President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) Mary Redman is putting the Ronald Jones-led Ministry of Education on notice that industrial action resulting from the St Leonard’s School impasse is very likely to expand to include the St Michael School.
The two sides are currently at odds over the dismissal of two BSTU members. The St Michael school matter dates back more than a year while the St Leonard’s issue has been ongoing for the past three months.
Redman revealed that the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), which also represents the sacked clerk typist at the centre of dispute at St Leonard’s, has been given the green light by its council to support the BSTU in any industrial action.
“The NUPW council met yesterday and took the decision to take whatever action is necessary to support its member and to do it in conjunction with the BSTU.
“In relation to the St Michael School we are still awaiting the decision of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Civil Service. I told them on Wednesday that we would be meeting today and we would be making some decisions in relation to that. They promised to get back to me that evening and I am yet to receive that call. So the action we take may have to combined,” Redman told Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of Teachers’ Professional Day activity held at Solidarity House this morning.
Jones has already stated that he would not directly intervene in the St Leonard’s impasse even though the BSTU had warned in a letter to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, June Chandler, that it had until last Tuesday to convene a meeting with the St Leonard’s school board.
However, Redman is not prepared to let the minister off the hook. She told Barbados TODAY the ministry had set the tone for the current disrespect being meted out to the teachers and their unions.
“This is something that we have seen from this regime that is unprecedented and this level of disregard and disrespect, by not being able to get a response to correspondence and not being able to get meetings, it makes a mockery of the entire industrial relations process,” she stressed.