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Feb 9, 2023

G.O.B. Negotiating Team and the Unions to Meet Next Week

Francis Fonseca

Minister Fonseca says that as it relates to travel allowances, his ministry spends approximately ten million dollars on transportation – including buses for students and hardship allowances. Fonseca says that the union is asking for an increase in allowances and allowing more teachers to access the hardship allowance. He confirmed with the media today that there is a meeting scheduled for Friday with the Belize National Teachers Union, where the collective bargaining agreement will be discussed. But what about the request by the unions for the government to forego G.S.T. on controlled goods and other issues?


Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“The government’s negotiating team has scheduled a meeting with the JUNT for the fifteenth of February, that’s next week. I don’t want to get ahead of that meeting. We are going into that meeting with an open mind. We are going to have, as we always do, a respectful discussion with them. We will hear from them what the outstanding issues are; we will dialogue with them, we will make note of those issues and as we always do, we have to take those issues back to cabinet for further discussion and decisions that have to be made.”


“Do you believe that the unions are being somewhat unreasonable?”


Francis Fonseca

“Listen, the unions have every right to advocate for their membership and to advocate for better terms and condition of service for their members. That’s the purpose and objective of a union, so we have no quarrel with that. But I want to encourage them, let’s try to have – as we have tried to do – let’s try to have a respectful dialogue, a respectful discussion grounded in facts, grounded in facts. So I am very hopeful about that because that has been the past experience over the past two years. We’ve always been able to have a respectful discussion and come out of it with a better understanding of where we need to go and what we need to get done.”

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