WITU ‘surprised’ by Duncan’s statements about PSVE principal | THE DAILY HERALD

EBENEZER–The Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU) board says it is surprised by comments made by Foundation for Academic and Vocational Education (FAVE) board Chairperson Roland Duncan regarding St. Maarten Academy Preparatory Secondary Vocational Education (PSVE) section principal Lavern Nelson.

In an article published in The Daily Herald on July 18, Duncan said the board had no intention to fire Nelson and indicated that some of the complaints from the teachers had been “out of order” and “does not have much validity.”  

In a press release issued on Sunday, WITU said that in its meeting with the FAVE board on July 9, Duncan had said the board could not replace Nelson at this time because there was no time to find a replacement or conduct any interviews.

“In the article on July 18, 2018, Duncan stated that he never intended to remove Mrs. Nelson from her position. This was contrary to what was communicated to the union in the meeting. In addition, he stated that the board will give her the opportunity to respond to the teachers’ concerns as a form of their evaluation of her and the running of the school,” WITU said in its release.

The union said also that during its meeting with the board, Duncan had said the board would set aside August 8 for WITU to meet with PSVE teachers on campus to discuss their grievances. However, after repeated emails, WITU has yet to receive a set date confirmation.

“As it relates to the teachers’ late coming, which Duncan touched on, WITU was not provided with any statistical figures during our meeting to indicate a trend that warrants a reminder or warning letters to the teachers,” WITU said.

“In that meeting, FAVE questioned SBA [School Based Assessments – Ed.] grades being higher than the exam grades. As a board, these facts should be communicated to you via management. Mr. Duncan stated that he doesn’t need insight from the teachers, it’s not a democracy. You just need them to turn up and teach. Are the teachers robots? Board members are not involved in the day-to-day running of the school. However, teachers have a right to complain if they feel management is not functioning,” the union said.

“Duncan also indicated that he is not always in agreement with decisions that Mrs. Nelson makes, but allows it, because she seems to know what she is doing, and she will be held accountable for her actions. How?

“Mr. Duncan, the teachers you hired are demotivated because of your school manager. Let’s figure out how best to ensure that team PSVE is motivated, and stop playing games. In light of the alarming number of teachers needed in St. Maarten’s schools, it is best if the FAVE board acknowledge its hardworking teachers and do what is necessary to keep them functioning under the best circumstances.”

WITU said it is “not happy” with the complaints from its members and will “certainly continue to investigate the allegations and will take action to inform our members of their rights and responsibilities.”

“WITU has always advocated for better working conditions for our members and a better working relationship with all stakeholders, including school boards,” the union said.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/79278-witu-surprised-by-duncan-s-statements-about-psve-principal