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May 14, 2018

School Managers Say No Docking Salaries

Elena Smith

Teachers’ salaries for March twenty-second will not be docked. That’s the word coming out of the Belize Association for General Managers of pre and primary schools. In a release issued today, the association said that, “as employers of teachers, it is obliged to dock teachers’ salaries for any days that teachers willfully absent themselves from school for a reason that does not comply with the provision of the Education and Training Act and the Amended Education Rules of 2012.”  But the release didn’t end there; it goes on to refute the B.N.T.U.’s statement that the association had taken a decision to dock salaries. The release says that there was no such decision taken by the association, although teachers’ absence was not authorized and salaries should be docked. So, the final word is that teachers will receive full pay.  But did the B.N.T.U. get it wrong about the managements’ decision to dock salaries? National President of the B.N.T.U. Elena Smith went on record to say that managers had informed them that salaries would be docked for the day the teachers went to rally.  But it wasn’t just the B.N.T.U. who indicated that a decision was taken; just last week, Minister of Education Patrick Faber said as much. He told the press that although there were no formal documents submitted to dock salaries, some management had indicated that they would. For context, we take a look at interviews with Smith and Faber.

 

Patrick Faber

Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U. [File: May 8th, 2018]

“We had a meeting a week or two ago, probably about a week or so ago, with… It was a committee that was meeting and so the committee has on it management and it has ministry personnel.  And so, at that meeting we inquired whether it was true that managements would be docking teachers’ salaries for that day and we were informed by the managers who were present at the meeting that yes, they had a meeting two weeks prior to that and most of them agreed that they would be docking salaries for the rally that B.N.T.U. had.  So it was the management or the managers who informed us of that decision.”

 

Reporter

“Will teachers who participated in the demonstration from March from the Government schools, will their salaries be docked?”

 

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education [File: May 10th, 2018]

“Not to my knowledge. We have given no such instruction. I will tell you that in fact there are managements who have said they will do that but we have received no formal submissions and so we will have to wait and see.”

 

In the release, the association also addressed the B.N.T.U.’s decision to withhold contributions should salaries be docked.  The release says the association view is that, “the statement by the B.N.T.U. pertaining to teachers’ withdrawal of financial support to their church and management as an attempt to divide teachers and managers.”

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