By Zoila Palma: In response to a letter with demands sent to Prime Minister Dean Barrow by the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), Minister of Education Patrick Faber called a press briefing yesterday. Faber called the briefing to appeal to teachers not to take any strike action because, according to him, there is no dispute and the Government is already addressing pressing issues and taking action. Faber told the media in the briefing that strike action should only come if there is a labour dispute with the teachers.
According to Faber, if the BNTU’s dispute is not about the three percent salary increase then it is not about labor dispute. He also said that GOB has been hard at work addressing pressing issues important to the public. Faber said he believes that the BNTU’s latest move is a distraction that is taking time away from children in school.
Faber accused BNTU President, Luke Palacio of being an operative of the PUP and said he is not extending his appeal to him but to the “right thinking teachers” to not participate in this undertaking by the union.
Faber said the government has no interest in threatening teachers and in fact wishes to work amicably with the unions, especially the BNTU.
According to 7 news, Prime Minister Barrow has responded saying that each of the demands made by the union requires a more extensive explanation, which is better done in person, and that he is prepared to meet with the BNTU’s Council of Management.
The BNTU President has called a press conference in Corozal today.
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