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Sep 28, 2018

More than 50% of B.N.T.U. Membership Affected by M.O.E.’s Re-Categorization

Elena Smith

The Belize National Teachers Union called a press conference today to share its position on the Ministry of Education’s finalized list which was released at the start of the new school year in September.  It involves the re-categorizations of schools for hardship and rural allowances as well as time off to collect salary.  Today, the B.N.T.U. told the press that they have to raise concerns because some of the changes have left many of their teachers out in the cold.  In the instance of the hardship allowance, according to the B.N.T.U., the teachers may get two hundred dollars, one hundred and twenty dollars or one hundred dollars per month, depending on the categorizing. They say some of the changes simply don’t make sense and will hurt the teachers. National President Elena Smith shares why they are standing up for more than half of their membership who is being affected:


Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“We heard the Minister speaking about banks opening twenty-four hours and banks opening until mid-night. Maybe there is a bank that he has that we are not aware of or that there is a bank that the government has that we are not aware of. What we are aware of in terms of our teachers is that banks in the various districts close four-thirty the latest and some of them from earlier. By the time our teachers leave school at three o’clock or three-thirty, depending on where they are, despite the fact that buses are parked in those school yards in some areas. By the time these teachers get to the urban areas, some of them have no time to get to the bank, no time to pay their bills and to deal with other matters. And to say that there is online banking and these other things. We cannot force our teachers and we will not allow this ministry to force our teachers to do online banking when many of them don’t even have access to internet, so how can they do online banking? Our teachers are being given the most two hundred dollars for rural allowance, where we see some of our ministers are being given ten thousand dollars for fuel, transportation and an additional amount for vehicle repairs, we don’t have those privileges. So, when they go through these roads and their vehicles are damaged, they have no allowance to cover that. And we are not asking for any allowance to cover that. We are saying that our teachers deserve the little that they get to in terms of transportation for them to get to these schools because of the areas that they go to.”

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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