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Mar 30, 2021

Joint Unions to Negotiate Through the Easter Break

Elena Smith

The nation’s children may be on Easter break, but the Belize National Teachers Union is not relaxing this holiday. Union representatives met with government representatives on Monday evening to further negotiate a proposed salary cut for teachers and public officers.  The protracted discussions come after dates being set for the reopening of schools after a yearlong closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Despite ongoing talks, the impasse between the Briceño administration and the joint unions seems no closer to being resolved and will require additional meetings going into the Easter weekend.  Following yesterday’s lengthy session, B.N.T.U. President Elena Smith addressed the union’s membership via Facebook live.


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

“We are looking at having another meeting on Good Friday and another meeting again on Easter Monday, and so it means for us, as your leaders, that there will be no Easter weekend for us as we continue to work on these negotiations.  I am unable to, at this time, provide you with what those discussions today yielded or what it is that we are looking at for the other meetings because we need to have those things in writing from the government officials.  And so when we do, then we are able to share those information with you. I also think that it is important for us to understand that you can’t just expect that after one meeting we would be able to reach agreements, and so I trust that you would be able to grant us that time, give us that time for us to be able to go through the process and then we can get back to you on what it is that these discussions would yield for our members.  It is important for us to understand, as members of B.N.T.U., that the union never goes into negotiations looking at or expecting that our members, you, our members would not be considered in all aspects and I say that because for some reason it seems that we have some of our members who believe that we are not doing enough with these negotiations in maybe representing you, our members.”

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