All Saints Secondary School’s teachers stage sit-in

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Teachers at All Saints Secondary School have vowed to stay off the job for the second day, today, if there has been no improvement to the cleanliness of the school compound, as the cleaning staff is being blamed for not doing their jobs effectively.
Yesterday, classes were dismissed around 10 am after close to 70 educators refused to work in conditions they said included garbage strewn about the compound and a pungent stench from the bathrooms, amongst other issues.
In an interview, President of the Antigua & Barbuda Union of Teachers Ashworth Azille said the teachers have been trying to get their concerns addressed for some time.
“The bathrooms are very unsanitary, giving an indication that the cleaners were not doing as thorough a job as they really should have. This is a matter that was brought to the attention of the Ministry of Education; it’s been on the table since last year and it appears nothing was being done,” he said.
Teachers at the school located in the centre of the country, met on Friday to determine the type of action to be taken to bring attention to their plight.
“As far as I am aware, the education officer with responsibility for secondary schools came and spoke with the teachers [yesterday] and even after that the teachers were quite resolute that they have been seeking a resolution for quite a while and they were not about to walk away with what they considered to be a small effort to address the matter,” Azille added.
Students have been chipping in to help keep their learning areas clean, but Azille said the cleaners need to do the job they are being paid to do.
The Central Board of Health was called in to assess the cleanliness of the compound, bathrooms and classrooms.
The blame for one sick teacher’s ailment has been placed on the unsanitary conditions.

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