The BVI Teachers’ Union (BVITU) has met with the Minister of Education Thursday night to discuss issues facing educators. However, the union cannot confirm if this will stop the ongoing silent protest among teachers.
The Public Relations (PR) team of the teachers’ union said they will have follow-up meetings with Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley and hopes to reach an amicable conclusion.
“We met with the minister but it was just to discuss the issues again that teachers face and also do follow-up meetings where the union will propose additional requests in writing. They were discussed but we are going to propose them in writing with possible deadlines by which we wish to have them met,” the PR team said.
The PR team of the BVITU further said they cannot provide a definite answer on when the teachers will stop the protest as the Education Ministry has a far way to go in addressing the teacher’s concerns.
“I wouldn’t say the protest would necessarily be dropped and I can’t confirm if it will go into next week because, as I said, we are going to propose additional written requests. We are going to give them proposed dates and when that time comes, the teachers will decide how we move going forward,” they added.
Several teachers from many schools protesting
So far, two confirmed schools have had a teacher sickout which started on Wednesday at the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) junior campus. The ESHS senior campus had a virtual sickout on Thursday and earlier this morning BVI News reported the Althea Scatliffe Primary School (ASPS) had also joined the silent protest.
The PR team said schools across the territory have joined and they are standing in solidarity with their colleagues.
“I’ve heard there are lots of schools across the territory that have joined. I do not know the exact schools or how many. However, I know on Facebook that some principals have put out closure notices informing parents but I don’t know the exact number,” the team said.
The BVITU had previously put forward several demands to the Ministry and failure to meet them lead to the sickout that is ongoing.
The BVITU said the demands included paying no fewer than two past due increments in the next budget cycle, the termly cleaning of mould on the ESHS junior and senior campuses as well as the relocation of the senior campus back to Road Town where the junior campus is located.
The teachers’ union also noted the $300 stipend promised during Teachers’ Week by Wheatley has not been paid as yet.
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