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May 9, 2018

Procedures Not Followed, but Minister Washes Hands of Salary Deduction

Patrick Faber

The tangle between the B.N.T.U. and the respective schools management over salary deductions stemming from a planned but unsanctioned anti-violence rally back in March is free of the Ministry of Education.  So says Minister Patrick Faber, who emphasized that the decision of management to deduct a day’s wage from teachers who attended the demonstration had nothing to do with government.  While he has chosen to stay out of that tiff, Faber told the media this morning that procedures to apply for a non-school day were not followed.

 

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“I challenge the media houses or anybody else, the union, I don’t know that they have particularly blamed the ministry, to produce one document that says it is the Ministry of Education that has insisted or authorized the docking of salaries for that day, and I bet you it can’t be found.  So I want to caution those persons who are saying that and particularly that media house who has put my name on the front page of a newspaper making that claim.  The ministry was consulted before the actual day by the managements and the ministry made known its position that in fact there is a proper way to ask for a non-school day.  It is a fact that nobody requested that non-school day in the manner in which it ought to have been requested, and so the ministry’s position has got to be in support of any management that proceeded with that position because that is what the regulation says ought to happen.  We would be acting contrary to any such regulation if we said to that management, “Oh, you can’t do that” when in fact they consulted, they asked what is the position, how it should be done.  And, in fact, both the union and management never made any such request to the ministry for a non-school day to be declared.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now, in speaking with the B.N.T.U. President, she was fair enough to say that the blame doesn’t lie with you or the ministry.  In fact, she is placing that blame on the respective managements and as such the consequences, as I understand it, is that they will now withhold on contributions to the management and these are persons who administer the monthly operations of the respective schools.  Your position on that?”

 

Patrick Faber

“Well, I will stay out of that argument, but I will say that if she has done that then she is being a bit more fair than I had given her credit before knowing that information.  But that’s what I am saying, the union cannot say that it is the ministry who has instructed the deductions and anybody who is saying that it is the minister or it is the ministry that is insisting on these deductions, they are absolutely wrong and while it is that the ministry may have to support that position because it is the right thing to do given that the proper procedure for getting a non-school day for such an event was not followed, we would be responsible if we said to them, “No, disregard the rule.  Disregard what the regulation says.”

 

Following a meeting on Saturday, teachers have agreed that they will not be making any contributions to their managements going forward.

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