The Alexandra Impasse: Enough Is Enough

Some members of the BSTU party leaving Government House last night

According to media reports, the meeting between Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart and the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU) to resolve the Alexandra imbroglio ended with a promise of more meetings late last night. Further reports suggest that Principal Jeff Broomes did not receive ‘official’ communication from the ministry of education about the meeting.

After four and one half hours at Bay Street yesterday the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn by John Public is that the 30 teachers remain persuaded by the Prime Minister that dialogue is healthy in the circumstances. Whether the reason for the impasse is legitimate or not most Barbadians have become ‘ticked-off’ at how protracted this matter has become. In any industrial dispute there is a time period which is considered reasonable before the hammer drops. Clearly in the Alexandra matter that time has long passed.

Although it is easy to be sympathetic to Prime Minister Stuart given the large number of issues which currently command his attention, the Alexandra dispute involves children, and despite the placatory offerings from some involved in solving the matter, it must be adversely affecting them. Listening to many parents of the affected children it must be a very emotional time especially if we factor the challenging economic times we have to exist.

Then there is the political fallout going into an election year which makes the inability of government to resolve the Alexandra matter quickly a rising concern. Yes BU understands that it is the Public Service Commission (PSC) which must act if the route to solving the problem is to remove Broomes from the school. This appears to be clearly the path of the Prime Minister. If this is the case then the BSTU finds itself in a situation where there is little they can expect the Prime Minister to do in the short term. The wheels of government bureaucracy has never been known to impress by its speed to action. The newly appointed PSC probably needs time to familiarize itself with its work.

One would reasonably have expected after the meeting at Bay Street last night, and given the concerns for/by students and parents, a brief communication to the media to allay obvious fears was a necessity. BU however has come to appreciate that our political leaders prefer to create information vacuums which give reason for the PEOPLE to speculate. Doesn’t make sense but …With talk shows and social media on the rise, Prime Minister Stuart can be assured of one thing, Barbadians will be talking about this matter some more in the days to come.

Enough is enough!

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0 responses to “The Alexandra Impasse: Enough Is Enough

  1. old onion bags

    Why don’t Uncle Jeff …take an early retirement and the $956,783.29 and enjoy life ova n away with his beloved ? Does he and others realize the hardships ….his so loved students are occasioning because of his stubbornness ? The man has another year or so before retirement and to think that a true son of the soil from up North would want to go down as a controversial old bugga of a bitch, baffles the Ole Onions….Jeff man you had enough air play now..think of the kids nah….your days on the stage are nearing curtains…like the one foot swordsman et al…time to show us a smart and endearing side Jeff Broomes….and give us a legacy of a super hero like Lawrence T Gay,Deighton Griffith and such luminaries…how does the Jeff Broomes Secondary School legacy sounds ?…but the way you are going it sounds more like gossips of ” an indifferent SOB..Barbados education system was glad to see the end of.” I think the first reflections sound more conducive ..what do you think, Jeff Jeff…the gran grans and other would be most proud ..onions too..even thyme ?

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  2. @ Old onions
    Are you looking to ‘solve’ the problem through bribery and graft -rather than by seeking to apply truth, justice and transparency?

    If you find yourself in a position of authority when your beloved party is elected – is this the methodology you plan to use to grant large contracts too? To resolve disputes?
    Pass some $$$ and everything done….

    Do you see why Bajans are stuck with FS now? Your alternatives are even worst….

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  3. old onion bags

    Oh Boy I knew I would get your attention..lol.But now that I have it I will not allow you to try this one….blindside a humanitarian plea using political allegiance. Won’t do Bushie boy ….My search of souls stands…your name (Jeff) will not go down well in the history books of this land as a ecliptic educator…as a certain clergyman ‘of gathers’ can attest… Bushie if the man be your true friend do edify…..this is surely not the way into Barbados’ Hall of Fame. Time to re-look , your legacy is in the balance and quickly swinging to the other side….nothing to gain all to lose. I know what Charles F Onions would do….you too.. again I appeal. You still have time to reconsider… Savior of Souls….and going where ‘ other giants’ of yester-year are permanently etched…do the right thing..join

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  4. Bush Tea; As usual, well said above.

    I am appalled, although not surprised, by the reaction of Onions and the majority on this blog to the PM’s recent pass-the-buck action. They only see that Jeff Broomes is the instigator of the problems and the cynosure of blame at AX and that the Commissioner will prove that (hence the likely broad TORs). I think that, if the Commissioner is a fair man, unlike FS who has demonstrated unfairness and changeling qualities, it is quite as likely that whenever in the distant future his report is finished, it could well find that Jeff Broomes was more sinned against than sinning. I suspect that FS will not be around at that time even if the DLP wins the next elections and someone else will have to really solve the AX problem at that time.

    The matter is still up in the air re. the BSTU’s actions and reactions. Wiser heads may prevail over the weekend and cause them to stop the strike action, having realised that FS has taken a U turn against them after the glowing praises he gave them during the first AX “solution” of late January and that they are facing removal from AX themselves rather than the Principal if they take the wrong step now. But who knows with FS.

    They can’t win this battle by maintaining the strike as the strike is now effectively against FS not Broomes at this stage and everyone except them will be able to see.

    A very interesting situationl which still has the potential for major fallout in several areas. Keep watching this space.

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  5. old onion bags

    Great is advertisement!
    Tis almost fate; But, little mushroom-men
    Of puff-ball fame. Ah, do you dream to be mistaken great
    And to be really great
    Or just deminish oneself, in a puff of shame

    Onions (orig.)

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  6. old onion bags

    @ Check-it
    This is not about a “tooth and nail fight” of right or wrong but a parent’s appeal to save Alexandra School from where all this is heading. Who cares about a Commission other than those recipients of legal fees .when this can be easily solved by true men of conferments befitting ? ….Why take this to the end ?…..The true losers will be this and the next and next generations…. as we destroy an established educational legacy…. Teachers,you too,hear the call, make use of your conferments,”foolishness ain’t sense .”
    Check-it ..you need to revisit the books.. Merchant of Venice, Portia speech to be exact….don’t mind Shylock Bushie.

    Shylock:
    On what compulsion must I? tell me that.

    Portia:
    The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

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  7. Onions; You are quoting against your own strongly held position re. condemning Broomes with no evidence against him so far and the possibility of manufacturing that evidence through the operations of the commission and its wide TORs.

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  8. CANT THE TEACHERS AND MARY REDWOMAN come away from their position Mr Old Onion Bags ??

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  9. LOL @ old onions
    Bushie could smell your contributions even from over on the other blog by Hal…. LOL

    Give it a rest Onions. You are only making it worse for your side. You are becoming a bit of an embarrassment …. Serious.
    …ask ac if you doubt the Bushman.

    Bushie unselfishly gave the PM the four simple steps to solving this matter from the very beginning…. Did he listen….?

    Contrary to what the PM says, this is really a simple everyday matter that is faced by Human Resource managers routinely…..

    The Boss got the staff vex!!!

    Could be because the boss is an idiot, lazy, wutless, dishonest…
    Could be because the staff are lazy, wutless, dishonest, unproductive,
    Could be because the job has become more (or less) challenging
    ….could be lots of reasons

    Solution:
    Interview everyone involved
    Investigate the REASON.
    Discipline the guilty
    Everyone behind back to work

    ….next issue.

    LOL. Bushie has had to do this at least three time already this year alone…?

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  10. old onion bags

    @ Just Asking
    Read again my appeal went out to BOTH …

    @ Check-it
    Stop the semantics….watching the telecast of the PM’s speech last night..(with his wily smile)…as if to say..” look these are GROWN UP….presenting childish problems when I have to get back to the IMF (this weekend) with dispatch “…said it all.
    Times of condemning who from who long gone ..Check-it (January) when you, I, ac, Bushie,and Scoutie had a ridiculous time debating….NOW ..its TIME to resolve amongst ourselves as PM Stuart has deserted us …THE CHILDREN…are my only concern now ( as I imagined this would be long resolved)…..I do believe educated and well wishing GROWN UP can solve this ……it’s looking shamefully real bad ..fa real…suppose a National strike was called on “We cannot get on” as a reason…my gosh the international news would have a field day….but it all goes back to how far Barbados has gone astray…..we are adrift on every thing.

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  11. @@Caswell

    Lord have mercy on my sinful soul. Are you for real? I returned to the blog on the an recognized that u had hoped that the rule of law does not prevail and hence your reason for now tuning on the pm, do u have any loyalty to anyone? I could recall from reading the blog as earlier mentioned, scout and observer were correct in their analysis and u were wrong.

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  12. old onion bags

    @ Bushie
    Solution:
    Interview everyone involved
    Investigate the REASON.
    Discipline the guilty
    Everyone behind back to work
    ***********************************************
    We went this way..did we not ? but the discipline part is the problem….reasons…..known….My appeal…a last resort for grown ups to put aside their differences in the interest of THE CHILDREN…who they profess to so dearly love…..EITHER PARTY ..can easily solve and look like true Knights of Superior conferments….I know what Charles .F. Onions would do…. we all

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  13. Prodigal Son

    What baffles me is why did the BSTU go into this fight with only one objective. Does anyone know why? So with this hard and fast position, they had no way at all to manoeuvre from this position to save face. Hence the postion they are in today. I thought their legal man was an expert at labour laws!!! No wonder he is a pal of FS.

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  14. Prodigal

    I recall Mary said that removing a Principal forthwith was done before so she knows that it can happen.

    I agree that it is most baffling – if Broomes case was so clear cut to BSTU why isn’t it to the rest of Bdos and the law.

    Boy Blue

    If tht was the case ‘yes’ make the post redundant. Broomes is innocent and must be heard until proven guilty by the rule of law.

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  15. @ prodigal

    No ! in reference to your comment OSA never had the gumption to deal with the AX issue for political reason which is evident now by how the PM is being criticised as OSA knew the fall out would not worth the political body blows he might have received . unfortunstely for PM he was not politically enough savvy to have realised this beleiving that after ten years it was better to do something than do nothing seeking resolution and like they say the rest is history.

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  16. Observing (and musing)

    @prodigal and brief

    Herein lies THE critical albatros and achilles heel of the BSTU. They were wrong from day one. SAw they were wrong and modified to be even wronger. They have done an injustice to their members

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  17. Caswell Franklyn

    Pensions Act Cap. 25 Laws of Barbados

    Section 11. (1) Subject to section 13B, the Governor-General may require
    an officer to whom this section applies to retire from the service of the Crown in a civil capacity
    (a) at any time after he attains the age of 55 years;
    (b) in special cases at any time after he attains the age of 50 years

    (2) The power conferred upon the Governor-General by subsection (1) shall be exercised by him
    (a) in the case of a member of the personal staff of the Governor-General, in his discretion; and
    (b) in the case of any other officer to whom this section applies, acting in accordance with the advice of the appropriate Service Commission.

    (4) The officers to whom this section applies are all public officers except a Judge, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Auditor-General.

    I quote the relevant portion of this section without comment except to say that section 11 applies to persons who entered the service before July 15. 1985, and that section 13B applies to persons who were appointed after that date.

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  18. Wait. If people have submitted grievances for yeeeaars, had meetings for years, with promises to rectify problems for years, have a principal disregard instructions for years, inaction by the authority for years, then strike, what about that is not following grievance procedure. You people seem to think that the only BSTU issue here was that the principal “flogged” a teacher in public. Look back and see that that was the last straw. Look back and see that a complaint was registered with the MOE. Look back and see that the BSTU did in fact wait for a response in the time allotted. I am no union member but as far as the facts go, they did follow grievance procedure and has done so for many years with nothing happening as a result. Suppose another teacher comes out and ask the NUPW to represent them against Broomes, what will happen?

    Y’all need to look at both sides objectively. Each case has merit. I see people calling for the teachers to take a step back and re-examine their position but to be fair, Uncle Jeff could take a step back from his hard-ball position and think of the children he loves so much too. When the sh..t hits the fan, a lot of us will be surprised at what our disciplinarian dished out.

    You know what? Stubbornness and pride are at the root of this situation on both sides. Jeff Broomes does not back down from a challenge but I also know that he tears down whomever he can if he sees he’s going down. He may not be removed now but we’ll see what happens after the inquiry. Laugh at the teachers now but we don’t know what will come of the recommendations of this inquiry.

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  19. The remark was made that maybe the entire BSTU members could/should go on strike; are we so disrespectful of our nation’s children? Remember the CXC, unlike what Mary Red woMAN thinks, not only deals with Barbados, but the rest of the region, which means many students would be condemned to a life of failure; Can the teachers deal with that?

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  20. They can never be condemned to a life of failure. Stop the doom and gloom act and tell the truth. As much as you are firing at the “Mary Red woMan”, you need to be objective enough and look at “The Broomer” in relation to his claim to have the interest of the children at heart. He too could accept paid leave until the matter is investigated. But no, Uncle Jeff could do no wrong so him stepping aside (note I did not say agree to be separated or removed) for a while is an absolute no. Come on, man. He is the head of the plant and ultimately the children’s failures are on his head too, he cannot go blameless. Can he deal with that?

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  21. Nicky Delaney

    I am a former student of the AX School and am happy that this farce has come to an end. When I was doing my CXC’s 5 years ago, my grandfather took one look at the West Indies History syllabus and told me that he would do a better job than the authors. lol. I picked his brains and I believe I got maximum marks for that paper. I was born in the U.K and names like Bustamante, Marryshaw, Bird, Cato etc. were like music to the ear.. I am currently doing research in a related field and am truly saddened when I read comments by some of the BU commentators.. One individual boasts each time he writes, that he is an academic. Wow!! I have met so may of them, in my short life on earth that I wonder what he is trying to prove.

    From day one of the strike, I asked myself how could the BSTU (comprised mainly of academics) state that they would not return to work until the principal of the school is removed from the post? As far as I can understand, Bustamante, the least intelligent of the old Caribbean pioneer trade unionists would not have made such a grave mistake. I am sure he is laughing in his grave and saying “Yuh see what I tell yuh, education isn’t common sense”. To add insult to injury, Sir Leroy Trotman who has never made that type of demand from any company where the BWU has membership, was quick to state that he was backing the BSTU in their idiiocy .. From what I am told and have read about the late great Sir Frank Wallcott,, he too must be asking hmself why he didn’t pass the mantle to someone less intelligent.

    Every Bajan who surfs the NET would have had a copy of a correspondence between two members of the BSTU executive last weekend.. I can’t believe that one of the individuals is head of the English Department of a Secondary School… Be that as it may, the whole of Barbados knew that the end of the strike was only a matter of hours away.

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  22. Maxine

    The Commission’s report will give the GG current valid info to permanently separate Broomes from the teaching service in Barbados. Current proof. The many yeaaaaaarrrrrs of complaints did not have to reach 2012 if the alert, caring, astute BSTU had agitated in its early years.

    Now we can look at politcal affiliation and see why it was not dealt with in the early years. FEAR of the then PM ‘bullying’ all and sundry and having his way regardless of legal consequences.

    Barbadians are not FOOLISH, slow nor have short memories. Some of us do and there is corrective intervention including therapy and medication. This is 2012 – the days are hotter and many of us are seeking higher education following the instruction, commands and demands of our forefathers to ‘mek someting o’ yuhself.’

    I maintain that Owen Arthur should keep his mouth shut on this issue. He did nothing and the records are in MOE with dates.

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  23. Brief
    Save the government (us) some money, since you know what the commission will do, a give the G.G the valid information needed to serparate Mr Broome.

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  24. old onion bags

    Maxine
    The Commission’s report will give the GG current valid info to permanently separate Broomes from the teaching service in Barbados. Current proof.
    The many yeaaaaaarrrrrs of complaints did not have to reach 2012 if the alert, caring, astute BSTU had agitated in its early years.
    ***************************
    Wishin n wishing…throwin coins in the wishing well…..Boinggggg ….see how they fall….All is mine ..All is mine…(song)

    Any word on the Commission ? …6 weeks commission…lol

    Like

  25. Pingback: The Alexandra School Commission Of Inquiry | Barbados Underground

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