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Sep 16, 2016

P.M. Wants Clarification From Teachers on Issues with Government

Dean Barrow

Ahead of this afternoon’s meeting with the Joint Union Negotiating Team and Monday’s planned demonstration in Belmopan by the Belize National Teachers’ Union, the Prime Minister had a warning: the continued education of our children cannot be compromised or halted beyond normal controls. He asked again that the Union clarify exactly what it is complaining about.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I’m not sure whether it is a combination of the salary adjustment issue and the issues that are raised in the letter that they sent to me or whether it is basically just the stand up for Belize campaign. From a press release that I saw a day or two ago, it struck me that it is more the latter than the former. And if that is the case, while as I said I respect their right to strike, certainly it occurs to me that the issues agitated by that campaign do not constitute a labour dispute. I would therefore feel and go on record as saying that they should address those issues by way of demonstrations, by way of protest meetings—public ways of showing their discontent or concern, but they should not shut down classes, they should not discontinue teaching our children. Precisely because, in any case, whatever the rationale for the teachers deciding to become militant, always we have to ask that they view as paramount the interest of the children—but especially because it appears that the concentration of their focus and effort is on these social issues, these political issues—I would ask that their response, that their mobilization, that their actions stop short of not teaching the children.”

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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