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No agreement yet on cost saving measures according to Public Service Union

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Posted: Friday, April 17, 2020. 6:59 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Public Service Union (PSU) is asking its members to share their views on cost-saving proposals made by the Government of Belize to help the country’s economy cope with the impact of COVID-19.

The PSU noted that it, along with the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM), met with Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, CEO in the Ministry of Public Service Dr. Peter Allen, and Director of the Human Resource Management Unit Marcelino Choc to discuss the proposals on Thursday.

The proposals considered both public servants and contract officers however some proposals that affected one group were not applicable to the other. The proposals included foregoing the salary increment for the financial year 2020-2021 (but the foregone increment would still be calculated in pensionable annulments upon retirement for each public officer) {this option was not applicable to contract workers}; a reduction in the annual leave for the financial year 2020-2021 by 10 days for senior staff and five years for junior staff {this option was applicable to both groups}; the foregoing of 25 percent of housing and entertainment allowance for the financial year 2020-2021 for public servants and by 50 percent for contract workers; and a reduction of gratuities from 20 percent to 15 percent for the financial year 2020-2021 for contract workers {not applicable to public servants}.

The PSU noted that no agreement has been made on the proposals and asked their members to email their thoughts to [email protected] The union also noted that it requested some information from the Ministry of Finance (MO) which has not yet been provided, and that the joint unions had proposed a COVID-19 cost Savings Committee to oversee projects in the short, medium and long-term, but the MOF out-rightly refused that proposal.

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