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Elena Smith- President of the Belize National Teachers Union

BNTU meets with Ministry of Education representatives on hardship allowance

The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) meets tomorrow with representatives of the Ministry of Education in what is expected to be a series of meetings to continue discussions on several matters. Tomorrow’s meeting will include branch presidents, the executive and the Ministry’s representative who will primarily address the issue of hardship allowances.

Elena Smith President of the BNTU: “I think the Ministry realizes that this is a matter that is not going to go away unless we deal with it properly and so I believe that with the Prime Minister’s intervention was maybe what triggered the change and sometimes it’s good for us because we felt that we had to have the input of our members because again as we keep on saying that the matters of Hardship and Commuting allowances were things that were dealt with in our negotiations. The quantum’s that were dealt with there and there are changes then and if we are going to be changing the schools from one category to the next it will mean that there is going to be change in quantum that these teachers are going to be receiving and so then that part of it we believe should be dealt with via the negotiating team and so we thought our members, our presidents in particular had to be there to explain to the Ministry what their teachers go through on a daily basis.”

Reporter: “This is not a meeting including the Minister right because he has house Meeting?”

Elean Smith President BNTU: “I guess so but he has said to us that if it is that he is the problem that he is willing to recuse himself from those meetings. We have said to him as the Minister he is the one that makes the final decision so it is important for him to be in those meetings but noting that there is going to be a House Meeting tomorrow then we understand that he won’t be able to be there.”

The meetings will continue next week where the BNTU hopes to discuss the matter of proposal 22.