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Nov 15, 2016

P.U.P. Meets B.N.T.U.; Can Government Be Convinced on Salary Deductions?

The People’s United Party met earlier today with the executive of the Belize National Teacher’s Union. Many of the Union’s members who went on an eleven-day strike that led to concessions from Government on key national issues as well as interest on their delayed salary adjustment, now face deductions in salary ordered by the Ministry of Education as a result. These deductions were delayed from the end of October, but they now fall in the run-up to Christmas. P.U.P. leader John Briceño called on Government to show some compassion and rescind the deductions altogether – and not try to punish the teacher’s perceived rebellion.

 

John Briceño

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“Just imagine: the month before Christmas, this Government is threatening to take away almost a third, or at least a third, of the salaries of the teachers, just before Christmas. Many of these teachers are single mothers; many of them have mortgages – they owe the bank; they have children in school; they have expenses to pay; and the deputy Prime Minister, a former teacher, is threatening to punish them just before Christmas. Where is the compassion? Where is the compassion in this man, who now aspires to be Prime Minister of this country? We went with a message to the B.N.T.U. that we support what they have done; that we are very proud of what they have accomplished, and we are going to stand up with them and insist that the Government pays the full salary to the teachers.”

 

The Union has retained Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay to file a lawsuit against the Government, which could come as early as Wednesday. This afternoon, we were reliably informed that government does not intend to reply to the B.N.T.U.’s letter seeking to have G.O.B. rescind the deductions. From what we gather, government says it will not cave in to an ultimatum. 

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