11 days ago the Belize National Teachers Union embarked on nationwide strike action in pursuance good governance and labor related issues. It has been well over two weeks that over 95% of the nation’s schools have been closed as parents and even students stood behind teachers mandate for a better Belize, but what we can tell you today is that the strike action has been called off and classes resume tomorrow countrywide. National president Luke Palacio addressed the media this afternoon after receiving the decisions taken by each of the 10 branches. Palacio says the majority voted in favor of putting the strike on hold.


luke1President Luke Palacio – Belize National Teacher’s Union


“Having polled our membership we have determined that we have made sufficient progress as it relates to our eight demands to the government of Belize that was sent to them in a letter dated September 12th.”


“The Belize National Teachers Union wishes to inform the nation that the membership has decided that we put the Strike on hold and return to the classrooms on Wednesday October 19th 2016 while we keep a watchful eye over the execution of the agreement reached, the BNTU remains committed for good governance and respect for the workers agenda and reserve its options to reengage industrial action if necessary, we wish to thank the almighty father fir his guidance and divine intervention throughout this process this far, we also wish to thank the Belizean public especially our parents who supported our actions to address our list of good governance, transparency, accountability and respect for the workers issues.”


Palacio took the opportunity today to clarify any misconception that may imply that the teachers had given up on their 3% salary adjustment.


President Luke Palacio – Belize National Teacher’s Union


“It is for more than the three, so the three had always been there at no point had we said we gave up on our 3% salary adjustment and when it comes to the matter of the good governance there were eight demands, the eight demands were not only necessary only about good governance they included respect for the workers we are talking about the coverage for Social Security, we are talking about the BNTU especial proposal 22 for our teachers and support staff at the gran aided secondary schools to be properly compensated when they reach retirement age and the 3% was also a labor related issue, the occupational health bill is also a labor related issue so it would be unfair for anybody to come and say we went back now because of the 3% our position had always been that we are not going to give up our 3%, the other two Unions agree with the deferral because we stood up and we stood our ground they too will benefit from what has now been achieved.”


Palacio also added that the fact that the BNTU has called off the strike it does not mean that they have dropped the ball as they remain cautious to ensure that GOB follows thru with its promises. Palacio went on to thank the Belizean public for the support tendered to their actions to address the list of Good Governance, Transparency, Accountability, and Respect for the workers issues but added that it would have been beneficial to them to have received greater support.


President Luke Palacio – Belize National Teacher’s Union


“We are not going to drop the ball we will be coming to the public with information as long as the government does not do what they had promised us what they are going to do, there was tremendous support but it could have been better we would definitely say yes but again remember those again would have been individual decisions there are person who may have not come out to support not because they did not want to but circumstances prevented them from doing so  and we understand that, we are satisfied by the support that we received we have said so and in fact on Saturday the BNTU will be having a national thank you rally here in Belize city and that is our plan so that we can express to our nation our thanks, our gratitude and to have them get the reassurance that BNTU is not letting up on its agenda to ensure good governance in this country and to help push the right of our worker.”

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