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Trade Union Congress meets with Government Friday; promises cooperation

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Posted: Monday, February 8, 2021. 4:12 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) prepares to meet this Friday with a trio of Government Ministers as part of national consultations on the Budget.

The meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde; Minister of Education Francis Fonseca; and Minister of the Public Service, Henry Charles Usher, has been set for 9:30 a.m.

The Congress does hit out in its press release by saying, “Our economic reform narrative must not be overshadowed or distorted with press releases and propaganda that harms the need for a unified advancement that depends on our collective wisdom as equally interested partners and potential beneficiaries.” That appears to be a reference to last week’s scandal over the Belize Business Bureau recommending a 15 percent pay cut for public officers and teachers after recent increases under the UDP government, and coming off the back of a delay in payment of increments.

But the Congress appears willing to give the new administration a chance, hailing their “significant decision” to include it and other social partners in the planning of the budget. It asks for relevant information to inform decision-making to be released before the meeting and encourage its fellows “to maintain civil discourse, to denounce bias and harmful rhetoric and to respect the autonomy and capacity of all partners in the development of our country. Despite the different levels of contributions to Belize’s economic advancement, our shared efforts must be equally recognized and sacrifices equitably shared.”

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