Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
by Michael Ray
Unable to intervene in the exchange between Moderator Peter Wickham and a caller during the Program Down To Brasstacks on Wednesday 10th August, I wish to use this medium to express views and ask questions in relation to that exchange.
Both Peter Wickham and the caller voiced opinions contrary to agreed and established principles.
The Ministry of Education has made plans to alter the working conditions of teachers without due consultation and agreement.
One of the established and abiding principles as a long-held custom and practice is consultation, discussion and agreement between employer and workers’ representatives prior to any decision to vary or alter working conditions.
Apparently both Mr. Wickham and Mr. King are woefully unaware of such an arrangement.
Workers are concerned about arbitrary and unilateral decisions being made by the Ministry of Education.
It is no surprise that there is a body of opinion holding to the belief that there is an unnecessary amount of autocracy and despotism suddenly rearing its ugly head in a number of government departments.
Did we not learn anything from Adam Smith, the Scottish economist and philosopher, who almost 300 years ago sounded the warning,
“As soon as government management begins, it upsets the natural equilibrium of industrial relations and each interference only requires further bureaucratic control until the end is the tyranny of the totalitarian state.”
At this stage of our history, it is time enough for would-be influencers to respect the sanctity and inviolability of good industrial relations practice.
There is no reason for anyone to stoke the fire of social unrest and instability during these perilous and uncertain times.
A word to the wise is enough.