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BNTU injunction case against GOB goes to court today

Posted: Friday, November 18, 2016. 11:40 a.m. CST.

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By BBN Staff: Last Friday, attorney Eamon Courtenay sent a letter to education minister Patrick Faber, on behalf of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU).

The union is demanding that Faber repeal the decision to dock teacher’s pay end of this month. The union gave him until Monday to respond or they would sue him.

Faber told the media that the Attorney General nor himself intended to respond.

Courtenay filed the lawsuit on Wednesday. The first part of the claim is an application for injunction against the Government of Belize to stop them from withholding any contributions to the managing authorities of the different schools.  This is the money used for teachers’ salaries. This month’s payday is November 25, next week Friday.

The union’s stance is that the Education Act and Rules does not allow for the Ministry to simply withhold their contributions to the school managers in such an arbitrary manner, and that it is for the Managing Authorities of the schools to decide whether or not teachers who engaged in industrial action are to be paid nor not.

Today, the union’s case against government goes to court. If the teachers are successful in that first instance, they are seeking to get the Court to block the Ministry of Education from docking the teachers pay for those 11 days of strike.

The union is also seeking a declaration that Rule 102 (1) of the Education Rules is unconstitutional to the extent that it contravenes Section 3b and 13(1) of the Constitution.

That Rule 102 is the section which the Government justifies its decision to withhold its contributions from the Managing Authorities.

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