Saturday, April 20, 2024

3 days not enough!


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THREE DAYS IS not a long enough period for paternity leave, although it is “a step in the right direction”, says head of the Men’s Educational Support Association (MESA), Ralph Boyce.“I am very strong in support of paternity leave for males whose spouses are having a baby, but I don’t think that three days are enough,” he told the DAILY NATION yesterday.“I think that a week would be adequate. Give men three days and they will continue to steal time from their workplaces to visit their spouses in hospital and take care of other family business.”Boyce was commenting on the disclosure by president of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT), Karen Best, that the union was seeking to have three days’ paid paternity leave for teachers whose wives/girlfriends were having a baby.“Paternity leave would bring us closer to gender justice,” Boyce reasoned.“It’s important for men because they can’t sit down and do work at the workplace when their spouses are having a baby. They have to thieve time to run to and from the hospital and, in some cases, to manage the household all by themselves.“In some cases, the man has to readjust his whole life. He has to be father and mother. He really cannot function effectively at work during this time.”Best had said the paternity leave recommendation was part of a list of union proposals in a collective bargaining document to which the Ministry of Education had given its blessing.The BUT also proposed that teachers not be forced to resign their jobs if they wanted to contest a general election.Boyce said he was still mulling over that proposal.“That requires a lot more thought,” he said. “The issue is coming back from that leave if you do not succeed in politics.“I am concerned about the influence which an active party political person can exert on young minds in the classroom. I believe it could be an undue influence, but I am not totally clear on this one.” (TY)


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