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Jul 19, 2021

St. Ignatius VP is First to Challenge G.O.B. Salary Cut in Court

The Belize National Teachers’ Union is fighting a legal battle against G.O.B.’s ten percent salary cut, and Vice Principal for the Saint Ignatius School in Belize City, Mario Rodriquez, has come forward as a nominal claimant in the case.  The claim is that the Government of Belize has no legal authority to intervene in the private agreement made between a teacher and the managing authority, in this case the Catholic Schools.  A favorable ruling has the potential to set precedents that could affect all teachers in a similar position.  The first hearing was held this morning virtually, where the government was represented by attorney Iliana Swift.  The Catholic public schools were represented by attorneys Samira Pott and Melissa Baldaramos-Mahler. Attorney Darrell Bradley gave us further details about the claim.


Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley, Attorney for B.N.T.U.

“Essentially what we are saying in the claim is that this matter relates, as you have said Paul, to the ten percent reduction in the salary for teachers. And what we are arguing is that matter wrongly includes teachers who work for denominational schools, or teachers who do not work for the government of Belize. Essentially we are saying that the government has no lawful authority to institute a wage reduction for teachers who are not their employees. So that in Belize we have a church state system, and there are two regimes. There are teachers who work for the Government of Belize and there are teachers who work for denominational schools, the catholic management, the Methodist management, the Anglican management. And essentially, we are saying that those persons, their employers are these denominations, and these denominations have a written contract which is a fixed term contract with these teachers. And so the Government of Belize has no lawful authority to intervene in the private employment relationship between a teacher and a managing authority. In addition, they have no lawful authority to direct the terms of a written fixed contract. So, the lay claimant is Mario Rodriquez and he is the vice-principal of St Ignatius school in Belize City and he has a written five year contract with the Catholic management. There is nowhere or no lawful authority that there could be a reduction on his wages, provided of course that he shows up for work and discharges his functions as vice principal. A unilateral reduction in wages cannot occur in those circumstances.”


Representing the Belize National Teachers’ Union in this matter are attorneys at Law, Darrell Bradley and Magali Perdomo.

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