BVI News

Gov’t failed to meet demands so senior school teachers join sickout

Teachers of Elmore Stoutt High School’s senior students stage a virtual sickout ahead of online classes today, Thursday, October 28.

The government has reportedly failed to meet the demands of the BVI Teachers’ Union (BVITU) so teachers at Elmore Stoutt High School’s (ESHS) senior campus are continuing a sickout their colleagues at the junior campus began yesterday, October 27.

This is what the BVITU communicated to our news centre this afternoon, while further stating that ESHS’s junior campus teachers returned to classes today.

The BVITU’s Public Relations (PR) Unit said the union is not planning any more protests at the junior campus for the foreseeable future and teachers are just waiting to see what happens next.

The PR team added that neither the Chief Education Officer Connie George nor the Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley have reached out to the Teacher’s Union regarding the issues surrounding the sickout that started yesterday.

“We have put forward several demands to the government which have not been met. Some of them had timelines on it but to date, nothing has been fulfilled,” the PR unit stated.

The PR team further said the $300 stipend promised by Minister Wheatley during the celebration of Teacher’s Week has not been paid out to teachers as yet. They also mentioned the BVITU has requested a written agreement from the Virgin Islands government to facilitate payment of no fewer than two past due increments.

“Our salaries are already low but the increments would at least make up for it but that has not been met by the government,” they added.

The PR team also said the termly cleaning of mould on both campuses have not been done. She noted the junior campus is also affected by mould and some of the teachers are suffering from this.

Classes at the senior campus moved online yesterday as the government tries to rectify the mould problem at that location. The BVITU’s PR team said they were told the issue should be remedied by the end of next week. However, our news centre was told educators are not very confident of the timeframe for completion given the government’s lethargic approach to the other demands of the teachers.

The PR unit further said talks have been ongoing for the eventual relocation of the senior campus to the junior campus in Road Town but no updates have been forthcoming from the government.

“Ground was to be broken by January of next year but to date, nothing has been said or done.”

Efforts to reach the Chief Education Officer Connie George for a comment on the issue continues to be unsuccessful. At the time this article was written, Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley was in parliament so BVI News was unable to get a comment.

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18 Comments

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  1. Concerned Citizen says:

    Aren’t some of these demands the responsibility of the Chief Education Officer?

  2. lol hmm says:

    So basically the honorable minister is a lair?

    Like 14
  3. In solidarity says:

    “We have put forward several demands to the government which have not been met. Some of them had timelines on it but to date, nothing has been fulfilled,” the PR unit stated.

    Sickout until they meet your demands. This government only look out for its friends in high places while the others suffer.

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
  4. Wait for Host. In waiting room. says:

    I gather the students will have to continue to wait until some agreement is made.

    The teachers’ union demands does not appear unreasonable. In the interest of all students, I hope that both sides can come to an agreement soon and resume classes as quickly as possible.

    These students education has been interrupted repetitively for some time now dating back to the hurricanes of 2017 if not longer. Then came the covid pandemic making matters worse.

    Many have reportedly fallen behind with remote classes. They have been tru a lot.

    Teachers have also apparently gone thru a lot as well, and I support them and their action; however, I trust an agreement can be reached soon so that our kids can get back to learning.

    Like 14
  5. Fahie is Cr**inal says:

    Imagine he stand up to say, Back Bechers should get increase and Tax payers should pay the speaker bill… Why Sowande acting like a child while the P. spitting in his face.he cant find money to meet teachers request, but fahie finding money for all kind of useless nonsense

    Like 32
  6. How Much? says:

    So how much are teachers paid?

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  7. Ahhhhhh ok says:

    I guess teachers will be staying home in protest for the next few months/years? For example, if ground is to be broken “next year” for new Jr High how do they expect to hear or see it done now. Additionally, ALL Government workers are owed increment so how do teachers alone expect to get theirs before all others. However, truth be told, now will be a good time to weed out the bad teachers from to good…fire all the hoggish, rude and lazy teachers who pretending to be so concerned about the health of students who they does be insulting and shouting at on a daily basis and reward/keep the good teachers.

    Let’s be honest, it have teachers that parents can’t even ask a question about their child’s learning because them is hogs. It have teachers that can’t even teach…get rid of them.

    I say protest for what can be achieved in the short term…don’t protest the building of a new school that supposed to start next year in this year. Don’t protest mold in the school the same day the mold issue is starting to be resolved…make the protest make sense.

    Like 7
    Dislike 7
    • 1EYE says:

      This is how I see it too. The teachers are being manipulated to do nonsense and are playing politics. It’s like the teachers lost the ability to reason with sense. They already had the support but now they’re going to start losing some of it thru stupid selfish actions.

      Like 1
      Dislike 9
  8. Anonymous says:

    Plenty of Filipinos looking job opportunities in the BVI and they will take half of what the teachers are currently being paid with no complaints about anything.

    Like 4
    Dislike 10
    • BS! says:

      That’s how we elevate our home? Driving everything down to the lowest cost provider? Eventually, you get what you paid for, and you will see then what a mess you have made. You need to stay @anonymous talking that stupidity.

      Like 8
      Dislike 2
      • Anonymous says:

        The hardest workers are those that suffered the most or know the value of their job and importance of money. Bring on the Filipinos Mr. Premier let those teachers see o go look work in the private sector where the rules are more strict.

        Like 2
        Dislike 2
    • @Anonymous says:

      Your lack of knowledge, experience and expertise in the upper education level shows.

      Most qualified educators/teachers have sacrified four years in higher education. Many have done much more. Some have spent up to fifteen years in one, two or more universities and burning the mid night oil to achieve the qualifications.

      Who of them would then even coonsider working in the challenging teaching profession for less than they are being now? Only one who is dumb and stupid, as your comment so poignantly suggest.

      If you don’t know nothing about a topic/profession, shut your mouth and go begin learning.

      No one who has worked very hard, made many sacrifes and more would teach for less than what is being paid currently, unless you are a fool and who does not value your worth..

      Like 6
      Dislike 2
  9. Joke says:

    I always knew the $300 reimbursement was a complete joke. They actually fell for that? Not me! I would have asked for the $300 up front.

  10. @ Anonymous says:

    That is the problem with the BVI and that is why it is going down hill so fast. Teachers standing up for healthy environment and conditions for themselves and the students and all some of you could think about is to replace them with people who will settle to work under any inhumane conditions and for slave wages.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  11. TruDat! says:

    Honourable (?!?) SoWhatsGoingOn? will fix this.

  12. BS! says:

    CG and Honourable (?!?) SoWhatsGoingOn? have never done a thing for the teachers or the children. Both of them should resign and let someone who cares take over immediately.

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