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May 8, 2017

Retired Teacher Says M.O.E. Must Rectify Records Problem

Leroy Green

Green says that according to the Retirement Act, it is the responsibility of the ministry to address the issue of his pension and to locate his records. As we said, Green has many years of teaching under his belt dating back to 1975, when he started teaching at age fifteen at the Belmopan Comprehensive High School, followed by the Belize Teachers College, the University of Belize. He would later be appointed as Program Officer at the National Institute of Culture and History, which also came directly under the Ministry of Education. But Green says he has given the ministry a one-week deadline to grant him his benefits.

 

Leroy Green, Retired Teacher

“I am fighting for my rights. I finish this contract in August thirty-first. Does this mean that according to the ministry, I am supposed to take a pot and go and sit down by Hofius steps or Brodies and beg for my survival? Definitely not!”

 

Duane Moody

“Sir so what are they saying? I know you said earlier that they had indicated that you need to go back to all those schools and get records, but what does it mean for your pension, for your gratuity, all of that? Do you get all these things?”

 

Leroy Green

“It means nothing happens unless I got to those institutions and find those records, which I am not doing because I don’t see that anywhere in the pension act that the onus is on the retiree to go to those places and find anything. As far as I know in the government service, there are people called record officers or record clerks and I know that whenever you get transferred from one place to the next, your records are supposed to go along with you. I am not blaming any particular government because, as I said, this happened over a period of years—I don’t know when the records disappeared because over that period both P.U.P. and U.D.P. were in. That’s why I am making it clear that it is nothing political even though I know some people will still take it that way. But if they want to take it that way; that’s their business. I contacted the Public Service Office last week. A young lady—I won’t call her name because I don’t know if she would like me to—but she said she contacted the Ministry of Education right away. Half an hour after I had contacted her, she called me and said that they had uncovered the ten years when I was at Compre. She even said to me that what I was told by the ministry that the records were locked away somewhere in some old container somewhere in the yard at the ministry. The young lady said Mister Green that is B.S.  All the records are digital at the government archives. So it is somebody or some persons not doing their job—jobs for which they are paid for from our pockets since all public officers get paid from the public purse and the purse is an accumulation of all our taxes. Since I have come out with this story, numerous teachers have called me and said that they have gone through the same thing. I personally know of teachers who have died without getting their retirement benefits or spend two or three years before they get it. I am not willing to wait for that.”

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