Posted: Thursday, May 6, 2021. 6:53 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) has made it official: they are joining the industrial action started by their fellows, the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) and Public Service Union (PSU).
A letter dated Wednesday, May 5 from APSSM president Sharon Frazer, Chief Magistrate of Belize, to Labour Minister Oscar Requeña and Labour Commissioner Anne-Marie Thompson cites the trade dispute arising from the joint rejection of ten percent cuts in salary over three years; freezes in increments for two and associated good governance measures the unions feel must be put in place.
Frazer cited section 11 of the Settlement of Disputes in Essential Services Act under which her grouping is classified as essential and so must seek permission to engage in industrial action.
Today, Frazer reminded that the APSSM has been in solidarity with its sister unions from the beginning, and that members of the APSSM are also, de jure, members of the PSU and are therefore covered by its notice of industrial action issued 21 days ago and expiring on Monday, May 3. The APSSM’s notice is therefore only a formality.
Later, Frazer said the move is in solidarity with its sister unions and while APSSM’s members like herself will not necessarily walk off the job, nor slow down critical public services, there are other ways to show solidarity.
This is the first time we have known the APSSM to go on strike.
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