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Dec 28, 2018

School Management Makes Error in Hardship Allowance Payment

Elena Smith

When more than one thousand teachers demonstrated in Belmopan in November, there were doing so for two primary reasons; time off to collect salary and hardship allowances. By a show of numbers, the powerful Belize National Teachers’ Union forced the Ministry of Education and Minister Patrick Faber back to the negotiating table. Both parties managed to forge a way forward with subsequent meetings scheduled to address specific concerns such as the hardship allowance. According to the B.N.T.U., the ministry’s decision to re-categorize schools for hardship and rural allowances will negatively affect more than fifty percent of its membership. The proposed new list had not taken effect but specific school management did not get the memo. When the B.N.T.U.’s Council of Management met on December twenty-first, it was brought to the council’s attention that at least one school management had, in fact, began using the proposed new list to make hardship allowance payments. B.N.T.U. National President, Senator Elena Smith spoke on the matter.


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

“A teacher had sent me his pay slip and it showed that this particular management the teacher received his hardship allowance from September to November and when he received the allowance it was noted that the allowance was given on the proposed new list and so the management then despite the fact that the ministry had put out publicly that the old list remained in effect that management went ahead and used the proposed list and so then these teachers then were short in terms of what they should be getting. So that matter was brought to our attention, I immediately called the management and explained to them what the situation was and I was told that the matter was done in error because at the time the ministry had given the go-ahead to say effective September it would have been the new list and so it seemed as if though they had already sent in the documents when the change was made.”

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