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Sep 29, 2016

Do Belizeans Support Teachers’ Strike?

In the case of any industrial action by teachers, parents are left to make special arrangements for their children. We’re less than a month into the first school year and the second time parents are facing this situation. How much do they support the teachers’ actions? News Five took to the streets today to poll the public on the issue.


Duane Moody

“As a parent do you support teachers doing industrial action on Monday?”


Resident #1

“Yes and no. the reason I say yes, if they know exactly what they want and they could actually submit that and give it in black and white and explain exactly what they want; yes I support them. But if they are not sure what they really want – if it is the three percent or whatever pay-raise they ask for—I need to know that to support them. Because I hear the government side as well, the Prime Minister, and somehow there is a glitch or a gap between the understanding of who wants this and who wants support and what the government really wants to give them. What I think they should do is have a forum with the PM or Minister of Education and make it publicized what discussions they are having because it is like a back and forth, hearsay situation right now.”


Duane Moody

“Are you concerned in terms of the fact that in two weeks, two times, no classes for students—your child has not been able to go to school?”


Resident #1

“First of all from the government side, it is union busting. I am a member of the Christian Workers Union and I know how it works, because when the former government before the U.D.P. was in, they did union busting; they rehired all the staff that they fired to do our jobs and I know how it go. This government is already talking about hiring professional teachers, who are not working, to come in and work in their place. That’s union busting, no doubt; I do agree that’s union busting. The teachers now, they have no other choice than to hold parents—because I have a daughter in high school—and they have no other choice than to hold students and parents subject to this because it is called casualties of war. And it is kinda rough for kids being out there. And I need to understand one thing, when unu do that and final settle unu agreement, do the kids get back those days that you all took away from them from being in school?”


Resident #2

“I stand in solidarity with the teachers and dah time fi teachers. The teachers are standing up for country so I support the teachers one hundred percent.”


Resident #3

“I do support the teachers because they do a lot of work and I do think they need that raise because actually my friend is a teacher and I was with her one day putting up charts. And they are like parents because if the students don’t know, they stay back. They are more than teacher some time so I think the government should get their raise.”


Duane Moody

“Some persons are of the opinion that it is the child that gets affected because this is the second time that students won’t be in the classrooms—their education needs aren’t being met. Your comments to that?”


Resident #3

“If the teachers aren’t happy…just like if you got to work and you are not happy, it doesn’t make sense; you will not perform as you should if you are happy.”


Resident #4

“I think both sides need to come together and work out a plan because at the end of the day, the children need to remain in school. Our children is priority so I wish that over the weekend that something work out that the teachers don’t need to go out and strike.”


Duane Moody

“So you think that the children have the most to lose?”


Resident #4

“The children need to stay in school so the union and the government need to work out their problem because our children should not punish with it.”

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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4 Responses for “Do Belizeans Support Teachers’ Strike?”

  1. demir says:

    Everyone fails to realize that God is in control. So all the ministers from both parties who think that they are in control need to get off their high horses. They go on television saying this and that think they run things, but thats not so. They can go to sleep tonight and not even wake up tomorrow. If God sees that teachers are in the right of the situation then no matter what dean, patrick or any other ministers do or say, the government will not win. All teachers and parents along with citizens and ministers need to get on their knees and place this entire situation or situations in God’s hands. If we ask him for help, he will help us. Us Belizeans on a whole seem to have either forgotten God or stray away from him. If we want this country to be a place where things can be better for all of us, we need to turn back to God. GOD WAS IS AND FOREVER WILL BE IN CONTROL.

  2. Belizean Pride says:

    @resident #3, you have to sit and think how our country is and is going into, we’re in a big recession and time is running out, if you think about it it’s not about now kids being kept home but the future for them will be worst if you keep that mentality you have about a job. This is about job and the future of our job and our kids and our country. Go home think what you said and get up early monday and go rally with our teachers please.

  3. Firewalker says:

    The Catholic church is the richest organization in the world and they can’t come up with a 3% raise for their teachers?

  4. Realist says:

    Let’s clarify some things …

    1. Wasn’t it mentioned at the BNTU first meeting for the year 2016 that the intention of the union was to try and recreate a 2005 stunt? Wasn’t 2005 when a government change occurred in the country because of the mass political corruption done by the PUP? Aren’t the current problems the immediate aftermath effects caused by the then incompetent PUP that froze teachers’ increment, borrowed money from the people of Belize to pay off private loans for Universal, immigration scandals, stealing and mismanaging the finance of the country and running the country into debt that the now PM had to restructure into a superbond to try and attempt to pay off amongst others?
    2. Do the people of people of Belize know that only 189 teachers from out of 600 registered members of the BNTU Belize District branch decided to plan this strike action; only 6 voted against. If less than half of the amount of teachers were present at the BNTU meeting, what does this say about the other teachers’ opinions. How coincidental it is that the PUP rally was right around the time of the teachers’ rally … Perfect opportunity to use the union to infiltrate and join with the PUP to try and get into the government. Briceno knows of the things occurring and slated to happen within the union as his wife is in the education sector as well as many of his relatives. Sounds like an attempted 2005 stunt to me. Belizeans, what do you think?
    3. Was it not in the meeting that the 195 teachers said that they did not feel the support of the others with the 3% increment increase? Why fail to inform the people of the country that this was the reason for including the eight points so as to attempt to garner more support? All of a sudden it’s all about good governance!
    4. Look at the rally … 6000 teachers might have signed up for the rally but notice that only about 2,500 teachers showed up … the PUP ones at that. Teachers know that this union is politically motivated! Look how many PUP teachers went out there.
    5. Look at these characters:
    a) Luke Palacio: Wasn’t he opting to try and hold a seat on the PUP slate just before elections?
    b) Vice Principal of Belmopan Comprehensive: She tried to disrespect the Anglicans by trying to call out Mr. Faber and trying to big up the Catholics with incorrect information. Miss, Patrick Faber attended SJC so I guess when you said that his teachers didn’t teach him anything or a proper lesson please note that it wasn’t the people within the MOE that taught him, it was your Catholic institutions. Secondly, you lied about teachers buying pencils, pens and other equipment for students. Most students borrow from other students. Please stop exaggerating. All of you, as a union, should be fighting to get the MOE to set up a system that allows schools to receive materials to make life easier on teachers. Even with the 3% increase, if given, most teachers WILL NOT spend their monies on buying equipment and writing utensils for students. Then again ma’am, how exactly will this 3% increase for teachers and public servants help all the other people that don’t fall within this sector? Why should parents support? What are they getting out of this? Is it an increase from $150 to the $1,800 – $4000 per month that teachers are making and wish to increase by 3%? I have yet to see the reason to support. With this 3% increase, will our children learn to read and analyze well before they reach high school? Will our children score 80s and 90s on PSE and have 100% passes on CXC and CAPE?
    c) Luis Wade: I thought that this man was an authentic pastor … I would never allow him to talk to me about Christ given his behaviour on his show and in the public arena. How can he get up and preach sermons after behaving like a hooligan in public. Isn’t this the same man that was being offered a post had the PUP won? Isn’t much of Plus TV owned by well known PUP, Julius Espat? All it seems like to me is that Wade has a personal vendetta against the PM and the UDP. I am trying to understand his “I want my Belize back” motto. Help me to understand. Are you talking about getting rid of the many immigrants that came into the country illegally by the then PUP … about 56% of the population is Mestizo/ Hispanic. Might I ask who let them in? He can’t be talking about some grand change that will return the country back to good with the PUP. It will only get worse … Mr. Wade … I will refrain from calling you pastor because you are hypocritical and do not exhibit Christ-like behaviour, why don’t you go witnessing to Mr. Barrow and pray with him and the other ministers? The Bible says pray for those in authority; he did not say try to degrade them.
    d) Giovanni Brackett: If you are a Christian, then I most certainly don’t want to be a Christian. You are a complete hypocrite! Which Christian goes to a public forum and spits insults at others? You are like the people who betrayed Jesus and said many ill things about him and spat on him while he was carrying his cross to be crucified. How dare you bring the common man on camera to publicly say something like that? He will shut down the port? What authority does he have? He should go and take care of his children! For the life of me, please help me to understand why it is that you are targeting the UDP senators and the senator for the churches. Wait … weren’t you one of those promised a seat within the PUP just before elections? You are a snake in sheep’s clothing!
    e) Micah Goodin: Wasn’t he trying to run for a post with the PUP? An avid Catholic at that? He couldn’t get into the House of Rep so he takes out his frustration and tries to cause calamity by using Amandala as his platform. “Pastor Rocke stabs the church in its back”. Firstly, you might be referencing the Catholics as the church but get this young boy the Catholic church does not speak for this country and since the Queen is the head of state then the Anglican church is the “church” of Belize. 56% Mestizo/ Hispanic does not change things! The Baptist Association and the Evangelical churches are the ones he represents. Wade and Stirm are trying to blast others through an illegal organization by using Plus TV. Then Goodin attacks Patrick Faber about his own inappropriate behaviour as a journalist. I get what you’re trying to do … using this as a political platform to try and get noticed and to possibly enhance your chances of getting into gov’t. News flash Micah … the people of this country spoke just a few months ago and the UDP won fair and square so get over it!
    6. Why didn’t the two other senators get up to defend Pastor Rocke? Why didn’t the Baptist and Evangelical Associations stand up for this pastor? Did he write those things in the motion that he delivered? Why didn’t Howell or Thompson read the motion or Eamon? Did not Lizarraga agree with Pastor Rocke that he was right and that he had agreed with him? Did the the Catholic rep. not come out and said that the document written by the then ill Bishop of the Catholic church was a scam. It was never signed! Why doesn’t the Bishop speak up about this and inform the public about who wrote that document condemning Pastor Rocke? Why is Pastor Rocke the only one being attacked in the senate? Does the PUP not understand that the reason why the UDP has more reps in the senate is because they one fair and square? If the PUP wanted an additional seat point blank they should have won the last election which they did not so they ought to shut up!
    7. How dare Channel 5 have Pastor Rocke’s daughter, Jamie-lee Rocke, read something so ill about her father. I could only imagine her in tears after. Why not have Marleni read instead? Well, wasn’t she there? Why didn’t she have all the stories on the prompter? Did she have to make things up as she went along? Did she even apply for that job or did all of you go seeking her out to do it? Then again seems like intentional PUP Channel 5 sabotage … expect nothing less from you people! Trying to make a young, black Creole lady seem incompetent, eh? Well, you all failed! Senator Rocke … Why don’t you try to clear your name? You sit there and don’t defend yourself. Insults should never be tolerated! Don’t take their intimidation. Stay in the senate. Your term is 5 years and PUP lost so they should shut up.
    8. I think the MOE needs to start bringing in international and regional teachers into the education system. Belizean teachers take it for granted that they all have jobs. Competition is needed. Let’s see how many of the loud mouth Palacio’s, Young’s and Frazer’s will rise to the occasion or will the foreigners show them up. Most of the ideas and thoughts are by international people which are borrowed and used here. We need better teachers!

    IF these are the people fighting to try and get into our government with their ignorance, political fervor, and know-it-all attitude this country will be in far more trouble. PUP is no better than UDP … that’s the facts and that’s the reason why they are still not in power after three elections. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

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