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Apr 5, 2017

C.W.U. Says No Rewards for Loyal Teachers

The announcement on Monday that those teachers who did not strike last year will be getting a hefty honorarium is not going down well. The Belize National Teachers Union is calling the move a case of union busting at a time when the treasury is broke. The C.W.U. today told News Five that it is standing in solidarity with the B.N.T.U. and its members, following what they also call, a deliberate act of union busting by the government. Earlier this week, Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber made the announcement that non-striking teachers would be receiving a million dollar in honorarium. But even as the teachers reported to work, the students kept away.  According to CWU President, Dale Trujeque, those teachers also received their salaries, as did the striking teachers.  He says, the ‘bonus’ could be used for the healthcare system.

 

Dale Trujeque

Dale Trujeque, President, CWU

“There is union busting going on all over this country; in some of the utilities, in other statutory boards and it is being done in one of the most subtle forms. But it is an offense in the new trade union act, so we will not sit by and watch it happen. Now to claim that it is for an honorarium; I invite the media to find the definition of an honorarium and then tell me if that million dollars is justified to be paid to the teachers. Kudos to the teachers that wanted to go to school; they were exercising their right not to belong. They should not be paid for their right not to belong, for their freedom of association. They are being paid a bonus for freedom of association/being free not to belong. That can’t work; that’s sending the wrong message to people in this country. So the teachers, if they want to take it another step and we need to start taking things another step, the CWU would be behind them…we will get our members to join the rank and file with them.”

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