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Editorial: Talk To The Teachers, Mr Lloyd

THE ongoing dispute between teachers from CH Reeves and Carlton Francis schools and the Ministry of Education has taken another unfortunate turn.

The salaries of 75 teachers are being cut. It’s not a move likely to cool the heated tempers in the dispute.

More than that, as the union points out, teachers have had to be working in less than ideal conditions.

Construction work is still going on at CH Reeves Junior High School, says union president Belinda Wilson, with no water in the school for more than three weeks when school opened in September.

It’s not just the teachers that should be angry about that – but every parent and every child attending the school.

Back in July, Minister of Education Jeff Lloyd said confidently that schools would be ready for the start of term. At the time, Mrs Wilson said she was not optimistic. In this column, we said we would see which of them was right and which of them was wrong – and said if the government was wrong, then perhaps they would do well to listen to Mrs Wilson’s suggestions of ways to stop the mad dash to get schools ready each summer.

Two weeks later, Mr Lloyd was describing CH Reeves as one of the schools in the most serious states of disrepair, but that contractors had assured him the schools would be ready by September 2. Again, Mrs Wilson expressed her doubts. Again, she appears to have been right. Strike two for the minister.

And now teachers at CH Reeves, says Mrs Wilson, are having to work in unsanitary and unsafe conditions. Some are having to move from room to room without a classroom of their own, which is of no help to lesson preparations.

Over at Carlton Francis, teachers say they have sent a list of grievances to Mr Lloyd, but it has gone unattended.

For his part, Mr Lloyd says he is “advised” that there are concerns about classroom space at CH Reeves. He is further “advised” that it has been resolved, and that he is further “advised” that teachers are unhappy about having to float from one classroom to the next. It doesn’t sound as if problems have been resolved if teachers are still left without a classroom.

It is good to know that Mr Lloyd listens to advice, though – so here’s a piece of advice for him. Don’t sit behind a desk and wait for others to tell you what the problems are and whether they have been resolved. Get in your ministerial car, drive down to each school and talk to teachers on the ground.

And reconsider reducing the salary of teachers - if they have been forced to work through unsuitable conditions through no fault of their own but because contractors missed a deadline, then they have given more than what was expected of them. They have adapted to the circumstances around them and tried to deliver what is best for the children they teach.

To cut their pay after that is a slap in the face – it’s no wonder the union is prepared to seek legal advice.

When you talk to teachers in the schools that are affected, really listen to what they say is wrong, and ask yourself if they – and their students -– don’t deserve a little better.

Mrs Wilson has been right twice when your advice has been wrong, Mr Lloyd. Don’t make it a third strike.

Comments

TheMadHatter 1 month, 1 week ago

I could not even begin to comment on this article in less than 5000 words, and I know that nobody would read it.
Most parents are really just looking for a baby-sitting service. If government wants to win re-election hands down - just change the time school gets out to 5pm. All working parents will vote for you.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 1 week ago

LMAO - You're so right!

Dumb parents who themselves are a product of our dumbnifying public education system certainly don't care about their children being made even dumber than them. And our equally dumb politicians love nothing more than even dumber voters who they can very easily manipulate for a t-shirt, some live entertainment and a ham. This has been and remains our sure fire recipe for becoming a failed state.....just like Haiti.

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birdiestrachan 1 month, 1 week ago

The former Deacon Mr: Lloyd believes he is God's gift to the peoples time voters. They should relax and enjoy the ride.

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mandela 1 month, 1 week ago

Before being elected Mr, Lloyd had all the answers, now elected he seems lost

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month, 1 week ago

Lloyd was always a lost soul.....he couldn't find Christ if he looked up to heaven with arms raised and prayed to the top of his lungs!

For Lloyd, his government job has never been anything more than getting the money he needed to educate his own children abroad.

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sheeprunner12 1 month, 1 week ago

Major observation. No parents protesting .............. Crickets from the parent body (failing their children)

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