her termination, for which the BSTU said no legitimate reason has been given to date.

However, Redman said: “It is our understanding that the Ministry of Education, rather than use their good office to ensure that the type of consultation with the Board that needs to take place should have done so . . . have sent someone to fill the post of clerk typist, something that they have no legitimacy in doing”.

Describing the situation as a “very serious affront” to the entire industrial relation process, she further argued that the ministry “has no authority or legitimacy” to fill the post in the way that it has by “sending someone to perform the function of clerk/typist while we are seeking resolution of the matter”.

Efforts to reach the Chief Education Officer Karen Best for a response were unsuccessful.

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