Engagement begins between Teachers Union and Education Ministry, so educators sent back to the classroom on Monday

Teachers went back to the classroom on Monday afternoon, February 13, following a sit-in during the morning hours.

The teachers had been instructed by the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers (A&BUT) not to commence teaching until its executives had been engaged by the Ministry of Education to discuss a number of troubling issues, including the upsurge in school violence.

Director of Education Clare Browne reportedly called the emergency meeting with the Union in response to the threat of industrial action; however, he was not present, a source confirms.

A source says the meeting between the Education Ministry and the Union’s executive was, in fact, held at the Ministry of Legal Affairs. However, it is not known whether there were other participants.

When the meeting got underway, the public-school teachers were subsequently given instructions by a representative to return to the classroom.

What the two sides agreed to had not been disclosed up to the time of this newscast.  But the Union had already said it would take more than one meeting to arrive at resolution of their issues, and its membership would be updated on the outcome of the deliberations.

In the meantime, Browne is in St. Lucia, attending the OECS PEARL-Regional Curriculum and Assessment Summit 2023. He is expected to be back at his desk on Monday, February 20.

However, during his absence, Deputy Director of Education Jonah Greene will be handling the director’s duties.