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Jan 22, 2020

Teachers Up in Arms; Will Industrial Action Be Taken Against M.O.E.?

Elena Smith

President of the Belize National Teachers Union, Senator Elena Smith says that teachers are up in arms and are considering industrial action. The B.N.T.U. Council of Management circulated a memo on Monday asking the teachers to wear their green T-shirts every Friday to send a strong message to the ministry of education that enough is enough. The B.N.T.U. says they want the ministry to take their concerns seriously. As we have reported, the B.N.T.U. disapproves the ministry’s proposal to amend the Education Rules. Smith says that the proposed amendment covers all vacations periods, empowering the Chief Education Officer, to determine those periods as well as the school calendar. A nationwide meeting will be held on Friday and teachers will determine what will be their next action, which includes the possibility of industrial action against the Ministry and Minister Patrick Faber.


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

“Really and truly we are hoping that the Ministry would take these matters seriously, they would take our concerns that we have been giving to them seriously and have a serious sit down with us to discuss these matters. We have been talking, talking and talking. We have tried our very best to work with the Ministry by dialoging by trying to come to mutual agreements and we see where that has not been working and so we are at the point where if we cannot get to serious decisions then it makes no sense for us to meet.  Our teachers are really up in arms right now. So it is for us, the way we operate. The teachers have to give us a mandate and for that reason we are giving a meeting on Friday, countrywide all braches, ten branches having simultaneous meeting to put forth again the situation to our teachers, to hear from them once more and to ensure that whatever actions we take going forward is the action of the teachers want to take. At that meeting they will make that decision, they will be given a ballot and they will determine what further actions they would want to take.”


Hipolito Novelo

“What are some of the options in terms of industrial action?”


Senator Elena Smith

“Again, as we said we can either continue to wear our shirts, demand a meeting with the ministry or we can look further industrial action.”

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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