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Education Minister will meet with teachers

Minister of Education Patrick Faber says he will meet with the Belize National Teachers Union to discuss new concerns as part of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The parties have not been able to conclude the negotiation for a new CBA and the BNTU has written to Minister Faber requesting a meeting. Yesterday Faber told the media that he will meet with the union.

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: “They continue to say that the collective bargaining agreement is a live issue. You remember there was the last meeting I held with them when in fact there was a move to close the collective bargaining agreement, now the letter that they sent there are a number of issues that they are trying to put back on the table. My suggestion to them -and I will grant them the meeting I will say that now, but my suggestion to them way back them when we met, it may have been over a year ago, is to end that because ten years is ridiculously long. There were many many gains and many accomplishments on the part of what they were asking for including possibly the full 30% salary adjustment that they were asking for but many other accomplishments that were a part of that collective bargaining agreement. You can’t get everything that you want and there were some things that clearly could not be done at the time. For me, and this was my suggestion to them it was certainly the position of the cabinet that we should close those negotiations and then move to open new ones. But instead of taking that advice they continue to insist that these matters are still on the table and send these letters to demand action on matters that we’ve dealt with in rounds of collective bargaining negotiations and we believe we’ve moved on from those. They don’t want the process to close and to me they can get much more out of engaging in new negotiations than harking on things that they weren’t satisfied with how they were decided on.”

The BNTU says that among the outstanding points to be discussed is Proposal 22.