‘Get over it’ comment raises union ire
A strongly-worded response by Education Permanent Secretary Warren Jones, who hit back at criticism of the recruitment of a non-Bermudian to the post of Education Commissioner, have been deemed “insensitive, inappropriate and offensive” by the Bermuda Public Services Union.
Complaints over the appointment of US educator Edmond Heatley were dismissed by Mr Jones on Thursday as sour grapes by “a small group of disgruntled applicants”.
The Permanent Secretary's response included a suggestion that civil servants who maintain that suitably qualified Bermudians were overlooked needed to “get over it”.
BPSU president Kevin Grant yesterday said the remark appeared to be “a veiled threat against them”.
The BPSU represents the Island's public school principals, while rank and file educators fall under the Bermuda Union of Teachers.
Mr Grant continued: “The Ministry of Education civil servants and principals have a right to apply for the Commission of Education post, and as such there must be a succession plan in place that facilitates training these officers so that in three years' time there is a cadre of prepared Bermudians that are eligible to assume the duties of the Commissioner of Education.”
He said it was expected that potential candidates would get adequate training for the job.
Dr Heatley is due to assume his new role on September 11.
In the meantime, today marks the end of the tenure of previous Commissioner, Bermudian Wendy McDonell — who is currently off the Island, leaving Mr Jones as Acting Commissioner.