The teachers of Belize comprise the most powerful trade union force in the country, and they have decided to demand more pay. The Government of Belize has responded by saying that it cannot oblige. This is a case, as they say, of irresistible force meeting immoveable object.
Before the teachers demonstrate in Belmopan on Tuesday, GOB has gone on the offensive this week with television ads featuring the Financial Secretary. The Financial Secretary is a man who hates the spotlight, but he is a man who has, behind the scenes, accumulated some credibility over the years. Incidentally, he is a nephew of the iconic national hero, Rt. Hon. G. C. Price. These ads, we think, will be effective.
The burden of proof will therefore be on the new leadership of the Belize National Teachers Union. This union’s reputation rests on their bringing the Musa government to its knees in February of 2005. But the circumstances in 2005 were different from those which prevail today. The teachers union of 2013 will have to convert potential energy into real energy. The teachers will need to recruit all those allies of 2005 who made the force greater than the sum of its parts. A drama unfolds.