Posted: Friday, April 9, 2021. 6:10 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: The Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) strongly condemned the Government of Belize (GOB) today for proceeding with its decision to cut salaries for teachers and public officers by 10 percent, despite alternative proposals made by the joint union negotiating team (JUNT).
The UDP alleged that the Briceno administration pushed back the reading of the national budget to keep from upsetting the electorate before the March municipal elections because the decision had already been made to implement the salary cuts.
“This administration then engaged in a disingenuous exercise on the government’s part with no intention to heed the objections of the unions,” the UDP said.
The opposition stressed that the Briceno administration spoke of being courteous to the unions during negotiations while simultaneously producing ads to demean the unions for not accepting the salary cuts. The UDP also called out Prime Minister John Briceno for stating that teachers and public servants have not sacrificed to help Belize through the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, further showing that he had already made up his mind about the salary cuts before starting negotiations.
“This is NOT how a democratically elected government goes about seeking consensus to address difficult national issues such as those facing us as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting global economic challenges,” the Party added.
The UDP also said that it rejects GOB’s budget along with the “unconscionable and uncompassionate measures contained in it,” and pledged to delve into it thoroughly in preparation for the budget debate scheduled for April 22-23.
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