After being told by some school managements that their pay will be deducted, teachers have decided to withhold contributions and donations to those school managements. Last month, more than five hundred teachers rallied in Belmopan to protest the increase of crime against women and children. It was not a holiday and some school managements have decided to deduct a day’s pay from teachers who participated. While no official letter has been received by the Ministry of Education, Minister Patrick Faber says that government schools will not be deducting from teachers’ pay.
Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: “We have given no such instruction. I will tell you that in fact there are managements that have indicated that they will do that but we have received no formal submissions for that and so we have to wait and see.”
Reporter: What’s your reaction to the BNTU response if that does happen that they will stop contributions to managements.
Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: “I won’t get into that. That’s not Government’s business but as a practicing Christian, Anglican at that nad I used to teach under the Church State system no union can tell me not to give to my church and what I understand those contributions to be are members of the church who are employed by their management and we have nothing against that. We have issues if you’re going to hire people from your denomination just to hire them when they don’t have qualifications, when they are not the best for our children but nothing stops a management from saying ‘We are a Catholic management, we are a Methodist management, or we are an Adventist management and we want persons from our denomination to be teachers; they are well qualified, they are well equipped, we are making sure that they are qualified to work in our schools.’ and those teachers agree to sign a portion of their salaries over, a small contribution to the church I don’t see how a union can get involved with that. So what I suspect would happen even; because the unions don’t authorize that deduction to be done those teachers on an individual basis authorize that deduction so the union can say what they want. I bet you it will translate into a personal relationship between those teachers and their church and they will work that out without any kind of interference from anywhere.”