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Belize National Teachers Union: ‘Government not acting in good faith’

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Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2021. 10:56 am CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Yesterday, Prime Minister John Briceno released a recorded message, updating the nation on the status of negotiations between the Government of Belize and the joint Union Negotiating Team (JUNT), a move which the Belize National Teachers Union says is proof that the government is not negotiating in good faith.

BNTU President, Elena Smith, in a Facebook live session with union members following the Prime Ministers’ statement on negotiations yesterday, explained that the unions received a letter detailing the PM’s proposals only moments before his message was aired, giving them no time to read through it before the entire matter was made public. She also noted that the contents of the PM’s message was a new proposal that the unions had never seen before and as such did not have time to discuss amongst themselves or take their membership.

Smith reasoned that, given the timing of the union’s receipt of the letter and the airing of the PM’s address, the recording was made before the letter was sent out. She also condemned the tone of Briceno’s letter and message, which she says took a position of “take it or leave it” while trying to rally public sympathy for the government and pitting the public against the unions.

The JUNT will be meeting to discuss the contents of the latest proposal in preparation for its next meeting with GOB today.

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