By Aaron Humes: The Public Service Union (PSU) is planning a combined in-person and virtual annual general meeting of the membership on the first two Saturdays in August, of which it promises more details beyond planned resolutions to address Governmental neglect of public officers and the public purse during the COVID-19 emergency.
In a press release issued ahead of Saturday’s meeting on Wednesday, the Union reports a lack of success in several key areas of concern.
The May agreement between Government and the joint public-sector unions – PSU, Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) concluded that public officers (read to include teachers) would forego increments for the fiscal year 2020-2021 and that Government would re-entertain its position upon signs of revitalized economic circumstances for the State, subject to a body made up of representatives of staff and management.
But the PSU says the body known as the Committee to Evaluate and Advise on Cost-Saving Measures (CEACM), which submitted reports in 2014 and 2018, has yet to meet despite requests to discuss implementing these measures. The Union says it wants to minimize the already heavy sacrifices made by public officers, with more expected to come, and that implementing the CEACM recommendations will help with reducing Government wastage and financial abuse.
Additionally, the PSU says the Ministry of Health has ignored its entreaties to discuss the concerns of public officers in the health sector; failed to produce promised augmented packages for public health workers, and cut payments for overtime. It says it will engage in consultation with these workers and partners such as the Nurses’ Association and Medical and Dental Association on the way forward.