Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2023. 1:45 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The newly-elected President of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) is already facing some controversy after suggestions she is behind critical changes planned to the Union’s constitution to allow her to take office as scheduled on June 1.
But on Wednesday, incumbent Senator Elena Smith maintained that “no one person can make a change to the constitution.” The matter is before an internal committee with several amendments being considered.
Ruth Shoman was allegedly sued for misappropriation of funds by the Belize Yacht Club and is not presently affiliated with any school management, raising the question of how she functions as president for a two-year term in the first instance.
Smith said several suggested “recommendations” will be reviewed by the membership once approved by the committee, and then final approval would be sought before the constitution is amended, but this has not been done: “But I think we are focusing on one person’s suggestions or recommendations if that is indeed so because something was mentioned that I’m not aware of, as opposed to focusing on how we get to the end of that so it doesn’t matter what a person recommends at the end of the day it is the membership who will determine what that will look like what those changes would be, it’s not one person.”
As for Shoman’s remuneration, Smith said this was also still under review: “We have to look at how the union is growing and how the union is changing and we have to look at what will be the purpose of that so the purpose would then depend on why we need to have a fund or whether the membership would approve a fund. So again, I don’t want to be looking at matters that have just been suggested and have not been approved because I don’t know whether those will be approved and whether membership would agree and would add anything to what we are suggesting…Again, it’s not something that one person decides, it’s something that the [Council of Management] will determine, if that is what has to happen, that is what the council will decide.”
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