BVI News

‘Our teachers are frustrated! Treat us as priority’ — BVI Teachers Union

The L Adorothy Turnbull Building at Elmore Stoutt High School’s Road Town campus for junior students.

The teachers at the Elmore Stoutt High School’s (ESHS) junior campus said they are tired of the poor treatment by the government of the Virgin Islands.

A statement by the Executive Committee of the BVI Teachers Union (BVITU) said they were in agreement with the teachers’ decision to stage a sickout on Wednesday.

“Our cries, though acknowledged, seem to be falling on deaf ears. We, the teachers of the BVI have always gone above and beyond for the students of the territory; many times, sacrificing ourselves,” the statement said.

“The conditions of our schools and treatment of our teachers must be a priority, not a reaction. Today, we are guided by the declaration, ‘Our working conditions and environment are the students’ learning conditions and environment‘,” the Executive Committee of the BVITU said.

BVITU President Tammy Henry said this is all the Teachers’ Union would say on the matter. She declined to make any further comment.

On Wednesday morning, a score of students who turned up for classes at the junior school campus in Road Town between 8:30 am and 9:00 am had to turn back as the teachers were staging the sickout.

On the heels of World Teachers Week celebrations

The silent protest comes approximately three weeks after World Teacher’s Day and World Teacher’s Week were celebrated in the Virgin Islands under the theme “Teachers at the Heart of Education”. 

At the time, Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley asked for local businesses to offer educators discounted rates during the week and for the rest of October. 

The Education Minister also said teachers would received $300 in reimbursements for a portion of personal funds they would have used on the job.

BVI News tried contacting the Education Minister and the Chief Education Officer Connie George but all attempts were unsuccessful up until news time. 

An October 27 press conference scheduled for 7 pm by Minister Wheatley to update the nation on the situation with the teachers was postponed.

Problems at the senior school

The issues with the junior school come at a time when ESHS’s Pasea campus for senior students is also facing several issues. Classes were forced online because of a major air-quality problem at the facility.

The senior campus was closed yesterday and will remain closed for the next few days as the ministry sanctions a mould-clearing exercise to address the situation.

 

Shares

Copyright 2022 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

38 Comments

Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. WHEN says:

    Was the last time you hear any of those masterminds talk about rebuilding ( ESHS )? look at all the money that they SQUANDERED on so called high powered attorneys / consultant/ barges etc for protection from themselves and no respect for the teachers/ yet the have BISHOP pastors and the VG Queen talking about UK WAR AGAINST THE UK

    Like 44
    • 1EYE says:

      last week was the last time and Andrew told the COI he is about to start that project along with the RDA.

      So I find all of this to be unreasonable and stupid. Frustrating yes I can agree with that but there is a plan and it’s not magic, it takes materials and work which takes time but it is in the works. So I find this to be childish. Forget tourism forget fighting for the territory forget health forget everything and give us teachers $$$. I think your ego’s have gotten the better of your judgement. Things are hard some of us don’t have steady jobs and things are moving fwd. Vote the government out if you want when the time comes but be reasonable and continue to do your part. Suppose the food vendors decide they aren’t opening anymore b/c things bad and their profits are less. 2021 everyone is making less and everything costs more, EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD. Think about the BVI as a whole right now not just yourself.

      Like 3
      Dislike 33
      • @1EYE says:

        The teaching conditions have been unacceptable since school started back after the hurricane in 2017. There was a TEMPORARY facility that has now been used for over 4 years. Whilst we appreciate that things take time – priorities don’t take this much time. We have a government who make decisions. At any point, they could have reallocated budget funds to make the school and education system a priority. Anyone can see that they didn’t. From what I understand it goes beyond this. Nobody is saying to forget tourism or forget health – when there was a health crisis (ie: the hospital not having enough PPE during the Covid breakout) people rallied and did what they could to support…. the government didn’t – they were busy looking at insurance policies for themselves and increasing the payout for outgoing ministers… Lets look at how the government budget could pay CSC over $16K per month in consultancy fees but the majority of teachers are not getting a wage that comes anywhere close to acceptable. Every minister can get a consultant that is paid 4x more than the average teacher, yet they don’t need any justifiable qualifications, they don’t have to report to anyone and they don’t need to produce anything….. It is time that education in this territory is treated as a priority, and if the teachers had to protest to get that done then so be it….. Also…. just because something was said to be started does not mean it will be. We have heard many promises that have yet to come to fruition.

        Like 26
        • 1EYE says:

          Exactly my point. You’re mixing issues to justify inappropriate action. The Great USA didnt have enough PPE equipment and cancelled the shipment to the BVI b/c they didn’t have enough, but you blame the government for not having enough. Who were they to buy them from when the USA decided not to ship to them?

          Also a government/country has to function, that reqs all ministries to be funded and to operate.
          Now you know the future and that b/c they said it it isn’t going to happen. Not a Fact that is an opinion!

          It is frustrating and all I am saying is the choice of action is poor.
          So you’re saying forget all the rest of government and fund the teachers, ignore the processes and procedures that they are now in hot water for and just give $$$ to the schools so forget everything else and pay the teachers. Where to take the $$$ from today to give the teachers tomorrow then since that will solve it? I await the response, maybe it’s doable so tell us. What to ignore so the teachers can feel like teaching. I await your wise response. CSC is 1 contract and you claim there to be many so just provide the solution and I’ll call into every radio show with it. Let’s do it.

          • fatuous says:

            comment. This government cynically avoided accepting the essential loans for Irma rebuilding, claiming unacceptable terms – kept secret naturally. The “government” also were offered a free rebuild design for ESHS – but declined. Government by radio show as you suggest actually would be better than this shower.

      • Someone posted this below, 1 blind eye. says:

        That 5 million spent on those lawyers for the COI.
        The money spent on body guards for the Premier
        The money spent on contracts for Claude Cline
        The 17k spent per day for each of 3 barges on the water
        The money spent on brand new SUV’s for government ministers to drive around in
        The money spent on a sports car for one minister and a stretch Escalade for wigged speaker to drive about in
        The money spent for renting at high rates the buildings of cronies
        The increase in stipend given to board members who are all cronies
        The stimulus money given to people who never farmed or fished in their lives and more

        And teachers got a happy hour drink and a promise of $300 from the government. But have to work and teach in deplorable conditions. Think about that for a moment

        Like 22
        Dislike 1
        • Oh Oh says:

          Oh Oh and not forgetting the millions spent on a bogus plane and a very high wall, oh and the pier park project. Lets not forget to mention that too!!

          Like 2
          Dislike 5
        • 1EYE says:

          And all of this happened this week?
          No they taught thru all of it so keep teaching. You’re being manipulated. Every one of us is still working, you should too. No amount of rehearsed melee can change that. When CSC got his contract was yrs ago, but today you can’t teach b/c of his contract? Oh Please STFU with that nonsense.

          You’re being used as pawns in someone else’s game of thrones. So tell us the community what you need to teach tomorrow so we can work on it. Since Teachers alone have issues with the state of affairs.

          Like 1
          Dislike 1
        • Not a sports car says:

          The Ionic is an electric car. Get the facts straight.

  2. heckler says:

    The minister offered the teachers a drink after his government squandered millions….Well sah!!

    Like 30
    Dislike 1
  3. MK says:

    Everything is falling apart with this government; I have never seen the BVI in this condition in all of my 70 years. This is happening in every department of the government we need help and fast. You can’t even try to pay your taxes without a 3 to 4-hour wait, the season is on us, and businesses can’t get work permits for their workers, the government is taxing us in many different ways. The charter businesses are seeing new charges they will run them away from the way things are going. We need help this government is taking the BVI to a new low. No one in the government has taken responsibility for the education of our children for at least four years. The UK needs to do something to try and save us.

    Like 40
    Dislike 2
    • DEAR GOD says:

      PLEASE SEND US ANOTHER MOSES TO LEAD FROM THE HANDS OF THE VIP

      Like 17
      • watchman says:

        You know the people hated Moses while he was leading them out of slavery right? And when they got away from Pharoah they turned on same Moses immediately after.

        My point is you might have that Moses right now and not be recognizing it just like they didn’t recognize who Moses actually was at the time or what he was actually doing for them.

        Pastors teach your flock. Moses didn’t get them into better conditions as fast as we read the pages, it took time for things to happen, and they cursed him and made idols of gold when they escaped the Nile. Proving to God that they weren’t worth the help he provided for them.

        • Also… says:

          Only two from the original group of Israelites that departed Egypt made it to the promise land. The rest died in the wilderness …..

        • Really??? says:

          Interesting…. I believe you need to dig a little deeper into the word. The journey to the promise land should have never taken 40 years. Because of their disobedience God punished them and wiped of the older generation. Moses was the right man for the job because he was in training by God. But our rebellion causes us to suffer sometimes. So get it right.

  4. SMH says:

    THIS GOVERNMENT ONLY THINKING ABOUT FATTENING THEIR POCKETS AND THE POCKETS OF THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.. set of money paying in contracts to fix this and that.. but no sign of any work being done.. the state this country in is like no one running it.

    Like 22
    Dislike 1
  5. Priorities says:

    That 5 million spent on those lawyers for the COI.
    The money spent on body guards for the Premier
    The money spent on contracts for Claude Cline
    The 17k spent per day for each of 3 barges on the water
    The money spent on brand new SUV’s for government ministers to drive around in
    The money spent on a sports car for one minister and a stretch Escalade for wigged speaker to drive about in
    The money spent for renting at high rates the buildings of cronies
    The increase in stipend given to board members who are all cronies
    The stimulus money given to people who never farmed or fished in their lives and more

    And teachers got a happy hour drink and a promise of $300 from the government. But have to work and teach in deplorable conditions. Think about that for a moment.

    Like 54
  6. @Priorities says:

    Well said!!!

  7. Lester says:

    I am not going to blame government especially this one. This is not a blaming game here. This requires action. Action of who is in power to remedy many of the concerns our system have.

    However, the masterminds behind the intent are strategically using their leverage to attack the current administration for political points. This is unacceptable also.

    The A Fahie administration is doing every thing in its power with the current circumstances and the inheritance of past government to bring a solution to many of these problems. They will not be solve overnight nor go away over night. It requires time and patience.

    NDP bloggers will not like this statement and click many thumbs down as they like but it’s the reality that we have to live with since their party was apart of the problem for the past 8 years.

    Walwyn had the chance to do it but instead of a school he built a wall with 60 plus contractors.

    Now we have to get over that hurdle to deal with our current problems.

    Bring solutions NDP bloggers if want credit.

    Like 5
    Dislike 30
    • @Lester says:

      Stop the f**king foolish noise this morning please. Doing everything where? This Admin is TOTALLY F**KING INCOMPETENT!!!!!! Name one meaningful thing that they have done since being elected in Feb. 2019. State how much money they have spent and state the meaningful things done. Talk is cheap, they are all a complete f**king waste of time and the records show clearly.

      Sowande = COMPLETE WASTE
      Vincent = COMPLETE WASTE
      Carvin = WASTE
      Sheep = WASTE
      Sharie = COMPLETE WASTE AND BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT
      Shereen = Trying but won’t make it
      Andrew = COMPLETE WASTE & DICTATOR
      Alvera = COMPLETE WASTE
      Kye = The only beacon of hope in the bunch but seemingly caught up in the nonsense

      Like 29
      Dislike 2
    • Pleaseeeeee says:

      Give me a d**m break!!!!
      what the h**l are you talking about?

      The VIP government had time and opportunity to effect the change they campaigned on…but we knew it was a lie and some people bought the lie.

      There is 17 million dollars sitting on the hill side that could have build a state of the art world class school for the children and the teachers to excel in and you are talking about a wall? That 17 million will sit on that hill side for time before anyone can buy them and in the meanwhile what? Hmmm? What?!

      Sit down!!! you ignorant granny nipper!

  8. No way says:

    Correction, No one in Government has taken the responsibility for the education of our children for the past ten years. It is a shame how everything is capitalized for political reason. I can list a number of things that were done by the past administration to bring us to this point. NDP did more damage to the education system than the present Government. For starters money was spent on a new building that was blown away with no insurance coverage. Too much money wasted over the many years.

    Like 3
    Dislike 8
    • UK WE NEED ur HELP says:

      My children are sitting at home on their devices with no teachers to teach them while the Government and Bloggers play politricks. This is UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!

    • @NO Way says:

      NDP with Myron as Minister did a lot for the education system and the record is clear. This Government claimed they were better and have been in power for 2 years. The Minister is such a coward he cancelled his press conference on the issue, what does that tell you? Nobody is seeking perfection especially after Irma, COVID, COI, people understand that the Government has challenges but look at what they rather put as priority and what they spend millions on? The BVI Tech School and additional 12 grade were the best things to happen and wouldn’t have properly manifested unless they had 3-5 years to work and tweak accordingly.

      Like 14
  9. Question says:

    Aren’t Unions illegal in the BVI?

  10. B**LY says:

    Fahie Bully Mrs C I*** from her PS Education position because he know she don’t take nonsense and bring back that Jamaican: now everything headed downhill fast – Fahie God don’t like ugly and now you watching your f** backside with this COI

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  11. Teacher says:

    The BVITU is not a Trade Union and cannot call a strike or sick out. The teachers action is not illegal though. What this govt needs to realize is that what teachers tolerated in the past will NOT be overlooked by these younger teachers. I do not know the reason for the sick out but it seems strange since they recently had a meeting with the Premier and the Minister. Was the Minister moving too slow? When Walwyn was Minister every Monday morning was a new policy. We used to be so upset until we saw the bigger picture then we appreciated what he was trying to do. Honestly I really miss him in the driver’s seat. Somehow I feel we would not have been where we are now! It makes me feel like I xan support Walwyn for Premier!!

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  12. reporter says:

    I’m standing in solidarity 100% with the teachers. Enough is enough and they must send a clear message to those responsible that they have listened too long to empty promises and they have waited and waited for their issues to be resolved but no one is paying attention. No one should get angry or become upset when references are made to the $ $$ millions and millions that was pissed down the drain on other insignificant things. Education MUST be a top priority and as such, it should be treated. Fix the ESHS and make it conducive to learning. STOP playing with the education of our children. Both teachers and students deserve better. FIX IT!!

  13. East man says:

    He is a fool

  14. The Minister is weak. says:

    How come Fahie finding money for all kind of nonsense none priority matters and the teachers are been ignored…I say, it comes down to a weak minister..

    • @The Minister is weak. says:

      Maybe, maybe not. A statement made preelection clearly illustrates the motive for wanting to be elected. Who know, know. Sad the majority of the public does not know of that statement.

  15. Reality says:

    Not much evidence that education is a priority hereabouts. It should be but it’s not. Back in the days of $ 1 billion GNP, there was no reason BVIs could not be the best educated isalnds in the Caribbean, but no. Rather sqaunder $1 million + on a wall around the school than on finding and retaining good teachers, and on maintaining safe conditions in schools.

  16. At least a decade says:

    This situation with low teacher wages, teachers being forced to buy student supplies out of their own pockets and failing school structures has been going on for a very long time.

    It is not ONLY the fault of the VIP. This falls on the shoulders of the NDP as well…oh, and on US. WE allowed it to become so by electing and re electing the same cynical politicians. Shame on us.

  17. Real simple says:

    Ministers don’t want to pay for quality education, they afraid the youngsters will become smarter than their parents and won’t vote for crooks.

Leave a Comment

Shares