Following a meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Thursday, the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU) has decided to continue taking industrial actions against the Government of Belize, citing dissatisfaction with GOB’s response to their demands.

The BNTU, in a letter following the meeting, told Prime Minister Dean Barrow that the offers he made were “inconsistent” with their list of demands. The BNTU then outlined its demands and a range of responses to the offers that the Prime Minister had made.

With respect to their demand for a specific configuration of the Senate Select Committee to investigate incidents of wrongdoing cited in the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report of the Immigration and Nationality Department, the BNTU said that the offer was “not favorable;” and added that his response to their request for the removal of Godwin Hulse as the Minister of Police was “too vague.”

The Union also took issue with Barrow’s response to their other demands, such as GOB implementing recommendations made by the Cost Saving Committee, an amendment to the Social Security Act to include coverage to and from work, and the passing of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Bill. The BNTU said the responses either needed expedition, stronger commitment, or more urgent attention.

The only point that the Union found favorable was the inclusion of the unions in the ongoing review of tax reforms.

“The BNTU serves notice to the Government of Belize that we intend to pursue all necessary actions in the furtherance of our cause that has the betterment of Belize as its primary focus.” The BNTU said.

Barrow and the unions met on Thursday, after the BNTU caused a countrywide shutdown of school son Monday as a part of their “Stand up for Belize” campaign.

PM asks BNTU to call off strike

Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in response to a correspondence with the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU) on pending strike action, made a public appeal for the Union to not shut schools down again.

Barrow explained today that the government met with the BNTU on numerous occasions in an attempt to address their concerns and added that he has granted them up to 75 percent of their demands.

The Prime Minister also told the nation that the BNTU is not operating in good faith, ignoring the views of all other social partners, which have agreed with GOB on many of the issues of good governance that the BNTU raised in its demands.

“The BNTU leadership is being unreasonable. They are utterly unjustified in holding parents and children to ransom,” Barrow said.

Barrow also emphasized that the BNTU’s decision to strike has nothing to do with the differal of their three percent salary adjustment, because the Union did not even raise the issue at its last meeting.

Following a meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Thursday, the BNTU told the PM that it decided to continue taking industrial actions against the government, citing dissatisfaction with GOB’s response to their demands.

The BNTU then outlined its demands and a range of responses to the offers that the Prime Minister had made. With respect to its demand for a specific configuration of the Senate Select committee to investigate incidents of wrongdoing cited in the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report of the Immigration and nationality Department, the BNTU said that his offer was “not favorable;” and added that his response to their request for the removal of Godwin Hulse as the Minister of Police was “too vague.”

The Union also took issue with Barrow’s response for their other demands, such as GOB implementing recommendations made by the Cost Saving Committee, and an amendment to the Social Security Act to include coverage to and from work, the passing of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Bill. The BNTU gave criticisms that the responses either needed expedition, needed stronger commitment, or needed more urgent attention.

The only point that the Union found favorable was the inclusion of the unions in the ongoing review of tax reforms.

“The BNTU serves notice to the Government of Belize that we intend to pursue all necessary actions in the furtherance of our cause that has the betterment of Belize as its primary focus,” The BNTU said.

Barrow and the unions met on Thursday, after the BNTU caused a countrywide shutdown of schools on Monday as a part of its “Stand up for Belize” campaign.

The Reporter

=======================

PM Statement on BNTU Negotiations

======================

BNTU Benque Branch:

A pleasant good night members, I know that you have been wondering what is the outcome of our hours of meeting with the PM on Thursday. First let me inform you that as the PM started speaking he pointed out that our meeting has nothing to do with the salary deferral because our union had lost as out of the three unions 2 voted yes and 1 voted no so the majority wins. Our meeting was to discuss the 8 points I presented to you in our last general meeting. He went point by point. We are going over it in detail at our AGM on Wednesday the 28. But what we got was palabras so after the meeting we went back to the office to prepare a plan of action. First a letter was written to him to give us all his promises in black and white and a time frame when it will be accomplished. As he kept telling us that he cannot compromise as he has to take it to cabinet to be approved. The cabinet will be meeting on Tuesday so we expect to get an answer from him by Thursday. If he cannot come with any favorable answer then we are going to implement our plan of action which I will not disclose here in the web but the membership will be informed in the meeting. I continue to ask for your support to this matter till the end.. It is not an easy task cause we know that the PM is trying to frustrate us so that all members get discourage and at the end no change will happen. We need to keep united. Solidarity. President