With the impending national demonstration and possible strike action at government’s front door, Patrick Faber, who leads a ministerial committee on collective bargaining agreement with the unions, said last Friday that government does not have the finances to support the adjustment. This morning, Faber likened the adjustment to an increase and further warned that it could potentially translate into an increase in school fees.
Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
“I hasten to point out that, this is not an issue between the Ministry of Education and the teachers or even the teachers and the government of Belize. This is an issue between the unions, the N.T.U.C.B., the umbrella organization and the wider government and the people of Belize if you will and there’s a reason why I’m saying people as opposed to government as well. If you check it for instance, the teachers are asking for a salary increase, adjustment as they term it, we call it, I say adjustment/increase. But if we are to look at how we aid granted aid schools for instance, where the formula has recently been changed but by and large it takes care of seventy percent of the salaries, the other thirty percent comes from the fees that these school charge you know, and if there is going to be a raise, that thirty percent will have to be raised in other words the school fees and so on would have to be raised. The schools would have to find some way to get this. It is something that parents and those who pay for student fees at school need to be aware of as well because that could potentially be an increase in a time when we are saying to the schools, let’s look at how we finance this education, this portion of our education.”