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Apr 25, 2017

Is Honorarium Being Confused with Salaries?

The issue of the million dollar bonus for non-striking teachers is one that refuses to go away, particularly since the union believes that it will have a negative impact on an already strict 2017 budget.  B.N.T.U. President Luke Palacio says that Faber is purposely confusing an honorarium with a salary.


Luke Palacio

Luke Palacio, President, Belize National Teachers Union

“I don’t know that we can put this matter to bed definitively because of what has occurred.  The attempt or the fact that the minister continues to be intransigent, that he has even gone on record now attacking or bluffing, if you will, the entities that supported the B.N.T.U.’s position that the matter of the payment of such sums of money is union busting, then we need to become very concerned.  This is taxpayers’ money in the first instance.  In the second instance he is saying that this is salaries.  If you are paying individuals their salaries then why are you trying to confuse that by calling it an honorarium.  If my salary is so much per day and you are paying me because I did not go on strike, you are paying me because I went with what the Ministry of Education and some managements had agreed to then they should have been paid their salaries.  But we have just gotten a budget presented to us where we are talking about austerity, are you saying then, in this case, is the minister then saying to us [that] this money that he has had and intends to pay out is money that has been budgeted for salaries for teachers for this financial year and nearer the end of this financial year then he will, or the government, will go back to the national assembly and ask for a supplementary budget so that he can meet the shortfall of payments, because these teachers, we were all paid.”

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