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Nov 6, 2018

B.N.T.U. Writes Prime Minister Over Proposal 22

Dean Barrow

Proposal Twenty-Two remains on the negotiating table between the Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teachers’ Union. Proposal Twenty-Two concerns grant-aided secondary schools where the teachers and support staff are paid seventy percent of their salary by the government while school managements pay the remaining thirty percent.  But according to B.N.T.U. President Senator Elena Smith, this arrangement is not being implemented by the management of the schools, leaving the teacher with only seventy percent of their gratuity and pension.  The negotiations, however, have stalled and last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow made it clear that after discussing it in Cabinet, G.O.B. would not be able to financially contribute the thirty percent. Soon after, the B.N.T.U. announced plans to demonstrate and today Smith told the media that the Prime Minister is willing to talk.

 

Elena Smith

Senator Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“We sent a letter to the Prime Minister yesterday. We wrote to him and asked him to intervene in this matter because we see that we are not getting any head way with the Ministry of Education or with the Minister. The PM has informed just about an hour or so, via telephone that he has received the letter and that he will be looking into the matter. The matter was discussed at Cabinet today and he will be sending us that information formally in that letter. So we await the letter from the Prime Minister and we will see what he has in there as solutions to our issues.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Did he indicate that Cabinet changed its mind because in his press conference he did mention that it was a flat out no?”

 

Senator Elena Smith

“I believe that after we put out the press release and from the three union combined and having heard from the other unions  colleagues the Prime Minister seems to now accept that the matter was reopened and that discussions should continue on the matter. So we await his formal response in writing so we can get a better understanding as to what he is proposing in the way forward.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“So there is a favorable outlook?

 

Senator Elena Smith

“It seems so.”

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