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Jul 9, 2020

What Up With U.B.F.S.U.’s Status?

Elena Smith

As you heard in that story, the President of the U.B.F.S.U. says they are being shut out due to the lack of certification to show its union status.  We caught up with B.N.T.U. National President, Senator Elena Smith who joined the protestors today.  We asked Smith for her thoughts on that matter and also got a chance to get an update on the issue from President Saqui.


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

“I think it is just a delay tactic. They have received a letter from the Ministry of Labour from in January, saying to them that they have met all requirements to be certified as a union. So, a date was set for them to go in and have that actual ceremony. So, there is no reason why that certificate couldn’t have been signed. If you could not have had the ceremony then just sign it. It should have been prepared for that date so that the certificate should be there already. Normally, it is prepared ahead of time and normally on the day of the ceremony it is signed as a way of doing some sort of publicity. Sign the certificate and give it to the people. They have met all the requirements and there is no reason why they shouldn’t be getting it. So, we are of the belief that because they have met all requirements and the Ministry of Labor has said to them that they are a union then they can proceed to do work as a union. It is the certificate. So, if I go to court and get married  in court but I have to go and apply for my marriage certificate, does that mean I am not married? I already went through the process. I am married. It is just that I don’t have the official document yet because I have to apply and get a copy of that. So, to me it is something similar. They have met the requirements. They are a union.”


Pio Saqui


“The certification remains a huge issue on the table – it is something you brought up at the press conference – it remains a huge issue so how do you get past that?”


Dr. Pio Saqui, President, U.B.F.S.U.

“We are rectifying that right now. We actually have a meeting with the Ministry of Labour and we are hoping that we can fix that as soon as possible. But in fact we nonetheless have the right to be the sole bargaining agent for the faculty and staff of the University of Belize. That letter states it clearly. It doesn’t matter which way you look at it.”

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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