NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said yesterday that negotiations with teachers and administrators unions for renewed industrial agreements are ongoing and expected to be conducted with no issues..
“We are in the process now of resuming negotiations which we expect to be very smooth, there shouldn’t be any challenges or difficulties,” Lloyd told reporters outside Cabinet.
“Naturally the more challenging and difficult part of that is the issue of money, which resides more specifically in the Ministry of Finance.
“But again, I don’t think that’s really going to [be an issue].
“I believe that that attitude that each of the partners, the negotiating teams on The Bahamas Union of Teachers and The Ministry of Education wishes to see that this matter gets to be resolved as quickly as possible for the benefit of our teachers and administrations.”
Lloyd noted that both the BUT and the Bahamas Educational Managers Union are in the process of renegotiating their industrial agreement.
“The more we talk, the more we understand each other, the more we are able to come to a common understanding, common position of resolution.
“I think whatever arises we can address without challenges.
“Those challenge such as the issue of mold in the schools or repairs, those are pretty much behind us.
“Other issues with regard to personnel and so on, I think now that we meet with some regularity and there’s a platform of understanding, they can be easily resolved.”
Throughout last year, the BUT pushed back against the government over issues of “unsanitary conditions” at C.H. Reeves junior high school, a divide between staff members at Carlton E. Francis Primary over what teachers claimed to be “unfair” treatment and money owed to its members, among other concerns.