Tonight the answer to the question as to whether teachers will be paid for their time absent from the classrooms was made clear via a memorandum sent from the Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Dr Carol Babb to the General Managers of the schools dated Tuesday, October 18. The two paragraph document has indicated that the teachers should not expect any wages from the Government for the days that they chose to be on strike. We spoke with Dr Babb earlier today for further details.
DR CAROL BABB
“The government of Belize as you know is the one that makes contributions to the grant aided and the grant aided schools and the government is basing this decision on the fact that we give salaries based on services rendered. The teachers were warned that if they chose to strike that there would be consequences and we will be withholding salaries because services were not delivered by those teachers who chose to strike. It’s not all teachers but if you look at rule 102 it states that during a strike it is the responsibility of the managing authority to keep a record of teachers who are participating in the strike. So only those teachers who participated in the strike will be affected.”
Whilst CEO for Education, David Leacock explained the salary ratio paid by the Government for secondary schools, Dr Babb spoke on that for primary institutions.
“The teachers who were on strike that would be affected ultimately unless managing authorities have it within them to pay but from our perspective we are paying for a service and the government is paying for a service and if a service is not rendered then you have the right to not pay for it. I think that was established in the ruling on claim number 85 in 2005 where this issue arose before.”
DR CAROL BABB
“At the primary level government pays 100% for all primary school principals and teachers for government and grant aided primary schools so at the primary level excluding primary schools government pays 100% of salaries. At the secondary schools its different with the finance reform and CEO can tell you more about that but at the Primary level we pay 100%.”
“Secondary schools, government’s contribution is estimated at this point on the basis of enrollment but within that estimation that estimation includes the 70% of salaries that government contributes to the teachers because of the long standing arrangement that exists where it is 70/30 at the secondary level and at the junior college level.”
The memorandum went on to urge the managing authorities of schools to submit their attendance records for teachers by nine o’clock this morning if not there would be a likely delay in payment of salaries for this month.