By Aaron Humes: The Government needs to present a comprehensive plan for how it intends to tackle the Budget, says former whistleblower Delroy Herrera, but it will be the trade unions and civil society who must move from their currently intransigent position.
At a press conference today in Belize City, Herrera said his wife, a teacher, is his family’s main breadwinner, given that he is presently out of a job in the tourism industry.
But no one came to him and his fellows with a choice like the unions have, Herrera said: a year ago today, their livelihoods were taken away in an instant and have yet to return.
Herrera charged the press to seek out the Government for its ideas so that there is a fuller picture available and so that we can be satisfied that salary cuts are not the only or primary solution to the Government’s woes.
But the reality is that the revenue the Government has lost from tourism especially is not coming back in significant volume anytime soon, and so the onus is on all of us, he said, to be willing to make some sacrifices. If that involves cutting allowances across the board, or returning to the old mileage system for transportation which he remembered from his days as a public officer, then that may be necessary, but the unions cannot refuse anything that is on the table.
For their part, the unions have said that this is the voice of their membership, the Belize National Teachers’ Union in particular.