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Public Service Union attempts to explain impact of pay cut, increment freeze

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Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2021. 8:42 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: On its “PSU Vanguard Belize” social media, the Public Service Union (PSU) has calculated the impact of a pay cut of 10 percent and increment freeze for four years as it continues its strike against the Government.

Belmopan has insisted that the pay cut and increment freeze will not be levied on public officers and teachers making less than $12,000 per year.

The PSU’s example uses a public officer on Payscale 1, point 9, making $12,307 annually in 2020 with an increment date of June 1.

In 2020-2021, the Barrow administration froze increments for that fiscal year, so there was no bump in pay.

A cut in salary leaves the officer making $11,076 annually for the next three years, with no increments and the cost of living expected to rise.

But in 2024, if the Government maintains that you continue to be paid at your current payscale and not higher, it will take up to 2028 with another four years of increment to return to the 2020 salary.

It’s one reason why the PSU and sister unions, the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) and Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM), has insisted on revising the payscales at the end of this period of famine; the Government says they can talk about it, but have not committed.

The Government has proposed other means of compensation, including land credits, a performance bonus for meeting fiscal targets, and further forbearance on loans, but the Joint Unions have been skeptical about all of them.

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