BUT General Secretary Reaches Out To Premier

June 27, 2017

Bermuda Union of Teachers General Secretary, Michael Charles today [June 27] sent an open letter to Premier Michael Dunkley on the conclusion of the America’s Cup and voiced concerns relating to the island’s schools.

Mr. Charles said, “Can we expect the schools that our children deserve? In 2012 you claimed that our schools were in crisis; you promised solutions. It is now 2017 – what have you accomplished?”

The entire letter follows below.

Congratulations Mr. Premier!

You made it happen . . .
When others doubted – you stood firm;
When extra space was needed – you created land space out of the ocean!
You entertained and catered to the rich and famous;
You delivered our island home into their hands;
You neglected our children;
You neglected their future;
You neglected our Public Schools;
The “event” is over – What Now?
Can we expect the same excitement about our schools?
Can we expect equal care and attention?

Do our schools reap any benefits?

  • Any supplies?
  • Any Equipment?

Can we expect safe schools, healthy schools?

  • Schools without mold;
  • Schools without bird mites;
  • Schools without plumbing problems?

Can we expect the schools that our children deserve?
In 2012 you claimed that our schools were in crisis; you promised solutions.
It is now 2017 – what have you accomplished?

Is the crisis over?

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Comments (146)

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  1. Vortex says:

    Shameless electioneering!

    Do your job sir, represent your members, and leave the sniping to the PLP.

    Have you seen Bermuda lately?? Don’t tell me it isn’t a better place. It patently is.

    • mixitup says:

      A better place?! You people kill me with this nonsense and it needs to stop… Better for who? Not for very many Bermudians it isn’t.. Not that we expcted some magic touch of the wand, but don’t ask have we seen Bermuda lately, Have you?!

      • Vortex says:

        @mixitup

        Better for the tens of millions into the economy, infrastructure, packed hotels, restaurants, the port, stores, a busy airport, the buzz of the last month. What, you don’t know anyone who works in any of these??

        If you don’t see this it’s because you don’t want to see it.

        • Tens of Millions, can you be more specific.
          We spent over $100 Million to host it.

          • Zevon says:

            There you go again.

          • Hmmmm says:

            It has been worth 100 million of global advertising for the island. Then you get the money that has been spent by visitors on the island, the supplying of goods and services to all those yachts and super yachts. The spending on the island, the wrath of experience learned ….the benefits that our schoolchildren have had …..this list is massive, the monetary benefit for Bermuda is massive and will continue …we are back on the map and in people’s minds. The pride of a nation, that we did it, an event of this scale is unsurpassed.

            • Can we see numbers on paper?

              • puzzled says:

                Not the buildings nor teachers.
                Juice you failed from birth.
                Bless your parents.

              • Toodle-oo says:

                You of all people want to see numbers on paper when all you’ve done is misrepresent the figures it cost to put it on by making up massively inflated and exaggerated figures .

                As they say , ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ .

            • HOW MUCH for a gallon of milk?!? says:

              Advertising to the sailing elite is not that impressive. Much less actual reach than you want to tell yourself.

          • Not exactly says:

            Government spent $67M (tens of millions) and returned is easily $240M (hundreds of millions).

            I know that you like to keep including the $39M that WedCo spent on Cross Island in there, but they already had Cabinet approval to build in 2008. The Cup assisted to progress this project. Government also provided a guarantee which is only an expense if WedCo defaults.

          • rick says:

            WRONG!

          • PLP Insider says:

            Burt Math! We did not spend over $100 million!!!

          • .am says:

            We really didn’t.

          • Rasta says:

            Get teaching so our chidren learn.

        • So Tired says:

          @Vortex, Delusional with your buzz words

        • Paul C says:

          They see it, but they would rather it go directly into their own pockets. Problem is that everyone wants the best for themselves! No one wants to work for it, they want it given to them. They bemoan anyone who is doing better than themselves. A lot of people feel it’s easier to blame someone else for their downfall than actually take responsibility for themselves. “I’m poor because Government is taxing me too much”(you don’t earn a lot because your skill sets are limited , hence your low wage package).

          We’re never gonna be able to truly please everyone. Just a fact of life. Finding the delicate balance is the ultimate quest.

        • Silvery says:

          and what of the promise of our schools. If we have neglected youth, we have no future.

          • Nikon says:

            That is exactly that they want – you get it now- finally. No future for one Bermuda and an abundantly bright one for the other…

            • Joe Bloggs says:

              Yes, exactly. The rich can go to their homes in London and New York and where ever and the rest of us will have to stay here and clean up the mess.

      • Bobby Jones says:

        mixup you have no idea what you are talking about, so ignorant. Because of Americas Cup I was able to rent my house, because I rented it I was able to renovate it. To renovate I hired a company of black Bermudians who happened to be PLP supporters (if only I knew before hand, well??). Because of all of this I was able to hire a black Bermudian housekeeper, black Bermudian landscaper. Also the taxi driver that was hired to transport the renters for 6 weeks was a black Bermudian.

        Well there you have it, if it wasn’t for Americas Cup none of these people would have been employed. And I as a black Bermudian had money to spare.

        As for the schools, they have been a mess long before the OBA got in power. Guess you can thank the PLP for that. If they didn’t waste all of our hard earned money, the schools would be better.

        • Mc says:

          Nicely said…

        • VJ says:

          You are so full of it. This is so phoney and scripted.

          • Bobby Jones says:

            VJ, sorry but it true. When I get home I can and will be more than happy to show you.

            You are just one of those ingnorant PLP follower that just doesn’t know how to make it for yourself.

        • #1 most construction companies have Portuguese and Jamaican workers
          #2 most house keepers are Philippine
          #3 most landscapers are Portuguese
          So ya gonna tell me that you had 100% of Bermudian workers in a dominated industry?

          • Good narrative, but full of $#!£.

          • islandgal says:

            Spot on Onion Juice.

          • Bobby Jones says:

            I can tell you and I can and will show you, not one of my construction workers were Portuguese or anything but black Bermudians. The housekeeper is a black Bermudian and the landscapers were black. I do not beleive in hiring overseas workers.

        • Nikon says:

          Name names then…who were your “Black Bermudians” hired? What is your name so that we can reference?

          I suppose they did a “crap job” and were “lazy” to complete the common narrative shared by the bigots…calling you “CNN” on this one – scripted, no real sources, and fake.

          And as far as the schools were concerned If you are a “black Bermudian”- as you claim – you clearly went to a private school! Our public schools were in a crap state long before the PLP admin. – the larger point of the schools is that it clearly shows that no matter what gov’t Education – public that is – takes a back seat.

          • Bobby Jones says:

            Nikon it seems like you are the bigot. It appears that you do not beleive in Bermudian workers.

            I was very pleased with the work done and if I was going to do any more work I would be be hiring them again.

            I will be back on the island on Aug 3rd and would be happy to meet you in person.

        • Hahaha says:

          I appreciate your comment and also have felt the positive effects of the America’s cup – I have seen many of my friends get jobs at the village or doing security whom otherwise would have been unemployed as students.

          “you can lead a horse to water…”

          or more appropriately it seems these naysayers “Know what they believe” Whereas we prefer to “believe what we know”

          I see deep roots of jealousy and hatred and this saddens me because it is not the way forward and it is completely unnecessary. We don’t all have to agree – but be kind!

      • cpm says:

        What constituency is Charles running in for the plp ?

    • Earth watch police says:

      Mr Charles why don’t you reach out to your mates in works and engineering since we already pay to have all that work done that you mention .

    • FYI says:

      A BETTER PLACE for who??? To be correct, Mr. Charles is doing his job and very well advocating for Bermuda’s children.
      Electioneering!!! Really, I do believe his letter would have been published at the end of AC, but just so happened that the Premier called for an election.
      Rightfully so, Premier Dunkley must answer the questions of what has he done between 2012 and 2017 for education.

      The strength of a country is in it’s people, an Educated people that can compete and contribute. Deny Bermuda’s children a first class education in a well equipped, safe environment and let’s see how bright Bermuda’s future will be. Furthermore, private schools would not subject its staff and students to unsafe conditions.

      • Hmmmm says:

        Then teachers need to be accountable for their performance. If it is all about the kids education as we want and as he espouses, then why isn’t he demanding teacher accountability?

        Charles is just electioneering.

        • Nikon says:

          More important than the teachers role is that of the parents’.

          • FYI says:

            Most importantly is the parent….educators can not do it alone. Children who come from nuturing homes where education is valued do well. We need the village to work together to raise and teach our children.

    • Come On Pay Attention says:

      I guess the OBA supporters want to make this political. I don’t think you heard the evening news when Mr. Charles stated, “no matter who the government is in September, if there are no improvements over the summer, the teachers will continue to work to rule.” How in the world does that sound like it’s something political that benefits the PLP. Wake up and pay attention people!

      • Just the facts says:

        Yea, I laughed when I heard that on the news. Me thinks if the PLP get back in, somehow this won’t be such a huge issue any more. Keep watching.

    • No way Jose says:

      Is he for real? The BUT has always been affiliated with the PLP , so with an election only weeks away, why not address it to the Opposition leader too?

      The sad reality that he won’t mention is that we spend far more in the public schools per child then we do in any of the private school, but the results are not close to equal. So my question to him is, when can we expect a higher standard of teachers in the public school system! Unfortunately, in order to be a teacher for life is to be qualified. In any other profession we know that just because you are qualified at something , that does not translate to being good at something.

      Is every doctor, mechanic, electrician, plumber, artist that is qualified, equally as talented? But we continue to not demand the best teachers for our students, but rather we have settled for qualified Bermudians being enough. Don’t get me wrong , the two best teachers I had were bother Bermudian and they had a passion for what they did. However, my experience in the public school system with my children was far different. A few were dedicated teachers, but the “ruling majority” were not, so I pulled by children out of public school and put them in home school.

      Furthermore, if you think that any Premiere would be foolish enough to guarantee you that any facility will never have plumbing problems, mold or bird mites? May I remind you that Cedarbridge had a severe mold problem only years after being built, and in case you forgot it happened during the PLP years.

      Stop trying to repay favors and stay out of politics.

      • Nikon says:

        When can we expect more involvement from the parents!

  2. Y-Gurl says:

    Sounds political to me, are you sure this is all about our children?

    • joe says:

      It’s not about our children. It’s about *his* schools. Read it again – all about the schools, not the children.

      • Cedar Berry says:

        So are you saying that the building structures don’t affect the children? Look how their lives have been disrupted. Schools don’t need to exist if we didn’t have children attending them.

        • Hmmmm says:

          Then why isn’t he having a go at W&E and the D of E….he is pointing the fingers at the wrong people.
          Of course he is electioneering.

    • FYI says:

      Let’s be honest, No it’s not about your children, but indeed my children – my public school children. You have NO idea!

    • blazer says:

      sounds like he (Charles) should have stood up for you while you were in school, GURL ??girl

  3. Zevon says:

    Mike Charles. Mor on.

    I can’t wait for the PLP to come around and ask for my vote.

    Last time they couldn’t be bothered.

  4. Yahoo says:

    This guy is a joke.

    • FYI says:

      You’re uninformed. I suggest you volunteer your time and resources in public schools, and let’s see how well equipped and safe they are.

      • Yahoo says:

        More than enough money is given to public schools. Just because they are incapable of using it effectively, doesn’t mean government should just hand them more. Zero accountability with public school administration. Fat cats, all of them.

        • bdaman441 says:

          The absolute most uninformed statement here:
          at the beginning of each school year teachers in public schools ask each child to bring in basic things like clorox wipes, rolls of paper towels and a ream of paper. Throughout the year these things are used. Teachers photocopy sparingly. Primary children are often saddled carrying multiple text books home for homework because there is no paper to make copies of pages.

          This is ignorance at its best.

          I wholeheartedly support America’s Cup and initiatives that benefit Bermuda…
          lest we forget the schools should be in that list.

          Fat Cats. Disgusting remarks

    • Blue Jay says:

      I agree

    • Blue Jay says:

      Politricks at its best

    • Silvery says:

      and you can laugh, why, because your children are not effected by moldy schools?

  5. Skytrain says:

    So bitter and short sighted. As a new US President says…..Sad!

  6. Forgive me sir says:

    What was the state of the schools and the system during the OLP administration.

    Were those the good old days without “mold”

    This is politricks at it’s worse.

    Sir if you offered a helping hand to determine a solution then your words would have credibility.

    Your presentation is simple politicos and shame on you for doing it in your important position

    God bless Bermuda.

    • FYI says:

      To be honest, we were well equipped under the former government.

      • No way Jose says:

        How??? The PLP had a huge problem with mold at Cedarbridge?

      • Yahoo says:

        You’re not being honest. In fact, quite the opposite.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        And to be honest , what about the ‘adopt a school programme’ under that ‘former government’ ?
        You remember ? Where the public was goaded to be ‘good citizens’ and use their money and time to help prevent public schools from falling apart after the gov’t realized that they were out of money ?

      • college student says:

        I was a PTA rep at one of the government primary schools in 2011, before the OBA came into play. At that time, the school was not well equipped, as parents had to donate my time and money purchasing supplies so our children can have. The bathrooms were so disgusting that my child didn’t wish to sit on the toilet, further disgusted by the plumbing issues. At a young age, he knew the situation was not healthy and therefore opted to wait to come home to use the bathroom (although not ideal for his health). Take your blinders off!

    • Come On Pay Attention says:

      Forgive me sir, that is still no excuse for the public schools to not be taken care of…you can’t keep playing that “you did it too” game…it is beginning to sound very childish.

    • Silvery says:

      You have missed it! It’s not when the problem began, it’s that the OBA promised to fix it………………and they haven’t.

      It should be and needs to be fixed no matter who the government is, OBA or PLP. IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED. All schools need to be fixed. If a government can find money for an event like AC that will NOT produce a profit, it can very well find money to fix schools which will produce a well educated healthy future for this island.

  7. Warlord says:

    Do your job properly Mr Charles and stop blaming the government.He should be the first one fired and then a massive clear out of the DOE.

    • FYI says:

      Government has to take some responsibilty for 2012 to 2017…only fair

      • Zevon says:

        The years when investment was restarted and Bermudian unemployment shrunk. And the schools which rotted for 14 PLP years were finally started to be attended to.

        • Rasta says:

          Gotta say something so he feels justified in collecting his big cheque. Go teach the children and stop these silly meetings.

      • Yahoo says:

        How much more money do you want government to hand to the public schools? Private schools get by on much less.

        • FYI says:

          Do they, are you sure? Provide the data please to support your comment. I genuinely would like to see the data.

      • Game Changer2017 says:

        What about the 14 years of unaccountability. Anyway public education is a conveyer belt to create M.O.D.E.L.Citizenry Mediocre,Obedient, Dependent,Entertained, Lifeless Citizens. We need to dismantle this Prussian Education System that stifles a child’s creativity, imagination and dreams..turning people into wage slaves where they suck the life out of you..

        • islandgal says:

          What about the OBA past 5 years of controversy & Hell. Guess they don’t count. I don’t want to hear anyone say, “You need to let the past go.” while it’s continuously brought up.

        • FYI says:

          Good point

    • Mc says:

      Agreed.

  8. Lois Frederick says:

    I thought the plp wanted to take the politics out of education. Oh well, this is pure poltics. Plain to see.

  9. Skytrain says:

    Oh by the way I have a friend who is a taxi driver who is so happy that he worked hard and earned 10 times what he did this time last year in May and June. Now he can afford a new computer and some extra time off with his kids. Look at the Amwricas Cup for what it accomplished not as some way to separate people.

  10. DS says:

    The poor state of our schools is directly related to the incompetence of Works and Engineering. Reform or spin off W&E and we will schools and government buildings maintained to acceptable standards. The sad thing is the current government must confront union resistance to reform W&E and it is in the opposition’s interests to maintain the status quo. We can do better.

    Because most politicians are not invested in public education (most send or have sent their kids to private school) so they do nothing. The current government has focused their efforts where they can have success. The Americas Cup was a great thing for business and tourism, but our political situation and the state of our schools leave much to be desired.

  11. Ms. G says:

    Seems as if BERMUDA is already SEPARATED!
    Wow

  12. Long bay trading says:

    Politics politics and more politics. You and the department of education need to do your job and leave politicking to the PLP. You are doing their dirty work shame on you for abuse of position.

    • Come On Pay Attention says:

      I guess the OBA supporters want to make this political. I don’t think you heard the evening news when Mr. Charles stated, “no matter who the government is in September, if there are no improvements over the summer, the teachers will continue to work to rule.” How in the world does that sound like it’s something political that benefits the PLP. Wake up and pay attention people!

      • aceboy says:

        The whole reaching out to Dunkley is political and you know it.

        These silly games the YunYuns play, acting all innocent and as if they have no political motivation. Stupid games that need to stop.

  13. Truthhertz says:

    The same level of per student funding has been maintained over time which is more than private schools I might add.

    $125mn is the annual budget, where does all the money go?

    But in all fairness this isn’t unique to Bermuda’s public school system. As the Opposition leader stated in 2011, some services are more efficiently provided by the private sector.

    But in the meantime something does need to change as results from the system are still below desireable.

  14. parent says:

    Hold head of civil service accountable make people under him do their job. Have apprasial and it’s a shame no political party will do a thing about it no way should the schools be like that

  15. Cedar Berry says:

    While this may or may not be politically motivated, he does have (as we all do) the right to hold our leader accountable to promises made. AC35 was a resounding success. But you can’t use it all the time as a defense against things that are going wrong in every day life. How many schools have been evacuated this year? That’s children’s (and teachers’) health at risk. A good leader will have his or her hand in everything. OK, PLP caused a lot of stuff too. But we’re here, we’re now. If you can’t follow through then do you deserve the job? Stop getting defensive if your party is held accountable. These are grown men and women who shouldn’t be holding these jobs (from either party) if they don’t have thick skin for it. Better yet, actions and solutions. All parties should be held accountable to everything.

  16. Bill says:

    Your own BUT website lists the executive committee from 2013.

    Quick to throw insults, get your own house in order first mate.

  17. John says:

    Send the crap to Burt he gonna fix all you bull

  18. Onionjuice says:

    I have to do ( HOUSEKEEPING ), on my job.. not suppose to, but damn a little common sense. I arrive to my office.. sometimes little things need tidying/ or cleaning. Everyone has to take care of the work place. Union just over exaggerates . The union buildings are in the best of shape/ or look very clean to me.!! and I know one could find mould somewhere in the building

    STOP

    • No way Jose says:

      funny you should say that . I’m allergic to mold and I can not longer enter Liberty Theater and watch a movie because of the musty, mold smell which I guess is from carpet cleaning and poor air circulation.

  19. Coffee says:

    Mr.Charles got it right .

    Every teacher took a furlough day for over twenty months , saving the government more then enough money to accomplish everything highlighted .

    Those savings afforded Gibbons to play big spender with billionaires , remember he was the education minister in that time period . He speculated with Bermudas borrowed money to host a sailboat race , entertaining the rich and famous .

    I truly believe that Micheal Dunkley truly believes that he has all off Bermudas children’s best interest at heart . So why is a carton of milk more expensive today then it was last year ? As a matter of fact , after the period of reduced prices agreed upon by all grocers , the cost of milk skyrocketed while the average wage stagnated or took a hit . Some lost their jobs altogether and couldn’t afford to by milk at all ..

    This administration has demonstrated that it has no social conscious .

    • No way Jose says:

      Imagine what the PLP could have done with the 4million spent playing hoist to Beyoncé. Or imagine what they could have done with the money wasted on Grand Atlantic development disaster which sold one unit! Or imagine what we could have done with all the money “overspent” on projects that were managed by the PLP or awarded to PLP friends and family. What projects? Berkeley, Port Royal, Dockyard Cruise Ship Pier, TCD, Bermuda Emissions. Imagine what we could have done for our schools if we had the money they wasted on Playboy Mansion Party, Faith Based Tourism, Globalhue, Diaspora Tourism! Imagine and compare – like for like. Get back to me.

    • Starting Point says:

      The fact that you think the furlough days made enough money to deal with our financial crisis shows that you probably did not graduate from a public or private school on this island. If you think even 500 million (5 times your amount you think was spent on the AC) even makes a dent in our debt payment then there is not much we can do to help you.

      alos lol how you complain about the price of milk while you probably post from your iPhone with unlimited data.

    • Game Changer2017 says:

      What about the 14 years of unaccountability. Anyway public education is a conveyer belt to create M.O.D.E.L.Citizenry Mediocre,Obedient, Dependent,Entertained, Lifeless Citizens. We need to dismantle this Prussian Education System that stifles a child’s creativity, imagination and dreams..turning people into wage slaves where they suck the life out of you..

  20. John says:

    And dont worry the trombone token guy will be the minister of education cause they always rotate them every 6 months due to incompetence

  21. Kevin says:

    What a real shame seriously Mr Charles ….and that is why our children’s education is where it is we have people like this guy in Charge of it. If you are really trying to draw reference to AC and schools …that is as pathetic as it comes…Time to sweep clean lets get people in who want to help the children not play Politics …Please lets have some Bermudians who really care have input to our childrens eductaion

  22. Dark Star says:

    Is Michael Charles as stupid as he sounds. The island was dead broke in 2012—not a single thing could be done to save our schools or fix our social issues. The OBA bought back confidence, jobs (yes they bought back jobs-I know we have hired 6 Bermudians since 2012 to help with the increase in our workloads due to the uptick in confidence of the economy) and have turned the finances around

    In 1998 the UBP deserved to lose the election

    In 2012 the PLP deserved to lose the election

    2017—the OBA does not deserve to lose this election-they have not been perfect but they have done an incredible job with economic confidence, people are hiring-there is a ton of work for people who want it, and the vide is great. You need a solid economy to fix a social fabric as messed up as Bermuda’s—DARK STAR!!!

    • ralph says:

      OBA double the debt in 4 years n thats financial success for real WOW

      • sandgrownan says:

        That shows a staggering lack of basic understanding. You are clearly not bright enough to be allowed to vote.

      • PLP Insider says:

        They doubled the debt because when they came in they had to borrow just to pay the Government payroll! They also had to pay $44 million for the Grand Atlantic and millions more for other projects that the PLP government had not paid for! Get your facts straight!

    • Come On Pay Attention says:

      Dark Star, you sound stupid saying that nothing could be done to save our public schools…especially when the OBA have invested over $100 million for a sporting event for the rich…You sound like a real fool that has been hoodwinked like a lot of our people. If the OBA get back in, you all deserve what you get. They promised jobs and to fix the school/education system when they took office…instead they have had 4 education ministers since taking office and called the teachers at TN Tatem mischievous because they stood up for the health of the children and themselves. Yes, the debt was $1.2 billion when they took office…something that took 14 years to do. The OBA have doubled that ($2.4 billion) in 4 years. So please don’t throw stones when you live in a glass house.

      • sandgrownan says:

        You’re lying.

      • Will says:

        Um where did you get the figures of hundreds of millions. You must be living under a rock. It’s was 39 million and 15 of that was private investment by bermudians. Learn your facts before you look like an a$$.

      • DarkStar says:

        You and I have no clue what the numbers are -no clue at all what was spent on the AC by the gov’t. None of us know what was spent and none of us know what has come in regarding the increase in import duties, head tax, hotel tax, payroll tax, etc………So the ignorance ‘Come On Pay Attention’ is you listening to somebody spewing twisted lies and figures. No facts-we have heard multiple numbers from a variety of sources and I don’t believe any of them-one would warrant that the safe bet would be a number in the middle which would be no where near your seriously inflated 100 million—how did you even come up with this number???
        I saw the ‘agenda’ put forth by the BUT last week—-If there is no money and the country has horrible ratings and we still have to borrow just to pay salaries at crazy interest rates b/c the rating companies see no confidence in the financial plan of the country then where exactly do you think the money is going to come from to pay for the BUT agenda???? Like the PLP-you offer no solutions—seriously the PLP platform lacks any ideas and they offer no way to achieve anything they have put forth. Put your money where your mouth is and before you call me ignorant come to the table with solutions. The OBA put forth funds for an event that has benefitted Bermuda as a whole-not just the rich->don’t forget the middle class who have worked their behinds off and worked extra hours, etc.., or the increase in hours for union workers (ferry, trash, bus, etc….) which means an increase in union dues, etc……..lets not be blind as to what the event did-it bought work which has helped the wallets of the workers, and the coffers of the gov’t, unions, etc….if you wanted a job and you are capable of holding down a job then there has been plenty of work out there across a variety of sectors. So my glass house is wide open and like the politicians I am throwing stones

      • bee says:

        Come On Pay Attention you sound REALLY stupid saying that. The OBA invested in a sporting event to bring ATTENTION to Bda’s tourism product. what did ya mate’s Platinum Period bring? i’ll tell ya: A BIG FAT ZERO. Oh except that Erat’s mates Global Hue got a GINORMOUS pay day. …You are the real fool fool that has been hoodwinked by the one dimensinal PLP. You better pray the OBA get back in cuz they are the ONLY govt who can fix the billion debt that the PLP left Bda in.

  23. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    Our schools do deserve better, but there are deeper issues than what this political punch that is being thrown. First and foremost is that ALL our primary and middle schools are past their dates. None were built with the ability to properly maintain them without either being permanently left open (as they were designed without climate control in mind) or having permanent climate control running, because it was a newer add on. They are patch works of trying to meet the needs of the day, and not the needs of tomorrow.
    The OBA did one of the best things, and that was the SCORE report, but the trouble is, nobody is buying into what needs to be done. First and foremost is we need to decrease facilities, this has 2 benefits, it reduces the number of facilities required to maintain, so funds can be bettter spent doing so; and second, it frees up sites that can then become a part of a long term strategy to build newer facilities, that students can then be rotated to, freeing up the other facilities for rebuilds. But for this to happen, teacher, principles a DJ parents need to stop this ‘don’t touch my school’ mentality. This should in fact be more about the students and not the schools, and it needs to be understood, that this will take decades to truly tackle, because this has been decades in the happening.

  24. Catherine W says:

    Yeah, cos I think there were only about 1600 children given the opportunity to learn to sail. Education is building new skills. 1600 children.

  25. Blind Sheep says:

    As a parent that had a child in the public education system, all I can say is that you need to address the professionalism of your membership. I hear your crys for this and that. You and your membership have allowed the low standards to fall. You and your membership allows below average to be standard. You and your membership need to look yourselves in the mirror and accept part of the blame. Many countries with less than what we have are producing a better student base. Time for you to accept part of the blame and be better teachers.

  26. Just saying says:

    This guy is one of the biggest jokers on the island.

  27. cpm says:

    Mike Charles
    Do your job and stay out of politics and check some of your Teachers who are content to sit on their btm and take a regular salary
    As an administrator I knew who would be calling in sick on a Monday morning

  28. Come On Pay Attention says:

    Dark Star, you sound stupid saying that nothing could be done to save our public schools…especially when the OBA have invested over $100 million for a sporting event for the rich…You sound like a real fool that has been hoodwinked like a lot of our people. If the OBA get back in, you all deserve what you get. They promised jobs and to fix the school/education system when they took office…instead they have had 4 education ministers since taking office and called the teachers at TN Tatem mischievous because they stood up for the health of the children and themselves. Yes, the debt was $1.2 billion when they took office…something that took 14 years to do. The OBA have doubled that ($2.4 billion) in 4 years. So please don’t throw stones when you live in a glass house.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Stop lying. The budget was 77m, which we know will likely come in under budget. “Under budget” – two words unheard of within the PLP by the way.

      As with the previous poster, we all know why the debt continues to grow – much as we would like, we cannot simply fire a third of our bloated civil service.

      If you want to look at the state of public education – look at the DoE – we all know that’s where the fault lies – it costs way more to educate a child in the public system than the private system.

      The reality is that a vote for the PLP is vote for incompetence. We saw it before. What do you want? Incremental improvement or failure?

    • Hmm says:

      $100m? Never let the truth get in the way of a good story! BTW the rich dumped money into the island when they were here. Better marketing for BDA than Global Hue, Faith based tourism, Beyonce, and just about anything anyone has come up with in the last 50 years.

  29. aceboy says:

    1998 -2012. 14 years of the school system being COMPLETELY ignored. A whole generation of kids.

    The BUT think the OBA can fix this problem in less than 5…while also trying to rebuild a shattered economy. Shattered…broken…busted.

    The first order of business for the PLP will not be schools. It will be to cease the Lahey case. After that…who knows. Party time for a certain segment again, with no thought as to how it will affect the future. Schools will once again be ignored and any issue at the schools will be blamed on the OBA.

    Can we simply expect to see more Grand Atlantics? More massive overruns? More “we don’t care what you think”, more tearing this island apart with black vs white rhetoric designed to make enemies out of our two races, more hiring of civil servants, more consultants, more black centric tourism advertisers, more Black Mayors Conferences, more Faith Based Tourism???? etc etc etc?

    Yup, Bermuda will get the government it deserves this election, that is for sure.

  30. Triangle Drifter says:

    Politicking at a very low level. Pure & simple to see. Is he on the public payroll? If so, in a few weeks he should be out looking for a job in the real world.

  31. Starting Point says:

    First, the open letter was garbage, if Mr. Charles is a graduate of the Public school system then we know it has obviously been in crisis for decades.

    Lets look at the BUT then, Mr. Charles employer for the past how many years? Lets see what a great job this union is doing.

    BUT website

    Teacher talk: Seems to be an advertisement for a gospel show
    Conference info: Empty
    Professional development: Not an updated workshop since 2012
    Events calendar: Went back far as last September and not a single entry
    Last newsletter: 2012
    And their social mEdia page highlights seem to be the end of year party for teachers and a PLP promotion platform.

    Ironic that the open letter referenced 2012 as it seems the BUT has done nothing but election campaign since that date as well, perhaps when their political party of choice did not get elected they decided to stop working so as to ensure education suffered under this new OBA government? Coincidence? I think not.

    SMH.

  32. scoalsy says:

    Why didn’t you voice your concerns to the former Government the same way? or maybe you did and they just didn’t care like they did everything else that wasn’t a profit.
    So I guess this is just another PPP way of trying to bring down the OBA and all it’s great things they have done since they have been working for the PEOPLE and Country and NOT themselves.

  33. parent says:

    1.2 billion in 8 years vs 2.4 billion in 4years we had to decieve you mmmmmmm

  34. work permit - PRC - status says:

    You see what happens when you extend work permits? Now Premier got to listen to all this here stuff. SMH.
    Evidence of why 6 year term limits was and still is a good idea.

  35. love life says:

    Schools need repairing and all we could do is point fingers and argue. How sad :(
    Can we find a solution!

  36. 2025 plan says:

    @ come on pay attention!
    Im only asking as a lot of people say the OBA have increased the debt! If there was or is no money to pat the debt, how should the payments be made? Isn’t burrowing money the only way!

  37. Integrity says:

    Mr. Charles is not in the business of advocating for children. He is paid by teachers so his role is to protect and increase those membership dues at any cost to maintain his position. His viabilty relies on that. With that said has he ever addressed the need to weed out ineffective unprofessional teachers? No…they pay his salary. Having directly interacted with him, over teacher competence some years ago I found him most disengenous in this area. So let’s keep pouring money into the infrastructure but at the same time let’s get the quality and standards up for those we hire and maintain in public schools. That will mean Mr. Charles not protecting a core issue in education and that is ineffective teachers. Poor outcomes and ineffective instruction lies directly with your membership.

  38. bdaman441 says:

    You all sound like the blindly following Trump supporters who would follow him down any hole and defend every misstep along the way.

    Love to holler PLP at any and everything wrong in Bermuda no matter how much the OBA is at the helm.

    I HATE Politics, I LOVE Bermuda. I support the Americas Cup. I think (it has yet to be proven) that Bermuda will be better off for it. I KNOW many Bermudians benefited in a many ways.

    However, it remains that a lot of what Mr Charles is pointing out is true.

    Millions of dollars were quickly uncovered to dress up the building at Malabar so that VIPs (read the One Bermuda Alliance and friends) could convene there while at public schools, Harrington Sound Primary School in particular was infested with bird mites and rather than tent the school and take radical action against any infestation, the CHEAP option was taken and days after the first remediation children were still being bitten.

    Teachers and children were expected to function in this environment while no expense was spared at Malabar.

    A slap in the face, and a truth that Mike Charles is pointing out.

    The truth isn’t always pretty, but it’s always the truth.

    • Skeptical says:

      Ha ha what a joke. You should have been at hsps,when the men from Pest Control gave the talk on the methods used. I went to get more information. Tenting was not the technique for bird mites. Mr Charles should have been there when I arrived to collect my child to deal with the ‘teachers’ who were sitting as far away from the school as possible refusing to go in but lo and behold where did they leave their students, my child included? In the school!!! They left over 250 children in the mite infested school building and saved themselves!!! That’s what the union should have dealt with. I saw one or two teachers in the building with the children and th others had walked away. Refused To enter a building but left my child in there.

  39. Brier says:

    Stop your stupidity people… this countries economy is in a much better position financially because of the money that has been spent in this country by hosting such an event as the Americas Cup… it will benefit us all even our schools…

    Please remember that the previous government did not spend any money on our schools either more like put this country in debt… wasted money spent on many projects that went wrong poor judgement and planning.

    • Rado says:

      First, the book is still out on AC35 and its longer term contribution. In the short term it’s looking more and more like we paid for a rich man’s party and the spend was rather disproportionate to the return. Depreciate the spend over ten years, and a better case could be made though I personally doubt it. One thing I know for sure, outside of food and booze, a lot of firms got a bump that was no where close to what was anticipated. Seems all this folks mainly stayed put on their yachts, nor that interested in our little island.

      By the way, I do recall the previous government building a rather impressive new Berkeley Institute, say what you will about the cost.

      • DarkStar says:

        Wrong—–how about taxis, cycle liveries, clothing retail, increase in public transport spending, increase in spending on items to upgrade homes such as paint, etc…small contractors such as painters, electricians, carpenters have been FLAT out with no signs of letting up, the marine stores have been slammed, huge increase in fuel sales, the list goes on….

        I bet by the time you take money spent and money made (and we won’t even throw in a number for exposure) the number the gov’t actually ended up spending on the AC (once the monies made has been deducted) is lower than any number we have seen-may even be a positive number which will really screw up the naysayers

        • Rado says:

          I never said there was no bump, what I said is that it came in quite a bit lower than might have been expected for a lot of businesses. Start asking taxi drivers… I still maintain we paid for Larry’s party for which we can thank Bloomberg who in fact pushed the deal in the first place.

          • Sherbet man says:

            Ya funny! My boys a taxi driver n his been caking it! Dunno what you’re talking about!

            • Rado says:

              My boy? How very 1950s pastoral of you to say the least politely.

              • Stateside Bermudian says:

                Perhaps he means his son? Who would in fact yes, be his boy.

                • Rado says:

                  Indeed, about as likely as some nefarious character getting on a nice lady’s computer and posting a horrible diatribe on her FB page.

      • nerema says:

        It wasn’t a ‘spend’ it was an investment. Your inability to see the difference is a fundamental problem.

        Second, there is every indication the investment ($39m as of a couple of weeks ago) paid great returns. Teams, support teams, and families have been living here for 2+ years, paying rent and spending. For the last 2 months the island has been full, with hotels, restaurants, and everyone else busier than they have ever been.

        If you’re too stupid to understand, that’s really your problem.

        By the way, the ‘impressive’ Berkeley Institute was quoted at $60m, cost $120m, and then the Union Bond for $7m was never collected, despite taxpayers having paid a $700,000 premium. The fact that you trumpet that as a success is pretty typical. Cost overruns all over the place, and you think the best answer is just to borrow more.

        • Rado says:

          I conceded the expense of the school, but you cannot dispute that it’s a great facility of great community benefit to future generations. Or perhaps you’ve never been up there…

  40. Rado says:

    At least Mr. Charles has the good sense to point out the obvious – that our schools are failing – and ask the leader of the country what he plans to do about it. Considering all those ads featuring kids and calling it ‘This is so and so child’s AC,’ the gentleman is 100% correct putting it the way he did. Indeed, This is Melany’s Education, not to mention Vernon’s and Tom’s and Laverne’s and Kim’s… And throw in some cute pictures to go with each name, but whatever you do Premier keep pretending it’s all wonderful.

    • PBanks says:

      I think you’re onto something here. “Bermuda’s education is Joseph’s education” or something like that. We should make it a priority, push that out as a campaign to the powers that be. Put genuine pressure on those in a decision-making capacity with that kind of in-your-face marketing.

  41. JohnT says:

    The problem with “fixing public education” is that there are so many different (and indpenpendent for the most part) inputs that need to work together, putting it very simply:

    The Government must:
    -Establish and oversee the public education strategy
    - Invest (in buildings/supplies/teacher etc)
    - Set an appropriate curriculum (to interest the kids/teachers whilst being competitive on a global stage)
    - Monitor results (or set framework to do so)
    - Hold responsible parties to account for those results (whilst ultimately being held to account themselves)
    - develop an economy that has opportunities for students post education.

    Schools/Teachers must:
    - Employ suitably skilled teachers
    - work with Gov to set curriculum & identify needs of school
    -be enthusiastic / inspire children
    - equip children to function in the modern world
    - engage with parents to provide feedback on children’s performance
    - be held accountable for performance and hols Gov/parents and students accountable

    Parents must:
    - ensure children show up on time equipped adequately
    - encourage children to engage at school and complete homework
    - accept and act on schools/teachers feedback
    - provide their own feedback on the schools performance and areas for improvement.
    - hold schools/gov accountable

    Then to top all of this off the Child must then want to learn.

    These are a lot of cogs (and I’m sure there are many more) that must work in unison to establish a good system. If one element stops working it makes work that much harder for the others. If enough breakdown then the system stops all together and everyone starts playing the blame game.

    • stunned... says:

      JohnT: you’re making too much sense. stop.

  42. BullyBreed says:

    The letter shows the lack of respect we have,if that is what you call a letter it’s a joke. Mr Charles you can do better than that.Works and Engineering where are you? don’t make yourselves look stupid overpaid nobody’s can’t fix s.., or problem solving skill are poor. The premier is one man that’s what our civil servants job to do stop blaming the government of the day for the failures stand up and admit there is a breakdown in understanding and communication.