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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No Comments on “The Alexandra Impasse: Enough Is Enough”

  1. ac April 21, 2012 at 9:44 PM #

    @ 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.


  2. Observing (and musing) April 21, 2012 at 10:02 PM #

    @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


  3. Maxine April 22, 2012 at 10:05 AM #

    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.


  4. The Scout April 22, 2012 at 10:41 AM #

    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?


  5. Maxine April 22, 2012 at 11:11 AM #

    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?


  6. Nicky Delaney April 23, 2012 at 10:10 AM #

    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.


  7. Brief April 23, 2012 at 10:28 AM #


    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.


  8. The Scout April 23, 2012 at 1:51 PM #

    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.


  9. old onion bags May 1, 2012 at 9:50 AM #

    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



  1. The Alexandra School Commission Of Inquiry | Barbados Underground - July 3, 2012

    […] The Alexandra Impasse: Enough Is Enough Rate this:Tell your friends:EmailPrintFacebookTwitterLinkedInDiggRedditStumbleUponTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Barbados, Barbados News, Fruendel Stuart and tagged Alexandra School, BSTU, Frederick Waterman, Jeff Broomes. Bookmark the permalink. ← Bar Association President Andrew Pilgrim Serving Two Masters […]


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