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Oct 18, 2016

Teachers Say Thanks with Final Rally on Saturday, But Say Fight Will Continue for Good Governance

The B.N.T.U. picked up many endorsements from the wider society, but in terms of major support, both financial and in muscle on the street, was it enough to have pushed the strike even further? Palacio said he is reasonably satisfied by what the Union collected during its eleven days on strike. However, he said that the fight is not necessarily over and that teachers alone cannot carry the burden, so others will have to take up the mantle and the Union will support them if its members agree. The B.N.T.U. will hold a thank-you rally on Saturday in Belize City.


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

“I wouldn’t say that we are disappointed; there was tremendous support. Could it have been better? We will definitely say yes, but again remember those would have been individual decisions. There are persons who may have not come out to support—not beucase they did not want to, but circumstances prevented them from doing so and we understand that. We are satisfied and gratified by the support that we’ve received—we’ve said so—and in fact on Saturday, the Belize National Teachers Union will be having a national thank you rally here in Belize City. That is our plan so that we can express to our nation, our thanks and our gratitude and to have them get the reassurance that B.N.T.U. is not letting up on its agenda to ensure good governance in this country and to help push and promote the rights of our workers. The B.N.T.U. submitted those eight demands beucase we believe that those are demands that affect us—some of them directly; others the whole nation. And if there are others who believe that they need to take up this charge to further our cause, then let them start to do so, let them engage with us, but we don’t expect…well it is unfair for the Belizean public—or at least those people like you have said—to believe that the teachers must carry the entire burden of trying to correct what is wrong in our country. We are prepared to do our part, we will continue to do our part, but we call on others to do their part as well.”


Luke Palacio


“So the understanding is that let’s say “I Want My Country Back” are going to hold a national demonstration, the teachers will be prepared to participate?”


Luke Palacio

“That is not how we work. We will poll our members and if our membership says yes, we are going to lend support, then we will lend the support. But I cannot sit here and tell you that anybody or any organization that jumps up tomorrow and say we want to have a demonstration; teachers come and support us and close down the schools. That is not how it works. Our membership will have to be polled to determine if they are prepared to do so.”

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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