Teachers Union: ‘Stop Reactive Approach’

December 1, 2016

The Bermuda Union of Teachers [BUT] called on the Government and the Ministry of Education to “stop its reactive approach to building management,” as “Bermuda’s children deserve healthy and vibrant learning environments.”

In their second of a series of responses to this year’s Throne Speech, the BUT said, “The BUT applauds the Government for its Throne Speech pledge to continue addressing health and safety concerns raised by the 2016 SCORE Report.

“We look forward to a detailed accounting of how issues outlined in the Report have been addressed. The BUT takes the position that much more must be done for the Ministry of Education to meaningfully address the myriad of health and safety challenges that exist throughout the Bermuda Public School System.

“While SCORE reviewed Primary Schools in detail, there has been no review of health and safety conditions at the preschool, middle, or senior levels. In particular, the BUT is aware of two schools experiencing chronic conditions with strong potential to negatively impact the health of both staff and students.

“Too often, teachers must lead the charge for healthy working conditions, detracting from their focus on student learning. Concerns often go unheard until drastic measures are taken to bring attention to the matter. Mould contamination is a key concern in our schools. Note the graphic “Common Molds and Your Health” that briefly highlights the health risks faced by our students and staff in contaminated buildings.

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“The BUT calls on the Government and the Ministry of Education to stop its reactive approach to building management. Bermuda’s children deserve healthy and vibrant learning environments.

“The BUT calls on the Government and Ministry of Education to implement comprehensive health and safety protocols that include: regular inspection of school buildings; a hotline or help desk contact specifically for reporting health and safety concerns; and schedules for air quality testing in all school buildings.”

The full response follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (10)

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  1. Paul Reviere says:

    I think most people know that this increase in mold, has to do with an increase of central A/C units being installed throughout the schools.

    What happened to opening up a window for a nice cool breeze of FRESH air.

    Just saying, any one who was raised in an old Bermuda Stone House, knows of opening windows.

    While an A/C unit produces cool air for the summer and heat for the winter, what it does NOT produce is FRESH air

    • Elise says:

      Exactly my sentiment. How big a deal is it to open windows in the morning and close them at the end of the day. The biggest issue I have with tenants is about opening windows to prevent mold. They don’t seem to get it yet Bermudians have been doing this ever since we had stone houses and glass windows. Another tradition dead out of laziness? Teachers, lets use some common sense and have your students open and close windows. Rain? Close it, then open it when it stops. Simple.

  2. Jus' Askin' says:

    OBA DON’T CARE!!!!!

  3. Justin says:

    Maybe with the decrease in student headcount we can make some cuts in staffing and use the savings to fix the infrastructure? Or maybe we can shut down a few schools and save some money that way?

    • Just the Tip says:

      I’m sorry but where were you a couple of months ago? When they were talking about closing schools and people were mad as hell (in some cases rightly so).

  4. OMG says:

    Last time i checked the only schools that have HVAC system throughout are the highschools and maybe the old Roger Cheffy building. All these other school have mostly split systems like whats in homes. Leave your home closed up and see what happens. Alot of this stuff can be prevented its not some plague it develops from certain conditions.

  5. mmm says:

    We have all heard the expression, ” public enemy no 1 ” perhaps there is a parallel in the world of community health i.e. 1. Diabetes 2. Alcohol 3. Violence 4. Traffic Conditions 5. Mold What creates mold, and how to reduce its effect, is something that now needs to be put in the public arena more often, we also need to be looking at global warming.

  6. ROGER says:

    THE FORMER POLICEMAN WON A REPORTED $5mILLION & GOVERNMENT IS STILL LAGGING ON SHOWING TO BE FIXING THE MOLD THINGS. SHAME:(.