So what’s next for Joint Unions and their members? Next week, the Belize National Teachers Union will enter its sixth week of strike action against the Government. The BNTU National President says that over the weekend teachers will be polled to determine the union’s next step. As for negotiations with the government, Senator Elena Smith says it’s time for the Prime Minister to sit around the negotiating table.
Elena Smith, President, BNTU: “He explained that he has a team and he has sent out a team but I believe as leaders you know when you get to a certain point and you see that things aren’t working out that is when you as the leader step in. So I guess it is probably hope that maybe good sense will prevail and he might decide that he will want to meet with the team. I am hoping that when you get a response then there’s going to be a response to what we sent to them in the same way that we have been responding to them prior they would have responded to us in the same manner so that is also expected. I can’t speak to an end to the strike what I can say is that if it is that we want for this matter to be completed, if we want for teachers to return to the classroom and for the others to return to the office spaces then there has to be discussions. It can’t be that you expect the people would just step back without proper documentation, proper resolutions, and proper agreements. This is week five so we should be heading into week six. Over the weekend we again polled our members and see what it is that they were saying. Remember as a union this is how we get our decisions our membership determines what happens and then as leaders we go by that mandate so over the weekend we poll them once more and if it is that the decision is for us to continue then we do so.”