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Cabinet to discuss fate of negotiations with Joint Unions

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Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2021. 1:55 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Cabinet is meeting today in Belize City and is preparing to make its next decision on the future of negotiations with the Joint Unions on salary cuts, increment freezes and good governance measures.

But the Minister of State in the Minister of Finance said he didn’t know about agreement as to the idea of a government issued promissory note that can be given to teachers and public officers as an exchange for their pay cut, which comes into effect on May 15.

Senator Chris Coye, speaking to reporters on Monday said: “I wasn’t in the meeting on Thursday, but my understanding is not what I have seen put out by certain union leaders. I don’t know of any agreement that has been drafted between the government reps and the union reps last week. Cabinet is going to make a determination on what will be the next steps with respect to the unions. That has to be left for cabinet to determine.”

Coye added that the idea doesn’t make sense for a critical reason: “A promissory note is debt, domestic debt. If government issues a promissory note, it is domestic debt, so to say that you want a promissory note is simply to be adding more domestic debt to what government already owes, so I think cabinet will make a decision as to how it will carry discussions with the unions going forward…The promissory note simply adds to domestic debt.”

And by that logic, the renegotiation of the Superbond does the same, Coye added including repayment of interest that could go to other projects, but it remains necessary.

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