While the salaries of teachers who participated in the eleven day strike will not be docked in the end of November, following the Chief Justice’s decision in favor of BNTU which forced the Ministry of Education to wait until the case is fully heard for salaries to be docked, all indications are that teachers are not willing to accept the proposal made by the Ministry of Education to add six additional days to the academic year, during Christmas and Easter vacations to make up for the lost time.

Screen_Shot_2016-11-21_at_7.59.05_PMLuke Palacio – President of the Belize National Teachers Union

“The education rules are clear, the education rules says that the teachers of this country should be on vacation for the Christmas period, Easter period and in the month of July so again for the Minister and the Chief Education Officer to try and force our teachers to go to school on those days when they should be on holiday we are saying they should be on holiday and unless they can come with some justification as it relates to that matter our teachers are looking at that very seriously because we are entitled to our holidays and will make every effort to ensure that we take those days because it is by law it is not a decision arbitrary made by any minister or any Chief Education Officer.”

According to President of BNTU, Luke Palacio, teachers conceded from day one to make up all time lost during their strike, but were not given the opportunity to do so by the Ministry.

Luke Palacio – President of the Belize National Teachers Union

“They were not given an opportunity to explain that to their management their management were hoody, their management in fact went hand in hand with the government we can say that deliberately because if you look at the rules that they have quoted 131 sub 4 I think it is it says that the Chief Education Officer may on the recommendation of management decide whether you will extend the school year, they called those people into a meeting gave them instructions said to them this is how you are going to make up this time, that again we believe is continuing to be the attempt of the ministry and the Minister in particular to try and punish the teachers we say it again we did nothing wrong when we demonstrated we did nothing wrong when we went on strike we did everything for this country and we are prepared to continue to do so based on the support that we got from our people and we must always remember this country belongs to all of us and whatever good we can do now we must do it because otherwise we can lose what we have gained over these years.”

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