Posted: Friday, May 8, 2020. 11:56 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Prime Minister Dean Barrow has committed to amending the Public Service Regulations to mandate that public officers forego their annual salary increments for the year 2020-2021, to help Belize’s economy recover from the economic shortfall caused by COVID-19.
Barrow said today that the Government of Belize (GOB) is expecting a shortfall of around $450 million due to the pandemic and as such maintains his position that if the Public Service Union (PSU) continues to oppose willingly foregoing the salary increments and asking for a mere deferral instead, he will approach the Governor General to have the regulations amended empowering him to impose the measure on public servants.
Barrow said that once the Statutory Instrument governing the State of Emergency is amended, he as the Minister of Finance, will still be required to make the amendments to salaries under the Public Service Regulations after consultation with the PSU, but that consultation does not have to be accompanied by concurrence.
Barrow compared the foregoing of the increments to someone in the private sector being fired and obtaining new employment, stressing that new employers cannot be expected to compensate employees for the salaries not collected while that employee was unemployed.
“It is not fair for those public officers who will not have their substantive salaries touched to say we won’t give up, we will only defer,” Barrow said. “When you compare it with the others in the very public sector such as the CEOs, such as the contract officers, what they give up they won’t get back you know.”
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