Let’s Talk – Barbados Today

The controversial decision to offer contracts rather than the usual permanent appointments to teachers who have recently applied for principal and deputy principal positions is to be discussed among stakeholders in the Ministry of Education.

That assurance came on Tuesday from Education Minister Kay McConney, who said she would have further conversations with her team at the ministry and stakeholders before “moving forward at this stage”.

The contentious issue was raised on Monday by the Barbados Secondary School Teachers’ Union (BSTU) and the Barbados Teachers’ Union (BUT) who accused the authorities of trying to unilaterally change the terms under which principals and principals assistants are appointed in the public system. .

Without providing too many details on this particular situation, Minister McConney pointed out that there had been prior discussions on the transition from appointments to contracts for public servants, and that this had already taken effect in certain government agencies.

“We came and discovered that this was the case at the Ministry and it is important for us to recognize the value of everyone. We understand that in some cases the public service may have already started the process. I think the director general of education [Dr Ramona Archer-Bradshaw] is under contract herself and there are others who are under contract within the civil service,” she explained.

“The direction we take after that needs to be a broader conversation at this point, and as far as others in the ministry are concerned, we will at least have the opportunity to have further discussions within the ministry as well as with other stakeholders,” McConney added.

Educators who applied for leadership positions in public schools on the island were told by letter from the Ministry of Education that they would be placed under contract, leading them to wonder what would happen next. of their decades of accrued rights, such as pension rights and tenure security, if their contracts were not renewed.

BSTU President Mary Redman said Barbados TODAY that she was concerned about the development, as the ministry sought to make the move without any explanation, consultation or negotiation with the teachers’ unions. She called for a meeting to allow the unions to suggest how the arrangement can best be applied in the teaching service.

BUT chairman Rudy Lovell said the “unilateral” change to existing terms of service could impact teachers’ ability to get loans or mortgages as they will have no job security.

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