Education Minister Comments on CBA for BNTU

Education Minister Comments on CBA for BNTU

The Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) held a meeting on Friday to discuss several topics of concern.  One of the primary topics was the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which has been in the process of being finalized for almost a decade and a half. The BNTU argues that it is unfair for secondary school teachers who retire and are not adequately paid for their years of service. But, before the CBA is signed, numerous concerns need to be handled, according to Senator Elena Smith, president of the BNTU. Francis Fonseca, the minister of education, says his ministry is working on a framework to address this outstanding issue.

Hon. Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology: “Our meeting on Friday was a meeting between the Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teachers’ Union and that meeting was specifically for us to discuss the collective bargaining agreement, the CBA, which has been outstanding for fourteen years. So we were discussing the outstanding issues and we generally agreed to a framework for us to move forward to resolving those outstanding issues. So we’re going to gather some information and data and we’re going to be meeting again the first week of April and at that time we hope to come to a resolution of these outstanding matters in respect of the CBA. Now the joint unions as you know the joint unions is the BNTU, the PSU the Public Service Union and the APSSM the association of managers. So that joint union, the JUNT, we will meet with them and that’s the government’s negotiating team which includes myself, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Public Service and Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Coye the four of us will meet with them on February 15 and at that meeting then we will discuss the issues you’re talking about, the increments and these other matters and we hope to arrive at some common ground on the 15th when then we can then take that back to the Cabinet and the Prime Minister for further discussion and decision making.”

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