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Teachers Will Be Paid - But Dispute Not Over

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

ONLY two of more than a dozen concerns by the Bahamas Union of Teachers remain to be resolved after talks with government officials, BUT president Belinda Wilson said yesterday.

According to Mrs Wilson the union met with Labour Minister Shane Gibson on Monday when both sides discussed outstanding matters.

For months, the BUT and the government have been at odds over the union’s mounting concerns that forced union members to take industrial action, which included work to rule, protests outside Parliament and the cancellation of after school sports activities.

“The BUT,” said Mrs Wilson, “is very pleased that the teachers who are owed millions of dollars for many years will be paid.”

“Although, the union has access to all school campuses, the matter of meetings being held on school campuses during school break or lunch time is still not resolved. This complaint is still active at the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

“Very importantly, the union has not received any reports from the Department of Environmental Health Services or Ministry of Education on the status of Stephen Dillette and Uriah McPhee schools and no report was available at the meeting today. So, this matter is still unresolved and the complaint is still active with the ILO.”

Matters discussed at the meeting were the BUT’s edical insurance plan; union access to school campuses; the union holding meetings during school hours; reassignments of shop steward and teachers; absence from duty letters and pay cut; new teachers; Bahamian teachers on contract; the payment of millions owed to teachers and health and safety concerns of teachers at the Stephen Dillet and Uriah McPhee schools among other things.

Mrs Wilson thanked Mr Gibson for his intervention in the situation.

A General Membership Meeting will be held tomorrow at Walkers Hall, Bethell Avenue, at 4pm.

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