Resign forthwith and secure your retiring benefits.
That’s what Barbados Secondary Teachers Union consultant and former executive member Patrick Frost said he would advise Principal of the Alexandra School Jeff Broomes to do if he was representing him.
Saying he regretted the principal was not present to hear what he had to say and he did not like speaking about people in their absence, he told the Commission of Enquiry this was his recommendation to the veteran educator.
He was answering a question from attorney-at-law Hal Gollop, the BSTU’s counsel at the commission, who asked what course of action he recommend to Broomes if he was the principal’s union representative.
“The recommendation I would give is as follows, a letter addressed to the Chief Personnel Officer, ‘Dear Madam, this is to inform you that I am resigning forthwith from the public service of Barbados’.
“‘An application should be made in due course in the normal manner for any retiring entitlements to which I may be permitted to secure under the law, yours faithfully’.”
The witness said the correspondence would be copied to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Chief Education Officer, Chairman of Alexandra’s Board of Management, the school’s Deputy Principal, while one would also be addressed to the Commission of Enquiry.
Frost said he was making his suggestion without the presumption that the principal’s advisors “would not have consulted and arrived at the same conclusion, even if they haven’t yet presented it to him”.
“In all seriousness that is the advice that I would give… It (resignation letter) would attempt to do what is required, to protect retiring benefits, to give immediate effect,” he told the commission.
“Don’t think Mr. Broomes is the only time I would have had to give that advice. There have been instances where our members have been less than efficient in the school and we have had to find a means, working with the chairman of the board of management for him to use his good offices to have the person removed from the school in as quietly and efficiently a way as possible, but to protect the person’s entitlement to retiring benefits.
“So you protect both sides, the individual and the school, so this isn’t something that has not happened before. I would admit that these circumstances are different,” he added. (SC)