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Union Negotiations Team calls on Minister Faber to address Proposal 22

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2018. 11:19 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The Joint Union Negotiations Team (JUNT), comprised of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM), the Public Service Union (PSU) and the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) today issued a statement emphasizing the need for the Minister of Education to address Proposal 22.

The organizations say that the issue of Proposal 22 is a part of their collective bargaining negotiations with the government of Belize, since 2008.

“At the last meeting held with the Government side on September 4th, 2018, it was agreed on both sides, that works must earnestly commence to bring the 10 year negotiations to a close by the end of the current calendar year,” the statement explains.

Education Minister, Patrick Faber, lead official for the government side, conducted the session and at its closing, it was agreed that two aspects of Proposal 22 (Special Proposal from BNTU) would be addressed through a sub-committee comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teachers’ Union.

The organizations say that the agreement refers to addressing the discussion with four community schools and hosting consultations for them to consider becoming government managed schools.

Secondly, the aspect of looking at the BNTU’s recommendation for addressing the 70/30 agreement to ensure that teachers and support staff, employed at grant aided schools, are guaranteed 100% of pension and service benefits upon retirement.

The JUNT says that it finds quite concerning and rather ‘disheartening’ that Faber has gone on record, at the Prime Minister’s Press Conference held on Monday, to state that the issue of the 70/30 agreement will not be addressed in these negotiations as it is “no longer a live issue.”

The organizations reiterated that the entire team, comprised of the nine members present that day, walked away with a very different understanding than that held by Faber.

The JUNT has agreed that there will be no signing off of the current CBA until Proposal 22 is fully ventilated.

Furthermore, JUNT says that their position was clearly stipulated to Faber on September 4 and they stand firmly with their position.

“We cannot and will not allow the Minister, to disregard portions of our discussions and agreements, at his whim and fancy. The JUNT has been negotiating these past ten years, with extreme patience and in good faith and therefore we expect nothing less from Minister Faber and the Government Side. We stand ready to engage in discussions on these matters through the subcommittee, as agreed, therefore the ball is in Minister Faber’s court,” the statement ends.


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