Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Teachers Stand Down and Return to the Classroom. They are Satisfied with New Industrial Agreement

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After threatening industrial action, teachers are returning to schools, satisfied with a new industrial agreement in hand.

President of the Bahamas Union of Teachers, Belinda Wilson previously told teachers to prepare for industrial action on their first day back from summer break,  voicing long-standing matters that they expected the government to address.

In fact, a majority of the members voted for industrial action on the first day that they returned to the classrooms. Now they are singing a different tune as the union prepares to sign a new agreement.

Wilson told members, “Don’t worry about the industrial agreement. We gat it covered.”

It appears members are pleased with the new industrial agreement. Its old agreement expired in 2018 and ever since, the union has been in talks with the government, seeking a new agreement. It was reported that talks were hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Dorian.

A few weeks ago, the union leader met with negotiators and she expressed that teachers were closer “than we’ve ever been to concluding this full industrial agreement.”

Teachers have been lobbying for lump sum payments, improved working conditions, increased allowances, reimbursement for classroom decor, and tuition fees, and a better insurance plan.

It was rumored that most of what the union requested was granted by the government.

Wilson, known for her tough attitude, is seeking reelection as union president next month.

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