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Jan 2, 2019

B.N.T.U. to M.O.E. – “We are not backing down!”

Elena Smith

So the line has been drawn. The B.N.T.U. says it will stand by its decision to protest the managements’ docking of salaries for November seventh.  Senator Smith says the union is not backing down and will explore all options including legal recourse. And while to some it may appear that the managements may just be following their rule book, Smith says it is the opinion of many that perhaps this move is more calculated than it appears to be on the surface. Could it be payback by the Ministry of Education? Smith says the B.N.T.U. is ready for the challenge and will not back down.


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

“We are going to be looking into this matter legally because there is a process and there is a way of doing these things and if it is that it was not done the proper way then we are able to challenge. And if it is that they did based on the rules and what they did was correct, then we have to find other ways and means of dealing with the matter. The rules are clear and it is not that we are saying that management must not abide by the rules; we are not saying that any at all. We are saying there is a way in which they can do things and they do not have to be so mean at all times. This was done from November and they knew about this and it could have been done before the Christmas holiday not at a time when our teachers really, really need their salaries. This could be, as our teachers keep saying, it is our payback for 2016 and it might also be payback for the song that we did while we were marching. If you recall that song that the teachers were singing – ‘Dah so you wah be Prime Minista, we nuh deh pahn that?’ It could be a payback for that. But as I said, bring it on.”


Andrea Polanco

“Do you think the ministry would go that low?”


Elena Smith

“They have always been low, Andrea. They have always been low.  I want to assure our teachers, as their union, we will do whatever we need to do. As we said in our release, to ensure that what is rightfully theirs that they receive that. We are not going to back down. If it is that this Ministry wants to start off this year with a fight, they can do so you know. They started it. We can answer to that challenge. And that is not going to be anything difficult for us to do because taking on a challenge is what we do best.”


We’ll have more from the B.N.T.U. in Thursday’s newscast.

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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