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Feb 4, 2020

M.O.E. Meets with B.N.T.U. and Progress is Recorded

Tonight, there is a sigh of relief among the Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teachers Unions and temperatures are cooling down.  Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber took a detour from his campaign trail today to meet with the B.N.T.U. at length in an effort to arrive at a mutual agreement on amendments to the existing Education Rules.  It was a critical meeting that came on the heels of a press conference on Monday which was hosted by the National Trade Union Congress and saw the participation of B.N.T.U.   During that media brief Senator Elena Smith, national president of the teachers union, expressed frustration with repeatedly being disrespected by the Ministry of Education.  While she did not directly threaten industrial action, the firm position that the B.N.T.U. has taken in respect of the Education Rules may have been sufficient for the Minister of Education to call a meeting today at the ITVET in Belize City.  The meeting concluded shortly before four o’clock this evening and when the B.N.T.U. executives emerged from the conference room it was to report that progress had been made regarding matters of concern for the union.


Elena Smith

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

“Well indeed we did make some progress on some of the matters that we raised and there are other matters that we need to work together to fully ventilate those and come to agreement on those areas.”



“Okay, so would you be willing to give us details in which areas you felt good progress was made or which areas you feel that the B.N.T.U. feels that needs to be more addressed?”


Elena Smith

“Well in terms of the proposed amendments, the matter of the vacation period, you know that that was a big issue, and so that, we agreed that those would remain as is and so there would no longer be amendments to the vacation rules.  The matter of contracts as well, we’ve agreed that contracts will be given to teachers and those would be indefinite contracts, but there are some other areas in the contract that would need to get some legal advice on them before we proceed and it was also agreed that in doing that the final document would be shared with us so that teachers would be satisfied that in that contract it would indicate or it would show when those teachers initially began teaching.”



“The aspect of who the ministry officials consult with because today the minister spoke about different stakeholders and that when they go back to GAMAS, they may suggest certain things and then that may change what has been agreed.  That’s what he referred to, what is your perception on that?”


Elena Smith

“Well I don’t know if those consultations that he would be having with those other persons should have an impact on our decisions today.  A few of them yes, in terms or CPD hours where we have to look at what will be offered to our teachers during the summer or other times during the year and we know that that will have to have some consultations which includes the management and ministry personnel, as well as B.N.T.U.”

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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