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Marty Offline OP
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The Belize National Teachers Union has written the government of Belize informing them that they will commence strike action starting Monday, April 26th.


Hon. Francis Fonseca
Minister of Education

Mrs. Dian Maheia
Chief Executive Officer

Mrs. Yolanda Gongora
Chief Education Officer
Ministry of Education Belmopan

Dear Sir and Madams.

Re: Notice of Strike Action by BNTU

I write to you as directed by the Council of Management of the Belize National Teachers' Union (BNTU), to give formal notice of the decision of our Council and membership to engage in Strike Action, effective Monday, 26th April, 2021.

The grounds for such Industrial Action is to express our disappointment and dissatisfaction with the Government's intended draconian measures of exorbitant salary cuts and increment freeze for the next three years.

BNTU therefore demands that negotiations continue in an effort to find workable and reasonable solutions to our current economic crisis. We also insist that our government the listens to the call of our people and move to immediately address and eradicate the corrupt practices which have brought us to where we are today.

Our Union representatives stand ready to continue the work, alongside our counterparts on the government side, to bring an amicable solution to what can only be referred to as an impasse.

Respectfully yours.
Elena Smith National President

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,392
Marty Offline OP
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BNTU Before the Strikes...

And like we told you, the BNTU plans to strike on Monday - which basically means that your kids won't be getting those online assignments or paper packages. While a few schools across the country reopened last week - and some this week - many of those doors will be closing once again as the teachers stage a walk out. But even those teaching from home won't be logging on to Zoom or Google classroom. BNTU president Elena Smith explained that while this might also mean no salaries for the teachers, it's a risk they're willing to take.

Elena Smith, President, BNTU
"Even though we are not in the classroom, we continue to work so our children are still getting work from us so to say it's not going to be effective is really and truly not the bigger picture. Our students, our parents will indeed feel if it is our teachers discontinue the work we have been doing from home and for most of them out of their pocket. So it will have an impact."

"We have been doing the best we could do, remember this is not just about us as teachers, we have management, we have ministry, who have been doing their part. From our part our teachers have been going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that their students get work. It was not what is used to be and all of us understand that but we were working and we were providing work."

"We have informed our members that any time we are on strike that is a possibility. The rules are clear that you may lose salary. And based on the survey over 90% said that they were willing to take strike action."

But to what end? We asked Smith what it would take to get the teachers in class on Monday and she said at this juncture, there's nothing that can be done.

Elena Smith, President, BNTU
"I am not sure that they can get the teachers back teaching on Monday because we are already on a path because they have not been doing what they should be doing. So if it is they want to have any change in anything, they must come to the table and come to the table with some serious solutions, not just come and give me on the surface solutions, we want to have serious, detailed solutions, and if they can't come to the table with that level of seriousness, then we would remain where we are."

The last strike by the BNTU was in 2016 and it lasted for 11 days before government caved. Of course, the main difference then was that schools were in regular session - so kids were stuck at home. In this case, they've been at home for over a year now due to COVID. We'll keep following it on Monday to see if this COVID wrinkle weakens the teachers' leverage.

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