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Oct 28, 2016

Were Teachers Who Went to School During Strike “Rendering Service”, Asks B.N.T.U.?

Luke Palacio

In speaking with Minister of Education Patrick Faber over the past week, he has expressed a concern for fairness to teachers who were present in their classrooms during the strike.  Should they be subjected to makeup time when they reported to work every day for the duration of the industrial action?  Another consideration is the proposed means of payment, a combination of monies from the strike fund and government coffers.  Here’s how Palacio responded to that proposition.


Luke Palacio, National President, B.N.T.U.

“We’ve again said that decision for the salaries to be withheld lies with the managers of the school.  The managers of the schools are prepared to work with their teachers on how to make up the time.  We are not saying that we are going to make up the time arbitrarily.  We have agreed that if our managements were allowed to do what they are supposed to do as it relates to the education rules that they would have ensured that the making up of the time would be in a structured manner.  I don’t know what is so difficult for the minister to understand about that proposal.”


Isani Cayetano

“Here’s another question: having interviewed the Minister of Education on two previous occasions there is a concern with regards to teachers who were participating actively in the eleven-day strike versus those who reported to their classrooms on a daily basis or sometime after the first several days of strike action.  The question is, from his end, how do you make up the time or provide payments when you have those who were outside of the classroom during this time and those who were back in the classroom a few days later or from the very beginning?”


Luke Palacio

“I wish that you had asked the minister that question because basically he does not understand, he does not seem to know or he was given wrong information.  Those teachers who were at those schools were not teaching.  They were not offering services because the parents kept their children at home.  So who were they teaching, one another?  Is that what they were doing?  And service, we’ve said over and over, service does not, for the teachers, does not mean 8:30 to 3:30.  Our teachers work extra hours, many extra hours.  They are engaged in many community activities.  They help the churches, they help at PTA fairs, they help in many other ways so for them to talk about service, he needs to come clean.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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