The Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) have described the August 31 dismissal of a clerk typist at St Leonard’s School as unfair, unreasonable and illegitimate.
In a joint statement, the unions said that their member was “unfairly dismissed” by the Board as her dismissal does not confirm with what constitutes a fair dismissal in the Employment Rights Act. 29 (2), neither is there a “substantial reason” to justify the dismissal as falling within Section 29. 1(b)
They also said that the process of termination of their member did not follow standard procedure since the approval for termination was not sought in the manner prescribed.
The BSTU and NUPW argue that their member worked continuously in the position for three years until August 29, two days before the end of the last contract, when she was informed in writing, with no reason being given, that her services would no longer be required after August 31, 2017.
According to the unions, the actions of the Board have serious implications for all temporary workers across the system and it is an action that is being seen with increasing frequency in the wider Public Service.
“It is, therefore, one that the Unions, as representatives of Public Officers and Public Employees, are taking very seriously and intend to halt,” the unions said.
Classes were disrupted at the school on September 29 after more than 30 of the 70 teachers at the Government-run institution called in sick, in apparent protest over the dismissal of the clerk typist.
A day earlier President of the 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.
The unions say all employees expect to be fairly and reasonably treated at all times in their employment relationship with the employer.
“This has not been evident with our member. Termination of employment is the ultimate sanction and cannot be allowed to take place outside the law,” the statement said.