BUT: Extended Christmas break was not a ‘gift’ from MOE

Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President, Belinda Wilson.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) president, Belinda Wilson on Sunday refuted claims that the teachers were given an extra week during the Christmas break as a ‘gift’ from the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Last Thursday, the MOE announced that the opening of all public schools was pushed back a week, and classes are now expected to resume on Monday, January 7 as opposed to the originally slated date of Wednesday, January 2.

Education officials said to celebrate the hardworking teachers and administrators, the Ministry saw it fit to extend the Christmas break by five days.

However, the BUT president said she had to push for the date change for her members.

“There was no gift given to us,” Wilson assured.

“The president of the union did not give up and I went and I fought for the time for the teachers.

“The norm is  that we have two weeks off for Christmas, so if you count from the 20th to the 2nd they shortened the time so I demanded the time be brought back.”

Wilson also gave education officials until January 7 to fix the lingering issues at the CH Reeves Junior High School.

Teachers voted to strike over substandard conditions at the school on December 7. They are, however, still waiting for their strike certificate.

“I don’t need to threaten them; they know what I could do so I will wait for the 7, which I gave my word to the government and the minister.

“We  will give them until January 7 and so when that day comes, I will do an assessment along with the [union] Shop Steward and Assistant Shop Steward and the administration and we will make a decision on that day.”