Planned protest action by members of the teaching staff at the Combermere School, which was scheduled for tomorrow has been put on hold.
Earlier today, the President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU) Mary Redman told Barbados TODAY the teachers would not reporting for the classroom tomorrow. Instead, the plan was for the teachers to report to the Ministry of Education’s Constitution Road, St Michael headquarters, at 9 a.m. in protest of what the union deemed to be unhealthy conditions at the Waterford, St Michael learning institution.
The outspoken trade unionist had also pointed out that it was the right of the educators to stage protest action under Section 104 of the Safety and Health at Work Act.
Giving the background to the issue, she recalled that the BSTU wrote the chairperson of the school’s board of management, Jessica Browne, on April 10 asking for a copy of the report released by the company contracted to carry out environmental tests at the school.
Redman also disclosed that her union had asked for an urgent meeting with the board to discuss the ongoing situation and to offer assistance in its resolution.
This was met by “a two sentence dismissive reply from the chairperson on April 17 stating that the matters the union outlined were being dealt with in a timely manner”, the union boss said.
However, following delivery by the union of a letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Cecile Humphrey, this afternoon outlining the situation and serving advance notice of the action being taken by the staff of the school, Browne reported that a decision hade been taken by the Ministry to close the school for the remainder of the week.
The decision was also communicated by the Ministry in a news release, which said scheduled School Based Assessment (SBA) exams would still be held.
The BSTU is now hoping to meet with the authorities by the end of this week before deciding on its next course of action.