The Barrow Administration has been facing yet another tough political week. Last week it was the Opposition who took to the streets in the old capital in the thousands to demand immediate reform or that the Barrow Government resigns. It was undoubtedly a factor in the Government’s sudden decision to switch support from the Bi-Cameral Joint Committee to the Senate Select Committee.


Today, it is the Belize National Teacher’s Union who is making demands on the Government. The Union has announced plans to march on the streets of the city of Belmopan to show that they are serious.


In response, the Prime Minister has called the BNTU to the discussion and negotiating table. Meanwhile, senior Ministers in the Barrow Administration have gone on a public campaign against the BNTU. Yesterday it was Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber and Minister of Housing Hon. Michael Finnegan, and today it was Senator/Minister Godwin Hulse who took on the BNTU, for what he said was an unnecessary action.


Screen_Shot_2016-09-15_at_7.59.32_PMHonourable Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration & Police


“This is going to affect the lives of thousands of people, it is now going to affect students that now just gone back to school and the education of our children is paramount and we can’t get the issues mixed up, let’s be crystal clear, it is not as though they are fighting for salary increase that has been agreed it is a deferral and it is a reasonable deferral based on natural event that occurred so if we understand that then we should not have any dispute. I don’t know that the Union Executive is speaking for all the teachers, there are five to six thousand teachers, I would have to see what is out there and I don’t even know if the teachers understand this in depth, we are in Belize you know and in Belize things are not always logically explained people get hype over things that are said, they react emotionally but when people get a proper understanding, one thing about us Belizean we become very sober and we understand and we back down so give the process a chance. I’ve think you’ve answered it yes, the fact of the matter is that industrial action is the end process after you’ve negotiated, negotiations have broken down then you say ok I will give notice and then I will take action because I will have to force you, we’ve haven’t even gone there, we’ve been talking and it hasn’t been broken down as part of the agreement two of the Unions and remember they were joint negotiating two of them have said we are good with this man, so clearly there is a disagreement amongst the Unions but not with the union and government as far as I am concern so yes I will agree with you that we should be even considering industrial action in this matter.”


Minister Hulse seemed intent on intensely taking on the BNTU today. This may be because yesterday the National President Luke Palacio singled him out when he called on the Minister to be removed as Minister of Police. Well, today Minister Hulse had an answer.


Honourable Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration & Police


“I would asked them on what grounds, on what bases is it because they feel and I don’t know who is this judge that would feel that I do not have the capacity to oversee a department that is doing an investigation into any wrong doing that would be publicly pronounce, I mean remember you know this will be publicly pronounce what a fool I would like if I would ever put foot on investigation which are publicly pronounce or in a public book , so please man I hope nobody is judging by themselves and thinking that because they may not be capable that I am not unless somebody can cite any wrong doing that I ever done in any facet of my life or any control I have ever exercise over any department in terms of directing do this and don’t do this, I don’t do that at all, never did it in lands, in labor, local government, rural development, immigration nationality, fire, NEMO and all the departments I’ve had and certainly won’t do it in the police.”


Minister Hulse did indicate however, that he has decided not to be a part of the Senate Select Committee.

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