Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2016. 5:20 p.m. CST.
By Delroy Cuthkelvin: The calm and objective voice of the President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), Marvin Mora, is exactly what is needed at this time to help bridge the current impasse between the Government of Belize and the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) which is one of the 10 trade unions making up the NTUCB, representing the broadest representation from the services and productive sector.
In our view, the situation should never have come to this, as this Government led by Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow has never stopped talking with stakeholders, including the Church, Business and, yes, Labour, addressing issues that are important to each group specifically and to the nation as a whole. The fact, however, is that we are where we are, and we fully agree with Mora when he statesthat the objective at this juncture is to find ways and means to come out of it while achieving what is “effective, realistic and fair for everybody.”
As the President explained during his appearance on Channel Five’s ‘Open Your Eyes’Morning Show today, the NTUCB body fully supports the teachers’ entitlement to the remaining tranche of their salary adjustment and related benefits as well as their right to advance the governance agenda. In fact, Mora recounted that it was the NTUCB as an umbrella organization that spearheaded from the onset the demand for these governance issues to be addressed. He was man enough to concede that they had collectively “dropped the ball”, and he commended the teachers for leading the effort at this time to revive the cause. But he went on to explain that the overall objective can only be achieved if all their efforts are synchronized under the NTUCB umbrella.Mora said what is needed is for everybody to come to the table and draft a strategy that will ensure that the issues are addressed in an efficient and effective manner.
Mora also noted that the BNTU’s actions have proven to be beneficial in that the Prime Minister and his Government have already made significant concessions. He, nevertheless, reiterated their (the NTUCB) respect for the BNTU’s autonomy and their right to continue taking whatever measures they resolve to carry out. But as to what actions the other unions are prepared to take in solidarity with the BNTU and in pursuit of the common cause, he said that is something that must be determined and mandated by their respective memberships.
We have not always agreed with the NTUCB President, and we are sure he has not always agreed with us. That is as it should be. But we have always respected his composed but firm style of leadership; and we believe his calm and objective voice is exactly what we need at this particular juncture. Let’s tone down the rhetoric and increase the reasoning on all fronts.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
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