Education ministry has started to restore wages of teachers whose pay was docked
The Ministry of Education said yesterday it has started the restoration of salaries for teachers at Carlton E. Francis Primary School and C. H. Reeves Junior High School.
This comes days after Supreme Court Justice Bernard Turner ordered the government to stop cutting teachers’ salaries and to restore lost wages.
He also ordered that teachers from both schools return to work.
In a statement, the ministry assured the public that “it continues to place the highest priority on its primary mission – i.e. ensuring that all our students are provided with the quality education to which they are all entitled”.
The government recently docked the wages of teachers at the two schools.
This led the Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) – represented by attorney Kahlil Parker – to seek an injunction preventing the government from cutting the wages of those teachers.
On Tuesday, Turner ordered that teachers return to work and to stop contravening sections 74, 75 or 83 of the Industrial Relations Actions Act “by refusing to report to work”.
After the hearing, BUT President Belinda Wilson said she was “euphoric,” noting that the ruling showed that “no one is above the law including the Ministry of Education or the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas”.
Teachers at Carlton E. Francis Primary School had been sitting out of classes for eight weeks, claiming to have been locked out of the school’s gate.
At C.H. Reeves, teachers have been concerned with mold, water leakages in classrooms, termite and rat infestations and non-functioning bathrooms.
The union has been vocal about this issue since last November.
In July, Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd assured that the school would be ready for classes in September.