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May 8, 2018

Teachers Got Time Off for Women’s Rally

Elena Smith

According to the union senator, management did not hesitate to grant teachers and students the day off to participate in the biennial Twenty Thousand Strong rally.  When it came to standing up against the senseless murders of women and children, however, the powers that be sang a completely different song, opting to dock their pay, instead of supporting the cause.


Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“Added to that is the fact that some of these same managements approved time off for teachers and students to attend 20,000 Strong, but yet they did not see it necessary to give time off or to apply for a non-school day when they were advised by the ministry, check with your teachers, check with your schools to see what would be the number of teachers at school on that day, and depending on numbers, apply for the non-school day.  Not even that they did.  So it makes you think only negative things.”


Isani Cayetano

“For clarity’s sake, this decision being taken by the management is free of the influence or the directive of the ministry, correct?”


Elena Smith

“That’s what we were told.”


Isani Cayetano

“What are the consequences on your end, as teachers who make contributions and what-have-you?  Can you clarify that part for us?”


Elena Smith

“At the end of the month, every month, a lot of teachers give contributions towards their managements and so this might either be to the church or to the management to pay the manager or to provide a few supplies.  So you are paying for your own supplies, or to allow the management to be able to conduct workshops for the teachers.  So in essence, you are contributing to your own training that your management would be responsible for.  And so our teachers have said that if we can take out of the little that we get and assist our managements to be able to do all these things, to give to give to our church freely, some of them are freely.  Then we cannot understand why for this one time our managements couldn’t support us.  And for that reason they have decided that they will withhold all contributions to management, whether it be through the church or to the management directly, whether it’s a one percent contribution, whether it’s a ten percent, whether it’s a twenty or a fifty dollars a month, the teachers have decided that they will withhold those contributions from now until.”

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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