Screen_Shot_2016-10-13_at_8.06.34_PMA second round of face to face negotiations between the PM and the Belize National Teachers Union took place today in Belize City. The meeting lasted for some three hours inside, and like the last one that led to the strike two weeks ago, today’s meeting did not end with total agreement between the parties.

Our newsteam is still at the meeting venue in Belize City, where we understand the BNTU is holding an emergency meeting with the council of management to review the discussions with the PM. A short while ago, the PM ended his press conference where he updated the media on the positions his Government presented to the BNTU. Due to the limited time, we will only be presenting the PM’s statements on two of the issues, follow by our explanatory notes. First, the PM spoke on the Senate Select Committee which has been an issue of contention. Today, despite the BNTU’s insistence that the composition must give all parties equal representation with one representative each, the PM said he will not budge

Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize

“With respect to item #1 which is the Senate Select Committee, the BNTU is still concern as I understand it about the composition, though not about the terms of reference, there focus was on the composition because they would like to see the government side go down to one, that is not governments view, government insisted that the motion that was passed when the Senate met a week or so ago is what should stand we feel that government having two Senators will not in any way interfere with the ability of the Senate Select Committee to do its job impartially, thoroughly and of course this will take place by way of the live hearings of the proceedings of that Senate Select Committee. In the face of it is nonsense you are going to have this committee operating in accordance with terms of reference and as I have indicated in plain view sight and hearing of the public, the situation does not permit of any antiques or any shenanigans on the part of the government, the two government Senators; Dr. Carla Barnett and Aldo Salazar are person of undoubted well established integrity, I fail to see how anybody except someone who is so politically grasping that they allow their brains to become idle I fail to see any can suggest that there could be any hanky pan key on the part of government with a process that will be so utterly completely transparent in a way that simply cannot permit of anything to go wrong.”      


When we asked the PM whether that position did not change despite a meeting of the Chamber last night, he said it did not change his mind.

The PM also indicated that he will not meet another of the BNTU’s demands which is the removal of Godwin Hulse, as the Minister of Police.

Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize

“On the question of the removal of Godwin Hulse, I was quite clear that government cannot, will not accede to that, I made the point that really in my view based on the judgment of Chief Justice Contea in respect to the 2005 strike that is not a demand that can legitimately constitute part of a properly describe labor dispute.”

There were other issues on which the PM and BNTU did not see agreement. One of them was the BNTU’s proposal 22.

And there were also issues which the PM acceded to, such as the appointment of the 13th Senator and the establishment of the Integrity Commission.

In tomorrow’s newscast, we will provide you a detailed look at today’s meeting.

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