Dellwood staff revolt over sudden’ sackings
Dellwood Middle School pupils are expected back at their desks this morning after teachers took industrial action yesterday, when two long-term substitute teachers had their positions discontinued more than a month early.
Parents were summoned to Dellwood just after 2pm to collect their children after teachers held an emergency meeting.
A Bermuda Union of Teachers spokesman said last night: “The action was triggered and informed by the sudden termination of two long-term substitute teachers, who had been contracted to be at DMS until March 27.”
The BUT spokesman continued: “Staff were outraged at the strain this shocking and unwarranted early dismissal put upon the remaining staff and acted in solidarity with their beloved colleagues.
“No staff member at DMS could understand the sudden dismissal of the contracted individuals as their job performance was never in question at the school and they were very much still needed in the classroom.”
The spokesman added: “The BUT commends the staff of DMS for their resolve in the face of what can be described as almost abusive behaviour by the ministry and we will support our members in similar endeavours at every turn.
“We are a reasonable union and we will not stand for our members being treated unreasonably.”
One parent outside the school, who asked not to be named, said that he received a call from his child about the early closure.
The man added: “The principal is with the kids in the assembly hall. That’s as much information as I have been given at this point.”
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Education confirmed that action “short of a strike ... led to the interruption of classroom instruction and early dismissal of students from the school”.
She added: “The Department of Education has reached out to the Bermuda Union of Teachers and the Department of Labour Relations to bring an immediate resolution to the action taken by teachers. The action today has unfortunately hindered the students’ learning at Dellwood and we are working to resolve the situation.
She added: “The department will issue a notice regarding when the school will reopen.”
The BUT spokesman said: “We look forward to working with the Ministry of Education towards a speedy resolution of this matter.”
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