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Belize teachers get October Reprieve, but face salary deductions in November

Featured Education Minister Patrick Faber says government "won’t interfere with the salaries for this month of October but rather we will move with those deductions at the end of the November month." Education Minister Patrick Faber says government "won’t interfere with the salaries for this month of October but rather we will move with those deductions at the end of the November month."
BELMOPAN, Belize October 24, 2016 - BNTU represented teachers who went on strike for eleven days to back demands for improvement intheir working conditions, can breathe a sigh of relief as their October salaries will remain intact, but not so for their November pay package.

A memo has been sent to general managers of government and government-aided schools by Chief Education Officer Doctor Carol Babb, pointing out that “the withholding of contributions will take effect the ending of November 2016.”

This is to give managing authorities time to ensure that attendance of teachers on strike is accurate.

Education Minister Patrick Faber in explaining the decision, said “We will put it off until next month; again, to give the B.N.T.U. ample time to answer the proposal that we have put forward.

This is also being done because we have a few of the managing authorities, particularly the largest one, the Roman Catholic management, that is saying we have so many schools, so many teachers, it’s hard for us to compile this information.

Remember that the strike had gone on up until Tuesday I believe, and so we still are gathering information…. so we won’t interfere with the salaries for this month of October but rather we will move with those deductions at the end of the November month.”

The Education Minister hinted that the government may be in a position to assist the teachers union in supplementing the strike fund to pay the teachers who protested.

Farber told Channel 5 news that “I did write to the President of the B.N.T.U. proposing that we might be able to be of assistance to those teachers who were on strike because we believe that we can assist if the B.N.T.U. believes that it can put forward the monies that are withheld as a monthly contribution from the teachers to go into a strike fund.

That is a way to make sure that our teachers are comfortable, especially since the children are at the forefront of whatever it is we’re doing here and we believe that there is the need for makeup time to happen.

Now if it is that teachers aren’t paid, especially from the government, if the payment is withheld then that argument about or the question about having teachers go back to the classroom to assist overtime to help students make up time becomes difficult because if you noh pay me [then] yoh cyant expect me fi go back.

So if it is that there can be a kind of payment from the strike fund subsidized by the government then that gives us a footing to the negotiations to try to work out makeup time for the students.”

  • Countries: Belize

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