PTA Support WPS Teachers On Work To Rule

November 21, 2018

As of today [Nov 21] teachers at West Pembroke School are on ‘work to rule’, with the school’s PTA saying the “teachers are taking a stand in order to create an environment that ensures quality education for our children” and “parents are in support of the teachers’ action.”

A PTA spokesperson said, “Last evening, at our monthly PTA meeting, parents were informed that as of today, November 21st, 2018, West Pembroke School [WPS] teachers would engage in an industrial action that has taken the form of Work to Rule.

“This means staff will be assuming their regular duties between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 3:25 p.m. only. There will be no supervision before 8:30 a.m. or after 3:25 p.m. Parents have come forward to provide supervision before and after school to ensure the safety of our children and to show our solidarity and support of our teachers’ actions.

“At last night’s meeting, the administration shared their concerns and reasoning for taking this action. The bottom line is that teachers are taking a stand in order to create an environment that ensures quality education for our children. WPS parents are in support of the teachers’ action and have signed a petition [PDF] to be delivered to The Ministry of Education this afternoon.

“Education is the cornerstone of our community and as parents we want, no demand, that our children have every opportunity to succeed and this can only be accomplished if school teachers and administration have the needed tools and support required.

“Priority concerns expressed by teachers:

  • 1. The reinstatement of a lower learning support teacher to support the academic needs in the first three year levels. Research has proven that early intervention is the key to academic success.
  • 2. The need for an additional para-educator in the Autism Spectrum Disorder classroom due to the increase student population.
  • 3. Ministry to address and support the learner profile of students with behavioral concerns i.e.: smaller classroom, therapeutic environments and alternative placements. [Note: West Pembroke School has followed the Ministry of Education’s protocol with the implementation of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support model when addressing academic and behavioral concerns.]
  • 4. Ministry to delay the implementation of Standards-Based Grading by providing comprehensive professional development to the entire school system.
  • 5. Ministry to improve the technological infrastructure of all schools so that important functions such as inputting grades, attendance, incorporating technology into lessons can be facilitated. The internet bandwidth is insufficient [10 megs for the entire school] and causes major delays.

“A statement from the teachers reads: It is our wish as a dedicated staff to uphold the Ministry of Education’s 2022 Plan and Mission statement that states, ‘To provide all students with equitable access to holistic, varied, and high quality instruction that is culturally relevant and empowers students to reach their full potential.’ This statement is the foundation for ensuring that every student is the number one priority of our Bermuda Public School System. Our priority at West Pembroke School is teaching and learning.

“We know that these issues are not only at WPS. We know that at schools across the island teachers are feeling overwhelmed with the lack of support provided by the Ministry of Education. We, the teachers, administration and parents of the West Pembroke School family, have simply hit the point where enough is enough.

“There comes a point when enough emails have been sent and enough calls have been made. There comes a point where teachers are fed up and where action is required. There comes a point when parents demand better for our children and for those who we entrust our children with. We have reached that point and we are sure that other teachers and parents across the island will too.

“We, the PTA encourage other parents to talk to your teachers and administration and ensure that your children are receiving the best opportunities to succeed. We encourage parents to support your teachers and send a clear message to the Ministry of Education that we demand better for our teachers and our children!”

Education Ministry Response

In response, a Ministry spokesperson said: “The Ministry of Education is aware that teachers at the West Pembroke Primary School have taken industrial action. This afternoon, technical officers in the Department of Education met with the Principal and a plan has been mapped out to address one of the concerns shared by the teachers. This plan will take effect next week Monday.

“The Ministry is seeking to understand and address concerns; and will aim to do so once the Bermuda Union of Teachers has sent official correspondence to share the same.

“Additionally, the Minister of Education, the Hon. Diallo Rabain, JP, MP visited the school this afternoon and engaged in conversations with staff to obtain firsthand what other concerns had been raised.”

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Comments (14)

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  1. 2022 says:

    ..wait for it…

  2. Resolution says:

    Resolution is needed.
    A happy staff will produce better results.
    With a declining public student population the Ministry needs to close some schools and use the savings for the special teachers they need.
    The bottom line is the economy is trudging along providing only silt but we need gold to pay them and all of our commitments. Also important is the fact that we are desperate for well educated and capable students who can only get to the levels needed by businesses with more parental support and effective instruction from our teachers.

  3. See says:

    Knew the teachers would be next! All they want is more money for less hours! Let them strike! Who cares!

    • Teacher says:

      You wouldn’t last a minute in a public school as a teacher. Also, you should have ended your ignorant tirade with a question mark, not an exclamation point.

    • Actuallly says:

      That’s an easy, narrow minded statement to make. It’s not about money as they are agreeing to work their normal hours. It’s about them having the proper resources to do their job. You have no idea what these teachers go through trying to teach and play parent to some of these children who have been failed by their own parents. The weekend work they do just drive around and visit school and you are garunteed to see someone preparing for the upcoming week because there simply isn’t enough time during the week days. And lastly they are being asked to change their grading system that has been horribly rolled out, with very little support. They are simply asking for the resources to do their job. Something every employee has a right to do, ( and yes I have employees)Glad the PTA is backing them. People expect them to turn out these brilliant stars, but they are human, they get tired,they have families as well and they shouldn’t have to go work stressed playing a card game with a fixed deck that has been dealt to them. The powers that be would do well to listen as anything less can only be classified an immature management.

      • wahoo says:

        I know of the difficulties caused by many of these kids. Do you think it is time to take them out of the system and put them into a stricter environment? Right now the taxpayers are wasting about $30K a year on these kids and it sounds like they are making it hard on everyone around them. A private education is about $20k per year would it be reasonable to suggest allowing a private school (military style) take over the discipline problems? That is about the only way I see politicians begin to tackle education.

        This could even go a long way towards curbing the gang and criminal activity in the future.

      • Friday says:

        Absolutely. If ppl only knew!!!

    • PBanks says:

      Well that’s the most irresponsible and illogical comment of the day.

      “Who cares!”?

      How about the students? Or the parents? Or anybody who wants our students equipped with the best tools to help them grow and excel?

    • FYI says:

      @SEE, clearly you are unable to see!!It is really not about money but since you want to speak about money, let me help you to see. When dedicated teachers spend their hard earned money to purchase resources and supplies to deliver a curriculum to ensure student success, that is problem. When teachers use their cellphone data to connect the tablets they purchased for students to have a differentiated approach, that’s a problem. When science teachers have to purchase supplies for 80 students to do experiments to meet the curriculum goals, that’s a problem. When teachers give up their holidays, weekends and evenings to fill academic gaps to teach a curriculum, that’s called commitment.
      It takes a village! So @See, get involved, donate your time and resources to make a difference. Clearly, you too are a part of the problem because you do not act on solutions but spread your venomous lies.
      @See, I encourage you to give a year up of your life to TEACH and SHAPE the lives of our young people, and at the end of that year, I’d be interested to hear your review. Until then…Be useful, Be positive and Donate your time!!

  4. Basic Needs for 21st Century says:

    Thank you to the teachers and parents for pulling together and placing the needs of our children first. The list of requirements are basic and it is disgraceful that such action had to be taken to have these needs addressed. Look at Saltus, they hand 4 year olds iPads and public schools are begging for internet speeds that will enable the teacher to input grades or open a webpage! We can do better!

  5. justasuggestion says:

    Im not agreeing or disagreeing. All Im saying is….
    Does anyone else want to strike.

    Plz plz plz. There was no strikes in past 4 years. Why not?
    Was the last Gov so bad?

    justasuggestion here.. stop playing hard done by and do your job. All of ya, Belco, one, teachers. You are not owed a dime, earn it.

    • Where have you been? says:

      You must have been away for the biggest sit out on the cabinet grounds when previous Government was in.
      But to actually break it down for you; Suppose you were a mechanic for a company and worked on a specific car. The company decides to bring in another car, and tell you you have to work on it, they don’t train you and you have to finance or seek training with no support to from them to work on this new model car. Yet everyone is telling you just get on with it and learn,
      .Tell me what responsible company does this…………not one that has good results that’s for sure. This is what’s happening to the teachers, new model no support and in some cases they are paying for their own way to learn about this system. If you follow the model of some of the most successful organizations, not just in revenue but with job satisfaction, they value their employees. It’s not a hard concept but I guess if you are not in the situation and have a 2mile view of the situation through the media you just wouldn’t understand

  6. Question says:

    That’s what you voted for. Plenty of money to send $1.2m off to insiders for nothing. Nothing for kids except empty promises way off in the future.

    • PBanks says:

      This transcends whichever political party you support (or despise). Neither government had better dare claim to have good stewardship of public education.