By Benjamin Flowers: The Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU), Public Service Union (PSU), and Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) are calling a joint press conference scheduled for tomorrow to detail the counter-proposals made to the government of Belize on cost-cutting measures.
The unions have been jointly discussing cost-cutting measures with GOB in an attempt to raise millions of dollars in savings. Those negotiations include a 10 percent salary cut across the board for teachers and public officers and a three-year annual increment freeze. BNTU President Elena Smith said today that the joint unions delivered a counterproposal yesterday, and are giving the government time to look at it before it is made available to the media.
Smith noted that, at the conference tomorrow, the unions will also be explaining the impact of the increment freeze which will have the greatest effect at the end of a public servant’s career, as well as how the 10 percent cut will affect teachers and public officers within their respective salary scales.
Since last week, the joint unions have been making media rounds, stressing that several decisions by GOB are in direct contravention to the notion that the government is strapped for cash and needs to be saving money. The APSSM noted that, based on the list of government officers compiled by GOB, the Briceno administration has hired a number of people including secretaries and cleaners. The APSSM noted that the government already has people in these posts and that those hirings were done in direct violation of an agreed-upon moratorium on new hires to the public service.
Breaking Belize News will be reporting to you from the press conference tomorrow.