B.N.T.U. not happy with the PM’s back and forth on dates for salary adjustment
On Monday, the Belize National Teachers Union indicated that in 2014 it will be upping its profile in a slew of national issues. And during a fiery press conference, the B.N.T.U. asked Prime Minister Barrow to clarify a discrepancy with the date on which the much delayed salary adjustment is to come into effect. Following months of negotiations, it was agreed that teachers and public servants will see a change in their wages come July first. But during his New Year’s address, PM Barrow stated that the adjustment would be implemented in August. B.N.T.U. immediately went on the offensive and sought an explanation for the month-long postponement. While the PM has indicated that it was an honest mistake on his part, the union is asking that the initially agreed upon date be submitted to them in writing to avoid any backpedaling.
Luke Palacio, National President, B.N.T.U.
“Basically, we are giving the prime minister the benefit of the doubt. We are all human beings, we do make mistakes; however, we at the Belize National Teachers Union our position is that we would prefer that this be given to us in writing simply because we want that that guarantee is there. We are not too satisfied with this back and forth. One minute it’s this, the next time it’s the other. So we again from the BNTU are requesting that the prime minister gives this to us in writing and we take it from there.”
“Has the Prime Minister reached out to you guys since the press conference held on Monday?”
“Well, since Monday the prime minister hasn’t spoken to me directly but when I checked my voicemail last night, yes he had indicated what he said on the radio or to the media that it was a mistake, genuine mistake. But to say that he had spoken to me personally the answer to that is no.”
“I know that the union is making its media rounds and stuff. What’s next in the immediate three weeks or so?”
“Well like we’ve published our plan of action we’ll be having, we continue our media rounds for the rest of this week and then on Friday we have our first district rally, in the morning in Orange Walk and in the afternoon in Corozal. The following Friday we come to the Belize District, here in Belize City. On the twenty-fourth we move out west to San Ignacio and then the thirty-first we have a district rally in Dangriga and in Punta Gorda.”