Ruth Shoman is BNTU’s elected president
Ruth Shoman, an educator and activist has been dubbed President-elect for the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). Shoman garnered 356 votes while her opponents, Ifasina Efunyemi and Ray Martinez received 226 and 71 votes, respectively. The announcement of the election results concluded a 2-day BNTU convention at Muffles College in Orange Walk Town. When it was all over, Shoman spoke with the media, explaining that her platform for her presidential candidacy is based on education, its evolvement and building networks with collaborating agencies. With the results being official and the celebration over, Shoman says it is time to get to work.
Ruth Shoman, President, BNTU: “We have serious work to do. We have a pension reform that is right around, it’s hitting us. We need to sit down and start preparing for these issues. We have to look at tax reform, we have to look at the amendments necessary in the education rules, the education act. We have to seriously think about the functions of the Teaching Service Commission and how we can step it up to ensure that teachers are further protected through legislation. So for my membership we have a lot of work to do and in my platform I believe in inclusion and so I’ll be coming to my teachers who are retired if you have not been involved in BNTU, you’ve been away I am going to be calling you out because I believe in having that history that those who have left BNTU and may just be at home I’ll be knocking on your door all of us, all members bring something to the table so that together we can properly negotiate for all our membership.”
As it relates to the BNTU’s relations with the media, Shoman says she plans to be very measured in her appearances on the media as the union business is for the union and not public consumption.
Ruth Shoman, President, BNTU: “I know that Channel 5 and Channel 7 and Love FM kept calling and asking that I come to their shows and I never did. And I did get the question: why not ? And that’s one of the principles that I also brought to my platform. I love the media, I’ve worked with the media but I think the media is to be used accordingly and we have I think BNTU has a very good relationship with the media but the business of BNTU is the business of BNTU and for me to reach to my membership I didn’t need the media, I needed the one on one and to me that was very important to be able to communicate with my members in my own way through the means that BNTU provides because that shows that we are connecting with our members. I’ll go to the media when it’s necessary to go and I will keep the business of the union within the business of the union.”