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Feb 3, 2020

Strong Words from B.N.T.U. to M.O.E.

Elena Smith

B.N.T.U. President Elena Smith was also present at this afternoon’s press conference which was held at its headquarters here in Belize City.  Aside from the full support that the teachers union is getting from the N.T.U.C.B., the question of whether they will take advantage of government’s encumbered state was put to her.  Smith’s response was straightforward, the union will no longer put up with government’s continued disrespect for teachers and they do not need to strike while the scandal-ridden administration is at its weakest.



“Do you all sense that because the government is weak right now, it is a time for you all to try to use your leverage against them for an advantage and this is the nature of any contest, it’s not opportunism, it’s how struggles are?”


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

“Let me say very clearly that B.N.T.U. does not need to attack anybody when they are at their lowest.  We are prepared for them at anytime.  So this is not a time that we can say we are being advantageous.  We have, as we’ve said before publicly, we have tried our very best to work with this ministry.  We’ve had meetings with them, we’ve had discussions with them, conversations with them to try to solve these issues amicably, without having to resort to any type of industrial action and we’ve seen where it has not worked.  The ministry continues to disrespect our union and our teachers and we are at the point where we will no longer tolerate such disrespect and for them to forget that B.N.T.U. is the legal entity that addresses our teachers concerns, our teachers wellbeing.  Oftentimes, the ministry chooses to go to other bodies to discuss matters of the profession as opposed to coming to the union and so we will no longer allow that.”


The B.N.T.U. is also calling on the government to slow down the fast moving train in respect of the Equal Opportunities Bill. The B.N.T.U. points out that the Bill has far reaching implications for many sectors so it requires ample and detailed educational forums. The B.N.T.U. is undertaking to ensure that teachers receive the facts about the contents of the Bill and so it intends to share much needed information to its membership.  The union is requesting that the process be decelerated to give way for educational forums

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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