Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Government regrets Teacher’s Union statement

Gibraltar Government said it “deeply regrets and rejects” the statement by the Teachers’ Union that teachers are dismayed at not being given the same opportunity as other Civil Servants to attend today’s demonstration and that this undermines the professionalism of teachers.

It also expressed “surprise and disappointment” at the tone of NASUWT’s statement.

Minister for Education Dr Bernard Linares said:

“Government’s advice to teachers’ leaders has been that it would be prudent to refrain from sending all teachers to the demonstration given that this would necessarily require the schools to be closed down.

Similar advice had been offered by the Gibraltar Trades Council, TGWU and Prospect, as the Unions organising the demo believe the closure of schools would force many parents to stay away from the demonstration or having to make alternative arrangements at very short notice.

Head-teachers of Government Schools expressed concern that closure of schools on Wednesday would disrupt important end of term functions which cannot be rescheduled given the proximity of the end of the academic year.

The Government is rather surprised and disappointed at the tone of NASUWT’s statement given the rational and amicable discussion which had previously taken place. The exchange of views culminated with NASUWT agreeing with Government’s recommendation that it would be more beneficial to keep schools open.

What is more, there are many other public servants such as police officers, firemen, medical and nursing staff, utilities workers and many others who also forego their right to participate in order to keep important collective public services operational.”

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