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Elena Smith - President of the Belize National Teachers Union

BNTU will not give up on Proposal 22

When it comes to proposal 22, the BNTU president cannot say enough that the Ministry of Education is a liar. It was a repeating theme at today’s press conference. Both current president Elena Smith and former president Luke Palacio spoke about the negotiations on proposal 22 which had started from 2008. The Union believes teachers and support staff should receive 100 percent of their service benefits.

Elena Smith BNTU President: “In terms of that matter our negotiations and proposal 22 I will as brother Luke try to specially give you the history and let you know what has transpired as it relates to proposal 22 because he keeps lying, he keeps lying, he keeps lying. He is the same person who wants to be the leader of this nation. You want to be the leader and you can’t be honest, who do you think will trust you? So this Minister needs to get his act together. Don’t put things out there about the BNTU if you don’t have the thing in proper writing, we have the black and white and we can show you.”

Luke Palacio: “Our argument from the National Teachers Union as it relates to proposal 22 are basically these two: one we are talking natural justice, if the teachers at the Government secondary schools are getting %100 then we believe that our teachers and support staff and the Grant Aided schools should get the same simply because we teach the same subjects, we are governed by the same education rules, we are employed using the same process so why the difference and secondly we know that precedence has been set. There are a number of grant aided schools that have paid this 100% to their teachers and their support staff.”

The BNTU says it will not move from its position on Proposal 22 especially since a resolution was made to continue pursuing it.