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May 3, 2019

Minister Faber: Bishop Martin High School Teachers, a Ticklish Situation

There have been issues facing teachers at the Bishop Martin High School for some time now. Today, Minister Patrick Faber provided his view. In April, the Board of Trustees at the high school decided to hire ‘emergency teachers’ in order to prevent further disruption of the school’s operations. This was after four teachers: Manuel Tzul, Carmen Trejo, Avid Briceño and Emil Quetzal disclosed that their employment had not been regularized.  According to Minister Faber, when Principal Luis Pook hired the teachers outside the regulations of the Teaching Services Commission, that’s when the issues began.


Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“That entire situation puts us in a difficult predicament and you’ll understand that my view is not always what the ministry’s final position is and that is simply because I do not run the kind of ship where I dictate what happens. I consult and I listen, especially to the senior management of my ministry. But when the principal made the hiring of those teachers that was not in line with the Teaching Services Commission’s policy and the wider hiring practices of teachers in general, they put everybody in a predicament. Those teachers in terms of their benefits down the road, all of those years of service—some four, five years—is what is in consideration. And then to fix that kind of thing, it would take some kind of back peddling or some kind of breaking of the very same rules that existed in order to accommodate those teachers. And that to me is where the matter becomes ticklish because there is, from what I understand, serious blame to be put on the shoulder of the principal who did not follow procedure. But so, these situations are what they are now. How do we make it right for those teachers? It may well require us to bend rules and that is where it becomes for me a very ticklish situation. But if decisions have not been made yet in that regard, we certainly continue to try to look out for what will be in the best interest of the teachers without trying to set a negative precedence for things to rain down on us later on.”

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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