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COLA ‘condemns Government’s grab of power from our teachers’

Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) is speaking out what it describes as a strategic injustice being done on teachers. According to COLA, the Government has begun a process to use the Smart Stream System to pay teachers, instead of transactions being conducted by school managements. President of COLA, Geovanni Brackett says that at the end of this month, primary school teachers were to submit a five-page Employee Information Form containing all their personal and banking information to school managements who would then compile the information and submit it to the Government and Teaching Services Commission. Brackett says that when the process is completed, the Belize National Teachers Union would be at a disadvantage.

Giovanni Bracket, President of COLA: “If that is being done we see possibly that the Government can cut the teacher’s pay without consultation or ignoring the advice of the management and so there are lot of different questions that simply arise and while we’ve been told that the objective was to complete this process in the end of May they have moved it now towards the new school year because it seems to be a difficult process. There are two separate forms, there is the form that I sent you all that the teachers have to fill out and then secondly there is a form that the management will have to fill out taking data from that form and submitting it to government or the teachers service commission. So this is a very lengthy process and we believe that it’s disguised in the name of efficiency but for us at COLA we believe it’s a form of union busting and the concerns should be brought up to the general membership of the teachers and so we want to highlight it for the union who I believe is aware of the move but may not have seen the pros and the con.”

COLA is asking the BNTU to look into and re-evaluate the matter further and consult its membership before making a final decision.