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Senator Eamon Courtenay: Unions being unfair to Government on timeline to pass new anti-corruption legislation

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Posted: Wednesday, April 28, 2021. 1:26 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Senator Eamon Courtenay called out the Joint Union Negotiating Team (JUNT) for being “unfair” to the Government of Belize (GOB) with respect to the current industrial action given the timelines being requested for the implementation of good governance reforms and legislation.

During today’s Senate meeting, Courtenay noted that in a letter dated March 15, the unions demanded that GOB draft and pass Whistleblower Legislation, which would safeguard those that report corruption within the government, along with Illicit enrichment and asset recovery legislation within three to six months. He also stressed that the government wrote to the unions and confirmed that all of the requested legislation will be drafted and passed.

“Three to six months from March takes us to, I believe, September; we are in April,” Courtenay said. “I believe that it is unfair for the government to be called upon to implement this legislation in less than one month. I also believe it is unfair to go on strike when you have said to us make it in three to six months, and the six months have not elapsed.”

This week the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) began official strike action, while the Public Service Union’s (PSU’s) updated calendar of events, released earlier this week, says that public officers will strike on May 3. 

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