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“Teachers ready for action,” says BNTU

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Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2020. 10:12 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) says that its teachers are “ready for action” in its latest dispute with the Ministry of Education (MOE) over changes being made to the Education Rules.

The BNTU, responding to a statement issued by the MOE, said that the Ministry has repeatedly acted in bad faith during consultations referencing the proposed changes. The union notes that it reached out to the ministry several times requesting clarification on the changes and was only afforded the opportunity once before the Christmas break.

“After being pressed for a final draft for review before going to Cabinet, Minister Faber made it known that he owed the union nothing, however, he would CONSIDER sharing with us,” the union said.

The union also said that it has been a month since the last meeting with the ministry and all their efforts to learn about the final decision on the changes has been unsuccessful. The BNTU’s concerns are primarily with the Ministry’s decision to amend the education rules which set out the duration of Christmas, Easter, and Summer vacations, and replace it with a provision that empowers the Chief Education Officer to set the duration of those holidays to ensure the legally required number of contact days in school.

“Our teachers remain steadfast in their conviction to not be disenfranchised and therefore remain ready for action,” the union said.

We have been informed that the BNTU’s membership has been meeting at the branch levels to decide a way forward and that more than half of the branches have made their decision already. With more meetings set to be held, it remains to be seen if the union will choose to resort to strike action like it did in 2016.

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