Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2020. 2:08 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: In a notice to its members, the executive of the Public Service Union (PSU) offers an update on its communications with the Government of Belize, specifically the Ministry of the Public Service, regarding civil servants’ concerns.
The response, says the Union, has been stone-cold silence from the direction of Independence Hill. The Ministry has consistently not answered their letters and queries to, among other things, reconvene meetings of the Grievance Committee; convene meetings of the Joint Staff Relations Committee; and various interventions for public officers.
The PSU says it has been ignored in consultations on policies presented by the Ministry, which it says is against the spirit of the Public Service Regulations as part of the Belize Constitution, which prescribes a partnership between Union and Ministry as the former is representative of the workers.
The Union says its members have braved private criticism from the private sector to go about their duties, from working on the frontlines during the pandemic and hurricane Nana and preparing for the forthcoming general elections. Even as Prime Minister Dean Barrow guaranteed paying their salaries through at least the end of his term, some public officers’ households are single-income due to job losses; namely, their own income as civil servants.
The workers’ right to have a say in policy, procedure, and management is put at risk, the Union concludes if the authorities fail to respond and provide timely information. And it is up to workers to speak up, it said, or there would just be “business as usual.”