In 2016, the Belize National Teachers Union, BNTU, flexed its muscles by holding an 11-day strike, refusing to return to the classrooms unless certain conditions were agreed to by the government. One of those conditions had to do with Belize signing unto the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). The Government conceded some months later, on December 9, 2016. The thing is that the convention is yet to be fully implemented. President of BNTU, Elena Smith, said they have not forgotten and that their union is collaborating with the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, NTUCB, to ensure that the execution is done.
Elena Smith, President of the BNTU: “Well in terms of those demands that we made it was agreed that some of those matters would be placed with the NTUCB as the umbrella organization and so then they would be dealing with those matters. Through the NTUCB we do have an UNCAC rep who represents the unions and so that person then goes to those meetings and pushes for this matter. But it is a matter of concern to us still because we have gotten the government to sign on to UNCAC but we haven’t seen much movement in terms of the other steps that need to be taken. We are to receive an update from the rep at the NTUCB and we have a meeting coming up on Saturday and so hopefully we are going to be receiving an update as to what they have been doing and what will be the next step so that we can update our members as it relates to that matter.”
Belize became the one hundred and eighty-four country to sign unto UNCAC.