Caswell Franklyn Speaks – Teachers Charged for Obeying the Law

Consequent upon the suspension and charging of two teachers for contesting the January 19, 2022 elections, there has been much comment about the matter, most of which was misinformed. I would therefore like to share the results of my research, in the hope that it would bring about some level of understanding in the public domain.

Those two teachers have been charged as having committed misconduct of a serious nature between January 3 and 19, 2022, when as public officers participated in the 2022 General Elections as Democratic Labour Party parliamentary candidates contrary to General Orders 3.18.1 and in contravention of paragraph 2 (h) of the Code of Discipline.

Even though made in 1970 the General Orders for the Public Service had no legislative basis until 2007 when subsections 33.(1), (2) & (3) of the Public Service Act corrected that long outstanding oversight. They state:

33. (1) The Minister may make administrative orders to give effect to any provisions of the Codes or any other provisions of this Act.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the General Orders are from the 31st December, 2007 deemed to have been made under subsection (1) and shall remain in force until revoked by an instrument in writing by the Minister under this Act.

(3) Where any provision of the the General Orders is inconsistent or in conflict with a Code or any regulation made under this Act, the Code or regulation shall prevail and the General Order shall to the extent of the inconsistency, be invalid.

The General Orders are merely administrative rules made by the Minister with responsibility for the Public Service and because they have finally been incorporated into Public Service Act, public officers can now be legally charged for breaching those orders. Bear in mind that the General Orders are subsidiary legislation and must therefore conform to the parent legislation and that neither the subsidiary nor the parent legislation can conflict with the Constitution.

Prior to November 30, 1966 there was an absolute prohibition against all public officers and employees contesting elections for the House of Assembly. That changed at Independence when the Constitution (the supreme law of the land) removed that restriction on all but three categories of public servant. The 1966 Constitution at section 44 provided that no person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Assembly who holds or is acting in the office of a Judge, the Director of Public Prosecution or the Auditor-General. It is remarkable that even with the lifting of those restrictions by the Constitution, public officers and public service managers continue to be misguided by the former rules to this day.

In 1974 Government, mindful of section 44 of the Constitution, saw the need to restrict other public workers from contesting parliamentary elections and made an amendment to the Constitution to achieve such. That amendment was inserted as section 44. (2) which states, among other things:

Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection (1) (b), Parliament may provide that subject to such exceptions and limitations as Parliament may prescribe, a person shall not be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Assembly if

(a) he holds or is acting in any office and or appointment prescribed by Parliament either individually or by reference to a class of office or appointment.

The original section 44 of the Constitution has been re-numbered section 44. (1).

Effective January 1, 1975, the date of the commencement of the 1974 Constitution (Amendment) Act, Parliament took the power onto itself to set out, by ordinary legislation, which other public servants could not participate in parliamentary elections. To date Parliament has not passed any such law. So as far as the Constitution of Barbados is concerned, there are only three holders of public office that cannot contest parliamentary elections, namely: Judge, Director of Public Prosecutions and Auditor-General.

The General Orders were first made in 1970 by the Rt. Excellent Errol Barrow and revised in 1997 by Prime Minister Owen Arthur. I think that we all can agree that neither Errol Barrow nor Owen Arthur was Parliament and therefore could not make any rules to override a provision of the Constitution. It is therefore my view that the teachers, who contested the elections, did nothing more than exercise their constitutional rights.

See Relevant Link inserted by Blogmaster: General Orders (Public Service)

DLP Supporters Must be Feeling Punch Drunk

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP)- that beleaguered twin of the duopoly- is in the news again, what is new?

It has been reported that the widely debated two appointments to the Senate will be made today at last by the President of the Republic of Barbados. The press report in today’s newspaper names the two to be Dr. Kristina Hinds and Dr. Charleston Brathwaite. This has come about because the government withdrew a proposed contentious constitutional amendment to allow opposition parties to appoint Senators even if they failed to win seats in the Lower House.

The second news of concern for the DLP informs of the suspension of Pedro Shepherd and Alwyn Babb from the public service with half pay for contesting the last general election under the DLP banner. The BU family will recall this matter was highlighted on BU in the lead up to the 2022 general election see link:

Picking and Choosing

Posted on by David 57 comments

The DLP leadership and supporters must be feeling punch drunk with all the blows it has been getting, and not just lately. It had to endure the enigmatic Freundel Stuart’s stewardship after he was selected the compromised candidate when perceived shining star late prime minister David Thompson unfortunately died in office.

The DLP may still have the last laugh and in the process recoup a little credibility if its acolyte in former Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite wins the appeal to the CCJ seeking to invalidate the decision to constitute the Upper House with 18 members. 

In related news he public was advised recently by de facto president of the DLP Steve Blackett 4 nominees have been selected to contest the vacancy left by the abrupt departure of Verla De Peiza. Time will tell if the leader selected will bring the leadership to whip the DLP into a fit for purpose shape.

The blogmaster’s regret continues to be the inability of others to step forward when there is a vacuum of political representation in the country. Where is the legitimacy in an argument which criticizes the two main political parties but worthy citizens are unwilling to offer themselves for public service to present a credible alternative.


Picking and Choosing

Submitted by Paula Sealy

I am wondering if only canvassing and acting on behalf of candidates by public servants are being frowned on.

Officers and employees are speaking on political platforms almost every night. Just watch the meetings online. They have been officers of political parties too. The DLP candidate in St. Michael South East is a shameless example. He was the DLP Assistant General Secretary for at least three years before he resigned as the president of the BUT to run. But he would pick and choose when to talk about General Orders and when to break them.

3.18.1 says public servants can’t run in elections but the circular didn’t touch on that. Pedro Shepherd and Alwyn Babb were in the news talking about taking leave to run. So are Shepherd and Babb still teachers? 

I am Paula Sealy and I am asking for myself. Before government workers had to resign. 

People do Things for a Reason

Submitted Paula Sealy

Political people do political things for a reason Especially during the silly season
Teachers your shepherd was all bout Wildey
Your president … canvassing daily

No Bee … but busy all through the Pine
On Saturdays as early as nine
Wikie in Lascelles Terrace is base
But he will learn to know his place

Not too long before he retires
Since he’s a public servant and lighting fires
While he is planning to upset the lioness
It is Rastaman Grant he has actually to bes’

He could stop down below Regent Hill
Breeze out by Chop and chill
Cause he is not the candidate
Those are just the FACTS – straight

Now Miss Verla you see
This is my one and only plea
Tell teacher man for me
These licks won’t be nothing easy

And since the shepherd has a family
Before he is in a political cemetery
Tell him he has as much chance
As egg at rockstone dance


Submitted by Paula Sealy

Are there still only two social workers and one senior psychologist working in the education ministry for all the secondary and primary schools? In 2018 the Prime Minister announced that a special scheme would be implemented which would see the introduction of school safety officers, social workers and guidance counsellors. No wonder the guidance counsellors were under pressure back then (

An ad for guidance counsellors was placed in the Gazette two years ago (Volume 154, No 69, p 970, Aug 26, 2019).
Since then the Minister of Education said that her ministry had placed ads for school safety officers and guidance counsellors for the start of the school term (Barbados Advocate, Safety officers to be hired, 5 Sep 2019, p3).
Two months later, schoolboy Temario Holder was killed at Frederick Smith Secondary School but that has not been enough to get one safety officer posted in one school in Barbados. We got a non-violence march led by the minister shortly after that and COVID monitors since then.
Last week there was some news on the extra guidance counsellors ( 

The ads for social workers were in the Gazette two years ago (Volume 154, No 71, p 1014, Sep 2, 2019).
Students graduate every year from Cave Hill with degrees in Social Work. Many of them find it hard to get jobs where they can use their degrees and training. They are qualified and there is a need for them. Are they capable of working in our schools today? 

The social workers have already spoken ( 
Where are the school safety officers and social workers today?

SCHOOL SAFETY IS A JOKE Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary in Lascelles Terrace has been condemned. And the principal from there died last year. Now the management and the staff are scrambling like Winston Hall in the St. Joseph gullies hiding from the police (

Santia Bradshaw was the MP for the area since 2013 and the Minister of Education since the last elections. BUT president Pedro Shepherd was at Wilkie for more than 30 years now and a union man for a long time. 

If not for bad representation there would be no representation at all with Wilkie Cumberbatch. Teachers are getting a raw deal all around, parents and children are getting a raw deal from the minister. And not only at Wilkie because another school might be condemned by next month. 

Wesley Hall should know. 

Whither Labour?

Submitted by Just Observing

The history of the Trade Union movement is a checkered one, but, regardless, it has always been consistently associated with numbers, strength, values and representation. Oh for the good old days. The past 3-5 years has seen a rapid decline in the interest, membership and integrity of our trade unions through the actions (sometimes shameless) of its leaders. It has also seen a clear strategic attempt by the powers at be to “integrate and include” labour when convenient for specific goals and certain silence. Take for example…

After fighting for 23% wage increase with backpay, our leaders capitulated for 5% going back 18 months only

For the first time in the history of Barbados, Trade Unions joined, marched with and locked arms with Private Sector bosses to appeal the NSRL and “reduce cost of living.” Well I am sure we all have seen that reduction.

We have seen bitter battles, contentious insults and massive shots across the bow of a previous government for many matters sometimes minor. Yet, silence abounds in times of clear economic and employment uncertainty even BEFORE Covid-19.

The Social Partnership was touted as a beacon of collaboration and communication. When last has it met? Where’s the BWU’s place? What is a CTUSAB???

It’s clear to a blind man on a trotting horse that trade union leadership and politics are like kith and kin. However, the blatant display of this incestuous relationship recently and the continued tone-deaf actions by the leaders give little to no hope to current members or prospective members. What’s the sense, what’s the point. Think about it….

One can argue that there are more “conversations” and “talks” but to us workers, that’s all it is. Talk. Talk doesn’t rehire or repay. It doesn’t lower the price of gas or goods. It doesn’t give comfort to the temporary or superceded employee. And it sure doesn’t give comfort to those blatantly overlooked and disadvantaged for purely political or nepotistic reasons. To end let’s look at the profiles of our leaders

BUT President – clearly waiting to put on running shoes for a jog to the south east

BSTU President – never a negative word said about her “boss” despite the clear failings and missteps in the sector

NUPW President – Trying to be Houdini and transform into a General Secretary with a full time salary while public workers struggle. Wow.

BWU President – or should I say the MP for St. George and Lord know what else in the organization. What was that verse about God and Mammon?

CTUSAB President – who is CTUSAB President? Does anyone know? oh yes, He is the newly appointed Chief of Security at the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority. (

We all know 6 is half dozen, but if employees and workers can’t find a good omelette to eat when they are hungry then it’s a sad day in Barbados. May the good Lord help us. Let’s hope the other Union with that Senator fella continues to scramble some eggs whenever he gets a chance.

School to Open, Teachers Want Back Pay

Minister Santia Bradshaw in a matter of fact delivery announced at a press briefing yesterday our school children will be returning to the classroom from the 20 April 2021. The expectation is for teachers to return on the 19 April, Class 3 and 4 at primary schools and fifth and sixth formers of secondary schools on the 20 April. The other students will benefit from classroom teaching 3 days and the other 2 days in online class room.

@Pedro Shepherd

It seems some teachers want to hear about monies docked in 2016 by former minister of education Ronald Jones. The following was received in the blogmaster’s inbox.

I understand the Ministry of Education is to pay back the money docked from teachers in 2016.

Teachers should have been informed about this. I would like the BUT to explain that to me today self. My money can’t afford to sleep out. I want back every cent of mine.

Mr. Shepherd and Ronald Jones were at war back then. I remember. People like me got caught up in it. By the time I recognised it was all a fight between them my pay was docked. Now they are friendsing in the DLP. But my money still tied up. 

Is your mouth tied up too, Mr. Shepherd? Right now you could talk chalk. I am not interested unless you tell me about my $350 first.

Teachers Want to Know… DID President Pedro Shepherd Ask to Lease BUT Lands for $1.00?

Submitted by Paula Seale

Three years ago the BUT named a road in its housing project after former president Karen Best. There is a fence between the land of the project and the bus stop next to the hardware store in Hothersal if you want directions. Mrs. Best said her vice president Pedro Shepherd had wanted to lease the land to raise his chickens. The offer was made between 2003 when Mrs. Best become president and 2012 when she resigned.

According to Mrs. Best, he wanted to pay a dollar a year to lease the 12 acres of land. When I heard about that I started to ask myself some questions. What good to the union was one dollar a year? What sort of conscience does it take to offer to pay one dollar annually to use 12 acres of land? Land which belongs to the union you are serving as vice president? Mr. Shepherd was on YouTube on Monday. I was listening to hear about the money the ministry docked from teachers like me back in 2016. I didn’t hear anything about that. 

I left the BUT this year because I have no confidence in Mr. Shepherd. My issues started with that dollar a year talk. It had me puzzled and caused me to start thinking about what I was going to accept. After all he and his cronies did for two years to sabotage the former president he is back. And now it is embarrassment and more embarrassment.

I went to buy groceries on Wednesday. A group of people were laughing when they talking about the union in the car park. One woman who overheard them asked if teachers couldn’t find somebody else to be president. She even brought up the degrees and education we talk about having. The man with her said Mr. Shepherd should stick to the smaller words he can manage and stop reading from a laptop like a robot. I was embarrassed as a teacher. We are becoming the laughing stock of Barbados.

Mr. Shepherd is one of the people named in the docking of pay case so he should be able to inform us. I believe he wants back his money and I would love mine too. Why weren’t teachers informed about the case on Monday? We should be able to get an update. Mr. Shepherd asked Mr. Spencer for an update at the annual conference two years ago. Why can’t Mr. Shepherd give us an update now?

Fair is fair.

It looked like Mr. Shepherd was no closer to understanding secondary school matters on Monday. We do not stay with one class for an entire school day. I may teach four or five different groups in one school day. We can’t stop teaching at lunch each day to come back the next day and continue with the same class. lt does not work like that. As a former student, a parent of adult children, the ex-husband of a secondary school teacher and the president of a teachers’ union he should understand more about how things work in secondary schools. He was the BUT president for a long time. He does not seem to be learning though. Either that, he doesn’t care to learn, he isn’t interested in learning or he was never interested.

In these times I would not boast about being at work from 9 to 1 like he did. Many of us are under constant pressure. As the president it can’t only be about him. I believe that was thoughtless and careless. A lot of teachers put in very long hours preparing lessons day and night. And then they have to be online to teach those lessons, do corrections, create notes and exercises, and still attend to the home, find time to sleep, take care of their families, go shopping and so on.

Mr. Shepherd is the IT Coordinator at Wilkie. I understand another teacher was doing a lot of the IT work there for years. But that never stopped him from arguing about not getting his coordinator’s allowance. Before Mr. Spencer beat him in 2018, he was on the executive from 1996. The people in the area around Wilkie would tell you that he was at that school for over 30 years. Despite his time at the school and as a union man and as a top officer of the union, Wilkie is in bad shape.

He said the ministry can’t touch teachers’ money back at the meeting in Queen’s Park. We all know what happened after that. Now he and Ronald Jones are on the DLP executive together. So teachers can’t hear about the pay that was docked when Mr. Jones was the Minister of Education. That would remind people of how the party Mr. Shepherd serves as Ass. General Secretary treats teachers’ rights and salaries. It is not like the BLP is any better.

Union elections are due next month. So I expect Mr. Shepherd will be in the news more regularly now. What we aren’t hearing about is the money we lost when he was president in 2016. What teachers need from the union is representation. Not comments that make the president and teachers by extension seem foolish to the public.

What about term’s leave?

What is the union doing about leave?

Has the lawyer said anything about the long leave or the docking of pay?

Teachers want to know. We deserve to know. 

Eyes on YOU President Pedro Shepherd

Submitted by P Seale

Back in September some teachers were trying to get on the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) council. Pedro Shepherd was trying to get re-elected. The headline in the Nation was SLATE SET FOR DLP ELECTIONS.

Years ago public officers couldn’t be in anything so. Mr Shepherd’s friends Dwane Goddard and Trudi Harris followed him. Quincey Jones from Ellerslie was another teacher in the elections.

I want to know if the law was changed for public officers to be doing these things. Somebody has to know the answer but no one wants to speak up.

I realise the BUT called a meeting at last. They weren’t saying anything much until I wrote Barbados Underground.

Related Link:

President Pedro Shepherd Accused of Lacking Integrity

The general secretary said appointments for secondary school teachers were coming. They remembered they have members in the secondary schools. It looks like you have to force these people to remember.

Three of the BUT officers have called a meeting for Sunday. Is it a union meeting or a meeting with people who are on the executive? These people make me laugh. They tell members about being strong together. Then we see that they are not united.

President Pedro Shepherd Accused of Lacking Integrity

Submitted by P Seale

For a long time I have been annoyed by the things I have been hearing about the BUT. Teachers are being badly treated by the ministry and the union has been doing nothing about it. Since being elected the president is silent on the key issues he was pushing to be on the agenda and I do not know if the union still functions.

In 2011 there were people making claims with the BUT health plan who paid no premiums. Some of them were friends of executive members and there was no charges after the audit. The broker made payments to Sagicor and never provided the union with any details. President Karen Best said the plan was over $300,000 in arrears. Sagicor later agreed to write off the arrears. Over $30,000 went missing from the office too. After I heard that, I got health insurance with Guardian.

I know the union saved thousands of dollars last year. There was annual conference on Zoom, no CUT travel, a scaled down Teachers Week and no Christmas luncheon last year. As a member, I hope the treasurer is keeping a close eye on the coffers. She should mind how much money they are paying the brothers of the president to spruce up the union.

In June, Mr. Shepherd wanted Mr. Spencer to have Zoom meetings to hear our views. He made that clear in the BUT Facebook group. Now Mr. Shepherd is president he doesn’t see the need to meet with us to hear our views any more.

Mr. Shepherd seconded the no-confidence motion Dwane Goddard brought against Mr. Spencer last year. Twenty people signed. Half of them work with Mr. Shepherd at Wilkie or were named Shepherd.

  • Mr. Goddard should explain why he had agreed to let his church friends raise funds for his eye surgery in 2019. In the first place he always knew the eye surgery was free.
  • He should also explain why he was leaving Arthur Smith every week to do CTUSAB business when he had no business at CTUSAB. The ministry should look into that.

I am upset that these type of people lead or have been leading my union. They lack integrity.

On the back of that, we have a minister who treats us just like Ronald Jones but sounds better. The minister will blame COVID and nobody cares about us teachers.

The union has said nothing about appointments since the amendments to the Public Service Act. Are the officers all appointed? Is it because the officers all appointed?

The president spoke about the 11+ date. What about CXC and the secondary school issues? The BUT is a primary school teachers’ union again.

Let Us Support Our Trade Unions!

Submitted DAVID  COMISSIONG, President, Clement Payne Movement

I am making a CALL  for all patriotic and right thinking citizens of Barbados to stand in solidarity with the leaders of the public sector trade unions of our country and to give them principled support in the monumental battle that they will soon be engaged in.

You see, at this very moment, the social and economy elite of Barbados — the big private sector business interests — along with their collaborators and “fellow travelers” in the Freundel Stuart Administration (and to some extent in both major political parties) are gearing up for a fearsome assault on the public sector workers of our nation, and on the jobs that they depend upon for their livelihood.

Thus, such critical national trade union leaders as Akanni Mc Dowall, Roslyn Smith and Asakore Beckles of the NUPW; Toni Moore, Gabby Scott and Linda Brooks of the BWU; Mary Ann Redman of the BSTU;  Pedro Shepherd of the BUT; and Caswell Franklyn of  the Unity trade union  are in for a monumental battle and will need all the support and solidarity they can get.

If you listen very carefully to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, Finance Minister Chris Sinckler, Minister of Industry Donville Inniss, and the leaders of both the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and the Barbados Private Sector Agency you will note that they are all talking the same language of “privatization”, “down-sizing of the public sector”, “retrenchment of public servants” and “pain”.

In other words, they are all active participants in  an “Open Conspiracy” against our public servants and the jobs that they depend upon for their livelihood . And amazingly, they claim to be devising this recipe of bitter pain and destruction in the interest of saving Barbados from economic crisis.

But the first question we must confront is this :- if an economic crisis does exist, who and what is responsible for it ?

Let us start with the current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) governmental administration! After the DLP came to power in 2008, the international economic recession caused the opening up of a 400 Million dollar deficit in Government’s finance. And to their everlasting shame, the DLP Administration sat idly by for nine long years and did nothing of substance to correct the fiscal imbalance. Indeed, rather than correct the imbalance they actually indulged in reckless spending that exacerbated it!

Furthermore, not only did they permit the fiscal rot to gradually worsen year after year, but they also failed to devise any new ideas or measures for promoting growth in our economy.

The sad truth is that Messers Stuart and company exhibited little or no energy or initiative in tackling the festering fiscal and economic cancer, and thereby became the chief authors and manufacturers of the current debt and economic crisis. Truly, the combined David Thompson / Freundel Stuart Administration has been a “know nothing, do nothing– except fatten themselves” Administration !

Yet, in spite of the fact that they are the one who bear fundamental responsibility for the sad state that Barbados is currently in, their shameful attitude is not only to greedily reinstate their 10 per cent increase in salary, but to also callously settle upon the scapegoating and savaging of public servants and statutory corporation employees as “their” solution to the crisis.

As far as these political miscreants are concerned, they need their 10 per cent salary restoration in order to live, but it is okay to throw thousands of low level public servants on the dump-heap of unemployment without a concern as to how they and their dependents are to survive.

But the truly critical point I would like all Barbadians to appreciate is that when a political directorate tells you that the way forward is to divest and privatize state enterprises, abandon social welfare programmes, and retrench public sector workers, it is in effect informing you that it is ABANDONING  any aspiration that the future of our country will be based upon the educated and trained masses of our people owning and controlling the major institutions of our nation.

And if the future of the nation and its economy is not to be based upon the empowerment of the masses of people, then the plan must be to base it upon a continued and enhanced empowerment of the traditional white Barbadian economic elite and the predominantly North American, European and French Creole (Trinidadian) “foreign investor” entities that they are wont to align themselves with.

But none of this should come as a surprise to any of us! We already possess stark and painful evidence of the shameful way in which the current Governmental Administration has prostrated itself before the likes of Mark Maloney, Bjorn Bjerkham, Bizzy Williams and the Da Silvas, and has conferred a series of outrageously privileged governmental contracts on these and other members of the traditional business class.

There is no doubt that Barbados is in a state of economic ctisis, but the way to solve that crisis is NOT to treat trade unions as “the enemy” or to savage public sector workers and their jobs. Nor is it to dismantle the critical educational, health and social welfare mechanisms that are required to produce a mass of trained and empowered citizens who are capable of appropriating and undertaking responsibility for the development of their nation.

The way forward for Barbados CANNOT be to go backward to an era in which ownership and control of our nation’s economy was firmly and squarely in the hands of a traditional white oligarchy !

On the contrary, we must continue to hold on to the notion that the economic and social development of Barbados has to be based on the foundation of a highly educated, cultured, healthy, employed and empowered mass population.

The economic situation that faces Barbados is severe but it is not insoluble. The first order of business is to re-establish the soundness of the finances and credit of our Government, and this can be achieved, but only if the public sector trade unions are treated with respect by the Government and are permitted to use their extensive and intimate knowledge of the Public Service to craft appropriate strategies. Nobody knows better than the public servants  and their  trade unions where the waste, duplication and inefficiency resides in the system . They are therefore much better equipped to craft sensible and humane strategies of change and improvement than clueless Government Ministers!

We all need to remember that when the “Movement” for the upliftment of the Barbadian masses started in earnest in the 1940’s, it was a “Labour Movement”, with the political party and trade union working together, hand in hand. The spirit of this Movement needs to be revived, but this can only happen if the trade unions are given the respect that they are entitled to.

The other major item on the national agenda has to be the devising of economic strategies to grow and develop the economy. And here again, this is not beyond us! But first of all we need to jettison the self-negating idea that either the traditional white Barbadian businessman or the so-called foreign investor is required to be our saviour. (There is a place and a role for the traditional elite Barbadian businessman and the foreign investor but it CANNOT be a place and a role of primacy!).

Secondly, we must commit ourselves to the notion that we — the tens of thousands of Bajans –will assume the primary responsibility for establishing and developing productive enterprises in our own country, and that we will do so on the basis of elevated standards of education and training for our people in general and our youth in particular.

In other words, our nation’s economic development must arise from our people’s human development, and vice versa. These two spheres of development must therefore be symbiotic and must mutually propel each other. And none of this will be possible if we demolish the “human development” of tens of thousands of our citizens by throwing thousands of public sector workers into unemployment, or if we dismantle or disable the critical human development programmes and structures that public servants man.

Indeed, the Clement Payne Movement and its sister organization, the Peoples Empowerment Party, long ago outlined the parameters of such a developmental strategy :- the development of the Education sector as a foreign exchange earning industry; the construction of a Manufacturing industry comprised of a  cooperative, centralized domestic sector and a high technology export sector; Cultural, heritage, health and sports tourism; cultural or Arts-based industries; the development of a cooperative or people’s sector of the economy; a public / private sector partnership in the development and commercialization of unique, indigenous national assets; and the list goes on.

The ideas are numerous and powerful, but their validity and potency will only become clear if one is philosophically committed to the construction of a truly democratic and egalitarian Barbados that is owned by the masses of the Barbadian people.

This was the original vision and mission of the Labour Movement. And this must be the vision and mission that we fight for when we line up behind our trade unions and their leaders in the weeks and months ahead.

Crisis in Education

Submitted by Anthony Davis

The Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) today put Minister of Education Ronald Jones on notice for industrial action if he does not meet with members by next Wednesday. “BUT President Pedro Shepherd sounded the warning following a more than  three-hour long meeting with scores of teachers who were summoned to a 1 p.m. meeting at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium … On announcing the meeting  on Wednesday evening, BUT president Pedro Shepherd said the union had issues to discuss with the teachers but he did not ‘think the issues can last us for the entire day – Barbados Today (22 April, 2016)

You are very right, Mr. Shepherd!

You did not think period, Mr. Shepherd, because you are being paid to do a job from which you and others are going AWOL without the slightest care about that said job, nor those who will suffer from your dastardly absence. Both of these actions were wildcat strikes.

If you have “no dispute with the Ministry” why did you walk out on the students?

Is that the type of conflict resolution which you are teaching the students when you give Government an ultimatum  to meet with you, instead of asking for a meeting?

Pray tell me Mr. Shepherd why you called out  your members for a meeting at 1 p.m. on Friday 22nd April, 2016 when you knew full well that the students were preparing for the exam of their life?

Couldn’t you have met after school, or is the welfare of your charges irrelevant to you and the others?

Don’t you get enough time off during the year?

Don’t you get about 3 months holiday plus about 3 teachers’ days?

How come there are no:

Police Officers’ days?

Immigration Officers’ days?

Customs Officers’ days?

Prison Officers’ days?

You don’t seem to know anything else but strike, thereby interrupting our children’s education!

Every time they have important exams coming up you seem to think that that’s the best time to strike.

You and Mrs. Redman are being paid by the parents/guardians of the said students whom you are depriving of their education.

I wonder how you can have the gall to pick up a cheque for what you did.

It’s time the nonsense stops.

If one doesn’t work, one should not be paid.

Therefore you shouldn’t be paid for the time you wasted Friday April 22 and Friday April 29, 2016.

How many days do the primary school children have to study for the exams now, Mr. Shepherd?

You stole two from them which means that they didn’t have any tuition on two out of five days before such an important exam, leaving parents/guardians in limbo as what to do with the children.

That was the epitome of callousness!

“Children speak in the field what they hear in the house.” – Scottish Proverb

The Alexandra Incestuous Factor

Karen Best, former BUT President and current Deputy Chief Education Officer

Karen Best, former BUT President and current Deputy Chief Education Officer

Minister Jones, visibly shaken and angry, termed the no-show a “gross insult” and the low point of industrial relations practice in the trade union history of Barbados. Mrs Karen Best, president of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT), reportedly said she had never seen anything like it in industrial relations. Her [Best] comments clearly indicate her union will not support the BSTU. For the first time that I can remember, there is a split among five unions – the BSTU and Barbados Workers Union (BWU) on one side, the BUT, BAPPSS and NUPW on the other

Nation Newspaper

It seems to be finally hitting home to Barbadians – especially the political partisans – that the Alexandra School dispute (AX) is not so easy to resolve after all. The Frederick Waterman headed commission of inquiry was suppose to wash away the problem which all have to admit predates this government coming to office.

One view of the AX matter which BU has not put under full scrutiny is the incestuous nature of the relationships of key decision makers and participants in the AX plot. Barbados we know is a small country  and there is an inevitability about how personal relationships can shape public perception about how decisions are taken.

Key players in the AX Mess are Principal Jeff Broomes, Minister Ronald Jones, and Deputy Chief Education Officer Karen Best who are ALL products of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT). To complete the BUT connection we should declare that current President of the Barbados Union of Teachers is Pedro Shepherd who recently challenged for the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) nomination in St. Michael South East.

Of special interest to BU is the recent appointment of Karen Best who has responsibility for schools.

‘Ingredients’ for a cabal you think? It gets better.

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