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Nov 23, 2018

B.N.T.U. Meets With M.O.E. in Another Round of Discussions

This afternoon, executives of the Belize National Teachers Union met with the Ministry of Education to further discuss issues involving schools that are presently on the hardship list.  The meetings are a series of discussions between both parties, following a demonstration in Belmopan earlier this month.  Senator Elena Smith, National President of B.N.T.U., provided a brief update at the end of today’s sit-down.

 

Elena Smith

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

“Today’s meeting was for us to review the schools on the hardship list and for our branch presidents and the ministry personnel.  What happened is that they did an initial review and then the bigger body looked as those recommendations.  So what we did was to put forward those recommendations in terms of our position of the categories that they have and the time off for pay.  So that was today‘s exercise.  From here we now go and do a review and it will be tabled at the joint staff for final recommendation.”

 

Reporter

“Is there a timeline set for that review over at the joint staff?”

 

Elena Smith

“Joint Staff meets on December third.”

 

Reporter

“And apart from today‘s negotiations, when do the negotiations continue?”

 

Elena Smith

“In terms of for hardship?  Well, as I said, hardship will be dealt with at the next joint staff meeting which will be set for December third, in terms of our negotiations.  We have a meeting next week Wednesday at one in Belmopan with the ministry again, to discuss the matters of Proposal Twenty-two and the matter of the four community schools.”

 

Reporter

“How many things are on the table?”

 

Elena Smith

“For today we dealt with the hardship categorization and time off for payday and then next week we will deal with Proposal Twenty-two which has two aspects.  The matter of the community schools and then the matter of the seventy/thirty for teachers benefits as well.”

 

Reporter

“How do you feel about the negotiations so far?”

 

Elena Smith

“Well we made our position clear in terms of how we feel our schools should be categorized.  We do understand that in terms of the joint staff, that they are going to be some reviews, but we made it clear what our positions were.  As it relates to the criteria that they had in place, we had made it clear that we do not agree with that and that was our position.  We are aware that after today‘s discussion and after today‘s joint staff discussions, there are going to be some other discussions and we do expect that some other matters will be placed on the table in terms of, as was insinuated earlier today, that the time off is being given but then there might be the matter of looking at how do we make up for those times.  So that will be another issue.”

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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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