Catholic Archbishop Kalenga Meets PM Barrow; Calls for BNTU to Return to Negotiating Table

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Posted: Wednesday, October 5, 2016. 3:51 p.m. CST.

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By BBN Staff:Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow met with Archbishop Leon Kalenga, Papal Nuncio to Belize, this morning at the Prime Minister’s Belize City office, according to a GOB press release.

The Prime Minister and the Vatican’s Emissary discussed the current Belize National Teachers’ Union strike, and the many Roman Catholic schools that are closed by the strike.

As Representative of the Holy See, the Archbishop Kalenga, made clear that the interests of the children are paramount and that those interests require schools to be open and children and teachers to be in their classrooms.

“The Archbishop therefore called for the BNTU to return to the negotiating table with Government and for teachers to return to school. Children should not be punished, the Archbishop said, and issues between the BNTU and Government needed to be worked out through dialogue and not school closure. Prime Minister Barrow welcomed the Archbishop’s, and therefore the Catholic Church’s, position, and repeated Government’s own call for the BNTU to suspend its strike and resume the discussions with GOB on the 3% salary adjustment and the good governance agenda”, the release adds.

Archbishop Kalenga is the Pope’s Ambassador to Central America, including Belize, and is based in El Salvador.

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