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Nov 3, 2016

B.N.T.U. Claims Victory With Ministry Concession on Authority

Luke Palacio

While the ministry’s decision to skirt the gridlocked union can be seen as high-handed, Palacio says that B.N.T.U. will continue advocating for the rights of its membership, as well as teachers who are not part of the union but are in solidarity with its cause.

 

Isani Cayetano

“Do you believe that by the recent actions of the ministry to go directly to the respective school managements that the union has effectively been sidestepped altogether by the minister?”

 

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

“He has not effectively sidestepped because the union will continue to agitate, the union will continue to fight for its membership and those teachers who are not members but believed in our cause and also went on strike, we will continue to agitate and we are going to continue to fight their cause.  We will be seeking legal advice so that we again will be able to determine based on those legal advice how we proceed.  But it goes back to what we have been saying from the beginning, that the decision to dock the salaries of our teachers who are on strike and members who were on strike is and continues to be the prerogative of the management.  So yes, he has realized that and he has indicated that the B.N.T.U. was right all along when the union has been saying that it is the managements of the schools that will determine, along with their teachers how they would make up this time and based on the ruling of the Chief Justice in 2005 that it is the management’s purview to determine how they would deduct salaries if they decided to deduct salaries.  So again here is, at the end of the day, the minister concedes that the management should be doing certain things but he has decided, I am the minister, I will decide [and] you just have to follow suit.  The matter of the minister continuously saying that he will not meet with twenty-five members of the Council of Management, the disrespect went even further this morning when in the conversation with the Chief Education Officer she stated that the minister does not want to meet with the twenty-five members of our council because some of our council members are very rude.  Now, were they elected so that they can just succumb to what a minister wants to say and the minister and those who support his position believe that they were elected to govern this country and whatever they say it must be that way?  Again, the B.N.T.U. will stand steadfast.”

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