Belize National Teachers Union holds rally in Cayo Print E-mail
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Thursday, 30 January 2014 00:00

The Belize National Teachers Union BNTU held its fourth rally to muster the support of teachers at the Macal River Park in San Ignacio Town last Friday.  A total of three Union branches merged in San Ignacio Town despite a constant drizzle. The Benque Viejo del Carmen’s BNTU Branch was led by Leandra Chulin, the Belmopan Branch by Francis Avella, while the San Ignacio Branch was led by Manuel Medina.

Some fifteen speakers took their turn at the teachers’ rally to rationalize why a salary adjustment was needed now. After the speeches, the teachers took to the main streets in San Ignacio Town and crossed the Hawkesworth Bridge to Santa Elena Town to continue their march. 

We asked teachers on why they had decided to come to the rally, rather than to report to school for their class duties. Their responses only highlights the fact that the BNTU leadership is simply not passing the message to the general membership that the raise will be forthcoming.

“In solidarity with the teachers as a union member it is my responsibility to be out here; show more respect to the teachers, when you sit around the dialogue table, more respect to Union leaders,” says Amilcar Umania, a teacher who has taught many years at the High School level and is now contributing to the Belmopan City Council.

“We cannot be moving the goal post, we need to be truthful to the people,” states another teacher Francis Avella.

“I pray to the most High that they work on the hearts and minds of leaders, my hope lies in the Creator…there is funding for us to receive but they are trying to play games,” says David Williams, a Primary School teacher.

At the end of Friday’s rally, Primary School teacher Verna Perez believed that it was a productive day, “…because we got out our message.”  Verna Perez also justified her presence at the rally with “…I was here because we see the need for an adjustment not a raise, [also] for Social Security to assist in accidents to and from school.”

BNTU leaders plan to continue meeting at the negotiation table with Government representatives to discuss some new proposals. On Thursday of this week BNTU will hold another rally in Dangriga and thereon move to Punta Gorda this Friday. Following those rallies, the Public Relations Committee of the BNTU will meet again based on the advice from the Council of Management on what other course of action will be taken.