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Sep 5, 2016

Majority of Teachers Demand Salary Adjustments Now

Elena Smith

Prime Minister Dean Barrow has met with the three unions to discuss delaying the final salary adjustments for teachers and public officers as agreed to by the Joint Negotiating Team back in 2014. This meeting took place on the heels of the two-hundred million dollar payment made by government as part of the compensation package for the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited. The unions requested time to consult with its individual membership as to whether the proposal by the PM would fly. The follow-up meeting with PM Barrow is still pending, but the majority of the B.N.T.U. members are not in agreement.

 

Elena Smith, Union Senator

“We did our rounds, all our branches had meetings and as far as I am aware, based on reports that we have received; that majority of them are saying that they want their adjustments now because the monies should have been there. Remember that the adjustment is based on revenue collected. So if it was collected, it should be there. Unfortunately, the final agreement on the amount was not reached until the day before the hurricane struck. So that meeting was held on the Tuesday; Hurricane Earl arrived on the Wednesday. Having said that though, as we said, the money should have been there and so our teachers, a lot of our teachers are not happy right now. As a matter of fact, a lot of them did not want to be in school today so we were hearing rumors that there wouldn’t have been any classes today. I was receiving texts if any school tomorrow, what should I do tomorrow. As far as we are aware, classes will go on as normal today.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“The unions aren’t staging a protest at this point?”

 

Elena Smith

“Not today.” However, it does not mean that we will not be taking actions for our adjustment. So it might not be happening today, it might not happen tomorrow; but I am just saying that we will not take action. Depending on what our membership tells us, we go from there.”

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