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Apr 23, 2014

B.N.T.U. hosts 44th National Convention

The Belize National Teachers Union, the single, largest unified body of workers in the country, is hosting its forty-fourth annual national convention in Belize City.  Educators from across the districts, for both primary and secondary schools, converged at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall today to discuss, among other things, the business of the union.  While attendance wasn’t at its peak, those present wasted no time in addressing a series of pertinent issues affecting teachers, including the management styles of some schools which are believed to be frustrating the education process.  News Five spoke with National President Luke Palacio.

 

Luke Palacio, National President, B.N.T.U.

Luke Palacio

“We are convening here in Belize City. We started out last night; for the first time, we had an opening ceremony which was very well attended and well organized. We have to give kudos to Belize Branch for that initiative. That is in an effort again to try and up how we do our conventions, how we get our members to be interested in what we are doing. This morning, we started out with the business section; we looked at the minutes of last year’s convention. I as president gave the president’s address this morning in which we basically highlighted that the union is there for all of us. We raised our concerns as it relates to some of the practices that the different managements have tried in terms of not respecting our teachers, trying to create problems, but to give them the assurance that we will stand up for them once it is for justice and fair-play. We also raised our concerns with some issues as it relates to the Ministry of Education. We are raising the issues of the non-teaching staff at our secondary schools that we believe the intention is to treat them unfairly and so we will have to look at that issue. We are looking at the instructors at the ITVET. We believe that their status also needs to be regularized so that there is again security of tenure; that they will feel comfortable giving their service to the Belizean people and the students and the community that we work in. as it relates to the B.N.T.U. in particular, we are calling on our members to be more resolute; we are calling on our members to take the union more seriously; we are calling on them to ensure that they understand their role; that they carry out their activities in a professional manner and we reminded them that B.N.T.U. is not there to condone wrongdoing, but at the same time we need to ensure that justice and fair-play is meted out to our teachers.

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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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