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Nov 7, 2016

Education Minister Patrick Faber Goes On Attack: B.N.T.U. ‘Telling Untruths’

Luke Palacio

Minister of Education Patrick Faber has responded openly to criticisms made by the Belize National Teachers Union last Thursday.  The Deputy Prime Minister was chided for purportedly being dishonest in addressing the pending matter of teachers’ salaries, following the October eleven-day industrial action. The Minister and the B.N.T.U. have not met to settle makeup time and salary deductions but school managers have, turning the issue into a political football.  On one end, there is the question of the union’s strike fund and its intended purpose; on the other is the composition of the negotiating team.  B.N.T.U. President Luke Palacio has expressly stated that monies in the strike fund aren’t to be used to defray salaries.  Faber also insists that he will not be meeting with more than five members of the union’s executive while the B.N.T.U. wants a bigger representation from its Council of management. So, for now, teachers’ wages remain up in the air and both parties are intent on kicking.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“I did extend an olive branch to the president and the membership of the Belize National Teacher’s Union.  Unfortunately, Mr. Palacio and the members of the union have managed to turn that into something completely different.  We did genuinely want to speak about paying the teachers utilizing the strike fund.  He has said, unofficially to me but on the record to everybody else, that it’s not possible to do that.  I think that the teachers really need to check into what’s going on with the monies from the strike fund and, in fact, why is it that the union cannot entertain the thought or the idea being put forward that that strike fund could be used [and] subsidized by Government of Belize’s funds in order to pay the teachers.  This was, as I’ve gone on the record to say repeatedly, something that was mandated by the B.N.T.U.’s national convention.  I think it was the forty-second convention that was held right here in Orange Walk.  Why is it that that can’t be done?  You heard me say as well to the president of the union and the leadership of the union that in fact I remained wide open to meeting with them.  Mr. Palacio continues to tell a lot of untruths.  In fact, anybody who wants to look at it could see that in fact even when the union was engaged in collective bargaining, nobody took twenty-five members of the council of management to that meeting.  When we engaged in the three meetings, you took the president, the general secretary and at times they took Mr. Frazer but nobody negotiates with twenty-five people.  On a regular basis when the union has issues with teachers and their employment and so on, whenever the union meets with ministry it is never with the twenty-five.  He is right that the prime minister may have met with the twenty-five.  He is right that on the occasion of the special permit, because we wanted the widest base consultation we probably did and I asked for the meeting with the twenty-five but on the normal, it is not normal to meet with twenty-five of the B.N.T.U.   We meet with officials of the executive.”

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2 Responses for “Education Minister Patrick Faber Goes On Attack: B.N.T.U. ‘Telling Untruths’”

  1. BELIZEAN WITH COMMON SENSE says:

    NONSENSE FABER!!!!! “IF” YOU ARE SMART YOU WILL PAY THE TEACHERS, “IF” YOU ARE CORRUPT THEN YOU WILL NOT PAY THEM. THE REASON YOU ARE TRYING TO GET BNTU TO USE THEIR STRIKE FUNDS TO PAY SALARIES IS BECAUSE YOU WANT TO CONTINUE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM AND THE BELIZEAN PUBLIC. LOOK!!!!! – YOU KNOWINGLY KNOW THAT IF THE TEACHERS USE THEIR STRIKE FUND TO PAY SALARIES THEN WHAT WOULD BE LEFT FOR THEM IN TIME OF STRIKE & THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT; TO CRIPPLE THE TEACHERS BY DEPLETING THEIR STRIKE FUND SO THAT YOU AND YOU GOV CAN CONTINUE CORRUPTION AND AS YOU SAW NOBODY ELSE WOULD STAND AGAINST YOU GUYS BUT THE TEACHERS. TEACHERS AND BNTU AS A WHOLE DO NOT USE YOUR STRIKE FUND FOR SALARIES SO IF THEIR IS NEED FOR FURTHER STRIKE THEN WE THE SMART SECTION OF THE BELIZEAN PUBLIC WILL STAND IN SUPPORT OF YOU GUYS AND STRIKE AGAIN.

  2. Belize # 1 says:

    good one

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