The Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation considers that the action of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) of holding meetings during working hours has declared industrial action at the Alma Parris Memorial Secondary School and Parkinson Memorial Secondary School, where no dispute exists between the Union and the Ministry.
The Ministry condemns in the strongest possible terms, the action of the BUT and urges all teachers of Alma Parris Memorial and Parkinson Memorial to return to work immediately, as the Ministry considers the action taken as not in keeping with sound industrial relations practices which have evolved in this country for over 50 years.
At no time did the Executive of the BUT or the administration of the Parkinson Memorial School draw to the attention of Ministry officials any issues related to discipline or safety of students, teachers, other staff members or members of the public who access the school; neither have they indicated that any teacher has been injured or threatened by students.
It is highly irregular for the Union to take industrial action without referring to the Ministry on any issue which affects the schools.??Teachers are part of the disciplinary structure of the school system, and as such must cooperate in order to manage student discipline.
The Ministry stresses that this withdrawal of labour is tantamount to a strike. As a result, like any strike/withdrawal of labour, which fails to follow the proper industrial relations practice, there are consequences of which the employee should be aware. The Ministry again takes this opportunity to encourage the teachers at both schools to return to work immediately.