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Nov 12, 2018

Cooler Heads Prevail! B.N.T.U. and Minister of Education Meet

Elena Smith

The Belize National Teachers Union, five days after marching on Belmopan in protest of the Ministry of Education, has met with Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber and cooler heads seem to be prevailing.  This afternoon in Belize City, the executive of B.N.T.U. sat down with the Minister of Education to discuss a range of matters affecting teachers, including Proposal Twenty-two, as well as hardship allowances.  The meeting lasted for the better part of two hours, after which National President Elena Smith emerged to provide the media with an update.  According to the union leader, the initial discussion was simply to chart a way forward, after which subsequent meetings will serve to address those concerns individually.

 

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

“We met with the officials from the ministry and then our core executive members of B.N.T.U. and the meeting today was to chart a way forward in terms of the issues that we raised with the ministry.  And so the meeting was for us to do just that, to determine how we are going to proceed with looking at those issues that we had, Proposal Twenty-two, hardship and all of those areas.”

 

Reporter

“Are you able to share any details as to how those talks went?”

 

Elena Smith

“Well, we have agreed that we are going to be setting other meetings so that we could address each of them individually and come to agreement on them and we are hopeful, but at the same time expecting that the results will be favorable.”

 

Reporter

“How long before there’s any feedback regarding what you presented to the ministry officials?”

 

Elena Smith

“Well we start meetings next week, so we are hoping that within a few weeks or so we’d be able to conclude all of those matters.”

 

Reporter

“So this was just an initial sit-down?”

 

Elena Smith

“Correct, just a meeting to chart the way forward in terms of how we are going to address the issues.”

 

Reporter

“So has there been any kind of discussion as to how the hardship issue will be handled?  I know that you guys had wanted, the B.N.T.U., those who are most knowledgeable to meet with ministry officials, have they agreed to that?”

 

Elena Smith

“Yes, that meeting will proceed as we’ve asked.  Our side will be meeting with the ministry side and we present our case.”

 

Reporter

“What can you tell us about the ideas you all have for Proposal Twenty-two?  I know that you don’t want to preempt it, but what ideas do you all have that you believe would be easily digestible to the press before you go to the actual in-depth discussions?”

 

Elena Smith

“Well we’ll be sitting down and reviewing what we have and then we’ll present to the ministry our proposal for dealing with that matter.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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