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Sep 30, 2016

Potential Replacement Teachers Warned as B.N.T.U. Contemplates Extending Strike

Kathleen Flowers

The actions taken by government have teachers riled up and ready for Monday’s strike. But they are even more incensed by a statutory instrument that is expected to be signed into law by the Ministry of Education to mitigate strike action taken by the B.N.T.U.  This morning, the Bill was presented to the National Council of Education and the National Council for Technical and Vocational Education in Belize. The SI speaks to enforcing an emergency permit to enable the ministry to fulfill its role to keep schools open in the event of future industrial actions taken by the B.N.T.U.  But are those substitutes being pulled from the one thousand three hundred teachers that lost their jobs early this year for lack of training?

 

Kathleen Flowers, President, Belize District Branch, B.N.T.U.

“The union also has to ensure that all the loopholes are plugged so that there can be no ricocheting of litigation down the road. We also have to ensure that whilst it is an emergency permit that there are basis covered to make sure that we don’t have to worry about where the pool of teachers are going to come from because we are very, very concerned if we are going to talking about using that pool of teachers that the very B.N.T.U. had sat down and worked a process with the Ministry of Education to have exit the classrooms when they had declared unfit because they didn’t have pedagogical skills. We are very concerned that if teachers are going to be used from that pool that then we are going to be looking at issues that we as a union will have to address. So whilst a statutory instrument is pending and by now, I am supposing it may have been signed—I don’t know what the timeline is for signing—but we know it has to be signed prior to Monday because as of Monday, B.N.T.U. initiates its strike action. And it is a strike action that will proceed along for as long as we need to have these processes moved.”

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