BUT prepared to take legal action if it doesn’t get strike certificate

Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson said yesterday the union is prepared to take legal action if the Department of Labour withholds a strike certificate for teachers at C.H. Reeves Junior High School.

“I think it augurs well for a test case,” Wilson said.

“So, yes, we are prepared to have a judicial review on the matter if we do not get the strike certificate.”

Teachers at C.H. Reeves held a strike vote on Friday over “substandard conditions” at the school.

According to Director of Labour John Pinder, the overwhelming majority of teachers voted to strike, but he said there might be a challenge with certifying the vote.

He said a union has to allow all of its members the right to vote. He noted that there is no union of teachers for C.H. Reeves.

But Wilson said the union doesn’t take advice from Pinder.

“We would have applied for a strike vote specifically for C.H. Reeves teachers and every teacher at C.H. Reeves had a fair and equal opportunity to vote,” she said.

“As I would have said to the acting director of labor, the union does not take advice from him.

“He’s not there to advise the union; he is there to carry out the functions and duties of the labor department in accordance to what the Industrial Relations Act says.”

Teachers at C.H. Reeves have raised concerns about mold and water leakages in classrooms, termite and rat infestations and non-functioning bathrooms, among other issues.

Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said he is confident the government and the BUT can reach an agreement.

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018. Education: College of The Bahamas, English

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