Govt begins negotiations with teachers union
Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said yesterday that the ministry has started negotiations with the Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) and that he expects the process to go well.
Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson said earlier this year that the union was asking for outstanding money and a better quality of life for its members, among other things, as it negotiates its new industrial agreement with the government.
“We are beginning,” Lloyd said.
“Negotiations have just begun so our team and BUT’s team are gathering to finalize negotiations.
“We expect it will be very smooth and no difficulty.
“We have already had preliminary discussions with BUT on a host of issues, most of which are now confined to writing. So there should not be too much difficulty in what it is that we need to discuss.”
Asked how long he expected the negotiations to take, Lloyd said it would be a few weeks.
“Of course, as you know, the most important part of this would be finances,” he said.
“So, even though our team, I’m talking about the Ministry of Education’s team, would have already assembled to have our discussions with the Bahamas Union of Teachers, then they would have to sit with the Ministry of Finance and the financial persons there to come to an agreement with regard to what the government can afford for the next four to five years.”
Wilson said the union submitted its 2018 to 2021 draft industrial agreement to Lloyd and his permanent secretary last June.
She said it included terms and conditions of service for BUT members, curriculum revision, grievance handling, rights of the employer, employees and the union, as well as salaries, benefits and other emoluments.
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish