BUT admits it was to blame over lack of meetings
The president of the Bermuda Union of Teachers conceded his union was to blame for a lack of meetings with the Ministry of Education.
Shannon James said yesterday that the BUT had met with Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education and Workforce Development, and Acting Commissioner of Education Kalmar Richards this week.
Mr James said the lack of meeting was discussed by the parties.
He added: “We were reminded that during a meeting between the minister and BUT last September, the minister had requested that the BUT and his office meet at least once per quarter with the BUT responsible for forwarding dates to meet.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, final meeting dates were never confirmed despite the Ministry of Education reaching out in February to set up a meeting in March.”
Mr James said the groups had agreed on a “series of dates for future meetings”.
He added: “Now that both the minister and the BUT, having met, have a greater understanding of where they both stand, I am sure that going forward we will enjoy many more fruitful meetings.”
Mr James said a “very informative” presentation and update was provided on Plan 2022.
He said: “We were involved in the production of the plan, but now we understand more about how it will be implemented, as well as the checks and balances that have been put in place to ensure that it will be delivered as planned.
“We were also able to present some concerns on behalf of teachers, which the minister and acting commissioner of education took on board.”
Mr James described the meeting as “productive”.
He added: “We are confident we are headed in the right direction.”
Mr Robain said that “any indication given to the BUT that there was any trepidation to meetings” had been put to rest.
He said: “Once we sat down and discussed matters and I reminded the BUT of my outreach to them last year and my desire to meet at least once a quarter, it is apparent that wires had been crossed.”
Mr Rabain said it was “critically important” that the BUT and the Ministry of Education work together to make sure students “are the priority”.
The announcement was made in a joint press release issued yesterday by the BUT and Mr Rabain.
The BUT made a statement last week in which Mr James said that teachers were frustrated over a lack of discussions with Mr Rabain.
Mr Rabain described the BUT’s press release as “unfortunate”.
However, he added: “It served to show, and we all agree, that communication is key to any relationship.
“I have reconfirmed my commitment made to the BUT in September to meet at least once per quarter, and I am pleased that we were able to agree on dates for update meetings in June and September at our meeting.
“I look forward to working together to ensure that our young scholars receive the education that they deserve.”