Briceno Writes to PM on His Callous and Cold-Hearted Government

By
Updated: November 21, 2016

As you heard at the top of our newscast, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin delivered his ruling on the injunction application filed last week on behalf of the Belize Teachers Union.  His decision has signalled the way for a court hearing and for the teachers to receive their salaries in full until a final ruling is handed down on the matter.  Hours before the decision was handed down, the Leader of the Opposition sent a letter to the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow appealing for reconsideration on the matter.  Love News received a copy of that letter where PUP’s John Briceno wrote, quote, “We find it very inconsiderate and disturbing that any Government would even consider withholding the salaries of our hard working teachers, more so the month before Christmas. Many Belizeans have expressed that executing such actions would not only reflect a Government that is unfair, but certainly callous and cold-hearted. The PUP also believes that the teachers’ strike brought about much needed changes that are in the best interest of our people and will positively impact the political and economic development of our nation. No one should be punished for selflessly giving let alone those in the teaching profession who daily give of themselves to educate our children and the young.”  End of quote.  Opposition Leader Briceno continued in his 5-paragraph letter by speaking of the strength of Belize’s democracy and how it allows full participation for the social and political well-being of the country and that participation should not be punished regardless if they go contrary to what the current Government stands for.  The letter ended by noting, quote, “As a leader who has always proclaimed the right for civil disobedience, it is our expectation that you as the head of Government will find it judicious to reconsider the decision to withhold the teacher’s salary. It is our understanding that the majority of Belizeans expect that the teachers will be paid their entire salary for the month of November.”  End of quote.  It is to be noted that a similar letter had gone from the President of the BNTU, Luke Palacio to the Prime Minister for which the Prime Minister noted that he is leaving the matter to be dealt with by the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Patrick Faber.  In speaking with Minister Faber, we were informed that up to last week, he remains firm in his decision to carry through with the deductions; that decision however will now have to be justified in a courtroom where the judge will have the final say on the issue.