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Sep 22, 2016

B.N.T.U. Says It Is Going Back to Consult its Members

Luke Palacio

Just moments ago, the marathon meeting between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the Belize National Teachers’ Union’s Council of Management concluded. This is after four and a half hours of negotiations on an eight-point agenda at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel this afternoon. This meeting comes on the heels of a successful demonstration and rally by thousands of teachers on Monday in Belmopan.  Our crew is just back and we have the immediate reaction from national president of the B.N.T.U., Luke Palacio.

 

Reporter

“How did the meeting go from the perspective of the teachers, we know you all were there for four hours now?”

 

Luke Palacio, National President, B.N.T.U.

“Well, yes basically. Remember we had eight points that we needed to discuss with the Prime Minister so it took all this time. We’ve discussed; we have a number of issues that we’ve raised. In fact we addressed all the eight points we had in the letter we sent to the Prime Minister and we are now prepared to go back and discuss those responses and then determine what happens next.”

 

Reporter

“Is the council of management satisfied with those responses?”

 

Luke Palacio

“You didn’t understand what I said just now? I said we are going back to discuss the responses so we cannot tell you that we are satisfied and neither are we saying we are not satisfied. But we have a process; and we keep on saying to the media, the B.N.T.U. has a process that it is following and you’ll have to allow us to make that process work.”

 

Reporter

“How was the atmosphere of the meeting?”

 

Luke Palacio

“Cordial, we were not here to fight.”

 

Reporter

“Do you think that the showing of the B.N.T.U. on Monday played any role in the Prime Minister’s willingness to discuss these points with you all?”

 

Luke Palacio

“No; that would be unfair to say so. The Prime Minister had responded. Our condition in the letter we sent, dated the twelfth of September, was we want a response by Friday, the sixteenth. By the fourteenth, we had gotten a response. So when we went on that demonstration on Monday, the nineteenth, it was not hinged on whether or not he would have responded positively. There were no discussions on the matters held; that discussion took place today.”

 

Reporter

“Sir what were the most contentious point that extended the meeting to this time?”

 

Luke Palacio

“There were no contentious points; the discussions were just long. We had to ventilate all that we want ventilated and we’ve done so.”

 

Reporter

“Has the union abandoned its demand for the removal of Godwin Hulse as Police Minister?”

 

Luke Palacio

“We have no abandoned any position. I am saying to you we are going back now to discuss what has been presented to us and we will inform you accordingly.”

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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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