Ministry Urge BUT Members To Return To School

December 10, 2018 | 5 Comments

“The Ministry and Department of Education urge the Bermuda Union of Teachers [BUT] to ask members to return to their respective schools tomorrow,” Commissioner of Education Kalmar Richards said this afternoon [Dec 10].

Her comments follow after all public schools were closed today, due to what the Ministry of Education called”island-wide industrial action.”

Mrs Richards said: “Quality teaching, learning and improved results for the Bermuda Public School system are major priorities for the Government, Ministry and Department of Education.

“We know that these are also priority areas for schools, parents guardians and the community at large. Given these priorities, the Ministry and Department of Education remain committed to working with school staff, principals and the BUT to achieve these priorities.

“Last week the Ministry reached out to the Labour Relations Office to seek assistance for resolution. The BUT has indicated that they will meet with the Ministry through the Labour Relations Office.

“In good faith and to engage the BUT in a process for achieving these priorities, the Minister of Education commenced meetings shortly after taking office with a recommended minimum of quarterly meetings taking place with the BUT executive members.

“About the current concerns, the Minister first met with BUT reps on September 24, 2018, and subsequent meetings took place on October 11, 2018; November 14, 2018; November 22, 2018, and as recent as December 3, 2018. These meetings have focused on addressing BUT concerns and providing updates on solutions and actions taken.

“The main concern raised by the BUT over the past few months was in relation to Standards-Based Grading. The BUT recommended to the Minister of Education that we should hold a one day professional development session for Standards-Based grading on January 2, 2019 and the Minister agreed.

“Further, the Minister attended a BUT general membership meeting on Nov. 27, 2018 to share that the Department of Education would follow through with the January training and additionally, some details of the plan were provided.

“The BUT raised additional concerns with the Minister and, upon his request, the BUT were asked to submit the concerns in writing. The list of concerns was received on Friday, November 29, 2018 and the Minister promptly arranged for a meeting with BUT reps on Monday, December 3, 2018 to discuss the way forward.

“Despite the ongoing meetings, updates, actions taken and support of recommendations from the BUT, today, the majority of our school staff chose to engage in industrial action.

“The Ministry and Department of Education representatives, met with BUT executives as recently as December 3, 2018 and there was no indication on the part of the BUT that they were dissatisfied with the process that was being followed to address their concerns. In fact, one of the BUT leaders stated that the ongoing communication was beneficial.

“Sadly, today’s industrial action has meant that teaching and learning has been halted for all students in public schools on the island.

“The Ministry and Department of Education urge the BUT to ask members to return to their respective schools tomorrow. Further, we are ready to re-engage with the BUT, through the Labour Relations Office. We see this as the best way forward for the sake of our children.”

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Comments (5)

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  1. Rse says:

    We have a Ministry of Education requesting ABC
    Then we have a Department requesting 1-2-3
    Why can ‘t we have one voice making requests
    Also how many people are employed in these 2 organizations that cannot get together and solve these problems

    • wahoo says:

      We have a Bermuda triangle that sucks money. The BUT, the ministry and parents sending kids to a day care facility which costs taxpayers $30K+ per year.

  2. Honestly says:

    The Ministry of Education has a ton of work to do. Stop hiring friends and hire qualified people to support teachers.

  3. rodney smith says:

    No, The true cost is just over $21,000 per child in public school . Much too high , but what else do you want to pay for the best education in Bermuda . There is no quick solution to many of these concerns and teachers don’t want to teach under these conditions . My children enjoyed the day reading and doing math . Tomorrow , I’ll take them fishing if there is no school .Why are fish so smart ? Because they are in school all day .

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