The President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU) Mary-Ann Redman today called on members to “stand firm” on their pay demand, while reporting that there was strong support for the BSTU’s stance against the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
While reporting that members of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) had joined in the fight, Redman also said she had received correspondence from colleagues in Anguilla and Antigua who were in the process of formulating some form of action.
She further revealed that President of the Caribbean Union of Teachers would address the matter at a press conference here tomorrow, while complaining that CXC had disregarded the BSTU’s request for a meeting “to deal with this matter that the affiliates throughout the region should take whatever action they deem necessary to ensure that teachers get a fair deal, for [a] fair day’s work”.
Redman argued that the problems facing teachers were the same throughout the region.
However, she pointed out that “some of the territories have not been as vocal or as proactive as we have been forced to be in Barbados because of our peculiar position”.
Speaking on local radio, Redman said her union was getting strong support from the BUT, while stating that teachers at the St Leonard’s Boys’ School were “very much on board in relation to this whole issue”.
She pointed out that they had not only been affected at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) level, but since St Leonard’s became a sixth form school it was also “exposed” at the level of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
“ . . . Their teachers have been complaining of the workload,” acknowledged Redman.
She also complained about the refusal of officials of the Ministry of Education and CXC to meet with teachers on the issue, saying it clearly showed that they did not have the interests of “poor students” at heart.
“The Ministry has not met with us on this and we have asked them to meet. We have written to them since the May 8, 2014. We wrote and told them what our resolution was, part of our AGM [Annual General Meeting], I think on the 4th of April 2014, and we told them, we would not be correcting SBA’s.
“We had a quarterly meeting in early September where we broached the subject with them again. They said it was getting late and the meeting couldn’t go on any longer, they would
set a specific meeting to deal with this, we called, we have requested, and to date no further meeting.”