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Nov 16, 2018

Sit-Out Ends at ITVET Orange Walk; M.O.E. Commits to Address Issues

Orange Walk ITVET called off its sit-out this morning sometime around ten-thirty after teachers got some good news from the Ministry of Education. The sit-out started on Tuesday of this week because the teachers are not happy with a number of issues that have gone unaddressed for a long time. One of the major concerns is a delay in the disbursement of salaries because of their status as contract workers. On Thursday, the Deputy Chief Education Officer went to Orange Walk to meet with the school’s management and a union representative. And today, progress was made after they had a call with Chief Education Officer Carol Babb and her deputy Cecelia Ramirez Smith. Staff spokesperson, Luis Ramos says they are back in the classroom and expect to have a meeting with Minister Patrick Faber sometime next month. For now, the dialogue continues and they are satisfied with the progress made.

 

On the Phone: Luis Ramos, Teacher, ITVET Orange Walk

“Because of the commitment that we had given them, based on their commitment and since they honored their commitment, we also honored our commitment and we went right back into classes immediately.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, when you say honor their commitments – did they say yes they are giving in to what you are asking or yes that they are going to bring you guys to the table and discuss? What exactly did they commit to?”

 

On the Phone: Luis Ramos

“Yes the commitment was that they were to respond to us in a way that was going to be reasonable and yes they did and the pressing issues of salaries is dealt with. However, there are other issues that will be dealt with as time goes by. The Minister of Education has promised to visit us in the near future and we think that is a good gesture on their part.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“When you say the salaries issue has been cleared up – what exactly about that? Yesterday you mentioned that at present you all are considered contract workers but you’d like to be permanent staff. Was that resolved?”

 

On the Phone: Luis Ramos

“No that is one of the issues to be discussed. We know that it cannot be an overnight thing but that will stay on the table and we will continue to negotiate on that.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, the persons who hadn’t received their salaries – they’ve received it now?”

 

On the Phone: Luis Ramos

“They will pretty much soon get it.”

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