The BNTU has indicated that their national strike has been a resounding success. Yesterday the Union reported that over 90% of schools were closed, and that the majority of their teachers stayed out of the classroom. Today, it was pretty much the same. But the Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber isn’t convinced that the Union’s numbers are true. He told the media that the Unions were looking at the numbers instead of the impact of their actions.
Honorable Patrick Faber - Minister of Education
“While I don’t wish to pick a fight what you heard yesterday was the report and very vague reporting coming from officials from the Union who you would expect to say there was this kind of success, in fact, I believe that the numbers of teachers and the number of schools that remain open particularly in the urban areas yesterday would proof the BNTU his numbers to be false; if you go on Princess Margaret Drive right now you will see schools in full swing, the entire schools population, I heard one media house describe Belize City as a ghost town which is certainly not true but again that is neither here nor there for us the facts are what they are and what we’ve seen coming from the BNTU over the weekend and on to the early part of this week is that they are now saying that the matter on which they are striking is not what they had initially said, I really have become a bit confused as to what is it their agenda in all this they’ve said in the most recent letter to the Chief Education Officer that it is about the 3% and that is about proposal 22 and what I want to focus on is that letter and its contents for now but I will say this that they are also saying in that letter apart from those two issues that they want the Prime Minister to engage again or to dialogue in fact if you put it like that that they have to go on strike for these two reasons it is insinuating that the communications have broken down and this is not the case, the issue of the 3% getting into the details now, that issue we are confident was never close by the Prime Minister, it was never closed in terms of discussions with the ministry of education because they were never engaged directly with the ministry of education on this issue, I am baffled on how they can bring me and the ministry of education into all of this as if it were they were negotiating directly.”
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