Education Features — 18 January 2013 — by Albert J. Ciego
Belize City teachers mean serious business!

The Belize City Branch of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) is unhappy with the Government, whom they’ve been trying to negotiate with for a salary increase over the last few years.

The branch held a meeting this afternoon at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall, at which over 500 teachers voted overwhelmingly, by secret ballot, that they will suspend classes on Tuesday, January 29, to travel to Belmopan to protest outside Cabinet Meeting, which is normally held every Tuesday.

The Branch president, Kathleen Flowers, said that the joint negotiating team has been meeting with Government for the past two years to get an increase in salaries and other benefits for teachers, but they have been unsuccessful.

All the various branches of the union held meetings today and voted on a plan of action. The results of today’s votes will be relayed to the National President, Luke Palacio, and his council of management, which will then presumably carry out the mandate of the teachers.

Flowers said that the Belize City Branch stands willing to participate in whatever is planned by the collective union.

A teacher told Amandala today that the teachers have been disrespected. They have been told flatly by Government that no salary increase will be considered, because of “no money.” They have been told maybe, perhaps, in the next three years.

The teachers said that money was found to give criminals, and to send criminals on all-expenses paid vacations, but there is no money to reward teachers for their hard work in educating our children.

The last time teachers and public officers received a pay raise was 10 years ago.

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