By Benjamin Flowers: Today, Minister of Education, Francis Fonseca explained that the Government of Belize takes full responsibility for the 10 percent salary cut implemented on teachers; however, the managing authorities of schools are the bodies that will need to implement those cuts.
Fonseca said that there was some misinterpretation of comments made by Prime Minister John Briceno with respect to the salary cuts, and stressed that the Prime Minister was speaking in the context of the court case brought on by the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU).
“The way the government executes that policy of a 10 percent salary reduction is by reducing the grant given to the managing authorities by ten percent,” Fonseca said. “Then as a logical consequence of the reduction for that grants, the managing authorities would then reduce the salaries of teachers by 10 percent.”
He went on to say that the policy decision is backed by the constitutional power of the Minister of the Public Service to request that the Governor-General of Belize pass regulations to set salaries. Fonseca went on to say that he feels the BNTU’s claim before the Supreme Court holds no water, as the government does not touch the teachers’ salaries directly.
“We don’t go and deduct 10 percent from every teacher, we provide a month grant to managing authorities to pay salaries so we had to reduce that grant by 10 percent,” Fonseca said.
He also said that the Government of Belize highly respects and values the relationship it has with churches and managing authorities.