Judge orders govt to restore lost wages of teachers

Supreme Court Justice Bernard Turner yesterday ordered the government to stop cutting teachers’ salaries at Carlton E. Francis Primary School and C.H. Reeves Junior High School and to restore lost wages.

He also ordered that teachers from both schools return to work.

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.

In his ruling, Turner said, “I order that government continue to pay to all teachers employed at Carlton Francis Primary School and C.H. Reeves Junior High School in accordance with the terms of their employment with and appointment by the government…”

He added, “…I order that the government restore their salaries in full.”

Turner also 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”.

Teachers left Turner’s courtroom rejoicing after he delivered his ruling.

BUT President Belinda Wilson said she was “euphoric”.

“I’m elated with the judge’s ruling today and it shows that no one is above the law including the Ministry of Education or the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” she said.

“So, we look forward to our teachers’ salaries being restored. We look forward to them continuing getting their pay. We look forward to Carlton Francis teachers walking in the gate this morning so they can go to their little darlings as the judge ordered forthwith.”

Teachers at the Carlton E. Francis Primary School have 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.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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