Posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2021. 10:26 am CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Workers Union (KHMHWU) says though it is not subject to the 10 percent salary cut and three-year increment freeze being implemented for teachers and public officers, the union stands in solidarity with the Joint Union Negotiating Team, currently negotiating cost-saving measures with the Government of Belize.
KHMHWU Vice President and Public Relations Officer, Andrew Baird, explained that the union is currently holding in-person and virtual meetings with its membership to determine what kind of support it can lend to the JUNT. Baird explained that there will be a larger meeting on Saturday where members will make the final determination on what actions they will take to support the JUNT as negotiations with GOB continue.
“Only the general membership can determine the kind of support and the fashion we will give it in because of the hierarchy of the union,” Baird said. “We have to be very careful of the kind of support that we give, remember we are the national tertiary (medical) institution and we also serve as the regional hospital for the district of Belize. So We have to ensure that any action we take is not any harsh industrial action that will affect the services we deliver to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.”
Baird also noted that, as the KHMH is a statutory body and as such the workers there are not classified as public officers. This means that the workers are not only exempt from the current salary cuts but also did not benefit from the salary increases that teachers and public officers received in 2016.
The Public service Union (PSU) began week two of its official strike action this week, while the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) mark their 12th school day on strike today. Negotiations with GOB resume on Thursday.
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