The Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) will be taking a new approach to resolving issues with the Ministry of Education.
The BUT said, going forward, it will not be taking to the streets to protest publicly but will instead take a diplomatic approach.
“Based on how we have been treated, we have no choice but to look at a different approach . . . We are trying not to come over as confrontational but rather to see how best we can sit and dialogue and have amicable discussions and come up with solutions to the major problems facing us,” BUT president Pedro Shepherd said.
Speaking with members of the media on the side lines of a health and wellness fair at the BUT headquarters, Shepherd disclosed that within the past year, the union’s actions had been viewed as confrontational and hostile by the Ministry of Education.
“Over the last two years, I think the unions in Barbados generally have had a tough time with administration and it really is sometimes more stressful to deal with the issues and the administration so we have taken the approach that we will be more accommodating with the ministry, that we will try to see how we can solve some of the issues without raising them in the public because we are always accused of being confrontational,” he said.
With more than 749 public school teachers appointed this year, Shepherd indicated the union had made progress with the ministry in addressing its issues through quarterly meetings with the permanent secretary and the chief personnel officer.
However, while they have had a breakthrough with the appointments, Shepherd said that much still needs to be done.
“We are gaining some ground in terms of discussions, but the issues remain very much there and we are not getting the solutions,” he said.
“We will continue to agitate on the issues and hopefully breakthrough in some of the resolutions,” Shepherd added.