A Union's greatest asset
lies in the solidarity of its members...

A Message from The President


Colleagues, I wish each of you a happy, healthy and productive New Year.  I hope you have had ample rest, relaxation and time for reflection. The economic and social difficulties of 2013 placed considerable strain on resources available to us in our classrooms. We in the BUT were asked to make considerable sacrifices. There was anguish and pain. Yet we found the cheerful courage and the inner strength to defy the odds.  The higher cause was stronger than any obstacle.   I am proud of your sterling commitment to be destiny-shapers. That’s why I’m firmly convinced that each of you in your unique way will continue to sow seeds of immeasurable goodwill.

As this New Year unfolds, let us all take inspiration from the example set by Mrs. Doris Corbin. One of the oldest BUT members, at 102, still talks passionately about her former students and the joy of teaching in the public school system. Against this backdrop, many of our retired and active teachers, school counselors and principals have demonstrated that public education can be exemplary. We have constantly promoted student achievement and caring. We have focused our actions on students’ needs. And we have derived inspiration from our collective good rather than individualistic or special interests. This makes me proud to share in the fortunes of this great Union.

I am encouraged by the effort our new administrative team put into developing a relevant, sustainable agenda through a very inclusive process.  I remain hopeful that we will come to grips with addressing the current grading scale and the Middle School structure as pressing priorities.

2014 will be a game-changer for the BUT. It is the year that we mark our 96th anniversary.  The BUT has fought valiantly for equal pay, better work conditions, and for you, our educators to be treated fairly and with due process. I ask you to draw upon our proud legacy to inspire our future commitment.   Throughout the remaining school year and beyond, we will seek as many opportunities to mount our ambitions as do the birds. Some of these creative initiatives are:

§  Founder's week of activities

§  Addressing the current grading scales

§  The annual BUT Butterfield and Valis road race

§  Community service opportunities targeted towards our senior and retired members

§  A bi-monthly newsletter to share our creative gifts and voice concerns that are important to the BUT

I charge you to take an active part in the advancement of our Union. Your wisdom, compassion, resilience and tough mindedness are needed in the coming months and school terms. Together, we must build the best society possible with the lives we touch in the classroom, every time we stand before our students. Doing so will bring untold benefits to students, parents, each other, and the wider national community.

In that spirit, I look forward to working closely with you over the coming year. We will only achieve greatness with your undying support. Let’s make 2014, our year of re-dedication and excellence!

Yours sincerely,

Shannon James

President, Bermuda Union of Teachers

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