NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson told Eyewitness News Online that there have been many complaints that teacher aides and expatriates within the public school system are not given the respect that they deserve.
“It seems as though it’s a growing trend that teacher’s aides and expatriates are being threatened and intimidated,” Wilson said, adding that all teachers have rights, especially if they are a member of The Bahamas Union of Teachers.
Wilson warned that trade unions do not take threats of intimidation lightly and the ministry of education should know that all teachers, including aides, have the right to protect themselves.
“If this trend continues, we are going to have no choice but to file a trade dispute on this matter and if we have to take it to the International Labor Organization (ILO), we will do that,” warned Wilson.
The union president said that ensuring that her members have a healthy and safe environment is priority. She added, however, that over the last two weeks a lot of issues were reported to the union as it relates to teachers being assaulted.
Teachers at the C.V. Bethel Senior High School left their classrooms last month and opted not to teach, after the ministry of education reportedly failed to address an alleged altercation on the school’s campus that involved a student and teacher.
Following this incident, BUT threatened to file a trade dispute on behalf of teachers, after the union was denied access to the school’s premises to address the matter.
Wilson said she has recommended a series of increased security protocols for administration at public schools to implement.