Meanwhile,The Belize National Teachers Union is holding country wide consultations with their members to take up a position on the widely debated Petro Caribe Loan Bill 2015. The decision to host these consultations at their respect branch meetings came as a result of a concern raised by the membership at the last National Convention in which Luke Palacio was voted back in as the president of the Teachers Union. Today member teachers of the Belmopan Branch heard from key note speakers Attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd, Senator Mark Lizaraga, and television host Mose Hyde.
“Last Monday, we had an emergency meeting of the Council of Management of BNTU, where again, persons presented here today; Mr. Mose Hyde, the Senator Mark Lizaraga and Attorney Matura Shepherd, as an individual, not as the president of CWU, nor representing the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, because they like to mix up this matter when it comes to Mrs. Matura Shepherd. They presented to us at our Council of Management meeting. Following that meeting, we agreed that our public relations committee have to get into action to determine how we continue the public relation campaign, how we educate the public in terms of what our stance will be whenever it would have been decided. Basically, it is a matter that was raised by membership at convention and we as the executive had to follow suit and say, ‘ok, this concern has been raised and the promise was made that we are going to discuss this matter, we are going to actively pursue what our membership feels.’ That is why we are doing what we are doing. Yes, it is membership driven. “
“I have been trying to share with them, my concerns about the management of our public monies, the transparence and accountability laws that we have passed in this country, the laws about empowering the senate to hold investigations in this country and all the failures of the system for management of public monies that concern me and that I see in reports like the European Commission’s Report, like the cost savings report and like the Auditor Generals Report. Those are the things I highlighted today. It’s not all about borrowing and spending. It is about how do we account properly and how do we provide the details of this spending.”
“I read to the teachers both the Corporation Agreement and the Loan Agreement. Under the Corporations Agreement, only the Government of Venezuela can end that corporation. Under the loan agreement, this is an agreement that renews every thirty days and it until the parties sign a new agreement that it comes to an end. What people are not looking at is that this is a precedent where we are not only thinking about monies gotten but the amount of monies in the future that we are getting that the government says they have no limitations on how much they can borrow. They have no limitations on the purposes of which the monies can be used. They have no limitations on when they draw it down and they decide what are the other legitimates for which it is being used. Man that is unbridled power coming from a leader who says he is transparent and accountable. Now he is telling us that he is prepared to go every three months to the National Assembly. If you mi mean that, put that ina the law. We know that that is not in black and white is not enforceable. “
“Mrs. Audrey gave three pointers. If felt that , from the union’s point of view, that the last point – to unite, to make change, to pressure, to make the change of this act or this law, that we need to unite. The vote was 36 and that was the majority that was present. As I said to each member, that now there duty that they have voted to unite, we must go and educate the others who left or weren’t here. “
Also present at the head table were VIP executives Hubert Enriquez and Paul Morgan.Last week Thursday, speakers made a presentation on the Petro Caribe Bill at the Punta Gorda Branch. Next week Wednesday the presentation on the bill moves to Benque Viejo Del Carmen.