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Oct 8, 2015

UB Belmopan Staff Walks Out

There was another protest today on the heels of the ongoing Social Security demonstrations. The faculty and staff of the University of Belize staged a small demonstration this morning at its Belmopan campus.  The protest succeeds an ultimatum given to UB President Alan Slusher as it concerns a demand for a fourteen percent salary increase for members of the Faculty and Staff Association.  Despite previous comments by Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, on the lengthy process of negotiating an adjustment, staffers today walked out of their classrooms and gathered near the main building.  While some sessions were interrupted by the action, Vice President Harrison Flowers, of the UB Faculty and Staff Association, told News Five that the protest comes ahead of another planned meeting with all parties involved in the negotiations.

 

Harrison Flowers

On the phone: Harrison Flowers, Vice President, UBFSA

“On October first, there was an election to nominate members to serve on the executive body of the association and that executive body that was elected was instructed to meet with the president and we met with President Slusher on October sixth to plan forward on this requested fourteen percent raise for faculty and staff. What happen, we had schedule a meeting with our membership to educate them on the outcome of this meeting with President Slusher. We gave him ample time to respond to us and we also planned a meeting for October fourteenth, which is next Wednesday, to consult and meet with our membership. Apparently concerned members of the association decided that they wanted to take immediate action and as the executive body, when you have an association, you are steering and representing a number of people, you have to plan very carefully. So that’s what the association was doing; we were giving ourselves ample time to get a response from administration at the university level and I guess concerned faculty and staff member thought that the timeframe was too far apart. So we had a small gathering today at the Belmopan campus and we had concerns being brought over in respect to the fourteen percent raise. And just to clear things up, we had a five percent already been allocated for our faculty and staff salary increase, which is in no way to be mistaken for what is being requested from the fourteen percent. So five percent was already scheduled out and faculty and staff…probably they had the idea that that was what administration was presented in place of the fourteen percent. This is not so. So I guess because of the timeframe and in their perspective, the association executive wasn’t moving as fast as they would have expect them to move. They had a small gathering this morning to express how they feel; their discontent.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Did that gathering disrupt classes that were scheduled for the UB Belmopan campus?”

 

On the phone: Harrison Flowers

“Not a hundred percent. We had faculty members…as I said; we had concerned faculty members and also concerned staff members from the university here in Belmopan. We also had faculty members who continued with the schedule of classes for students. And there were some students who…at the time we met, some classes were already over so we had people who had no classes. We had faculty members who had no classes. But for other classes that happened within the timeframe of the gathering and after, classes just ran with the schedule.”

 

As previously mentioned, a meeting of the UBFSA is scheduled for next Wednesday.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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