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Public Service Union complains government has not consulted relevant parties over COVID-19 legislation that restricts access to public spaces

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Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2021. 7:31 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The Public Service Union (PSU) has condemned the Briceno administration for not holding meaningful consultations regarding proposed legislation to restrict access to public spaces for those who are not vaccinated.

Following a media appearance by Attorney General Magali Marin Young who explained that the Government of Belize would be holding stakeholder consultations in the upcoming weeks, having concluded consultations with the wider public. The union stressed that GOB has not held any such consultation with the PSU or members within the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB).

“This in our view is another example of an administration who has little regards or respect for the workers of this country. Furthermore, we are unaware of any community or public consultations that has been held on these proposed regulations,” the PSU said.

The union went on to say that the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic does not put the government in a position to ignore concerns being expressed by those who are vaccine-hesitant, nor does it give the government the right to curtail one’s individual right to choose what enters their body. The PSU said that it has sent several correspondences to Ministry of Health and wellness CEO Deysi Mendez, regarding the situation, but has not gotten a reply.

“The options being placed before Public Officers is tantamount to a vaccine mandate for public servants considering that the MOHW continues to deny Public Officers the right to access the rapid and PCR test free of cost and in accordance with section 206 (2) of the Belize Constitution (Public Service) Regulations, 2014 which provides for Public Officers to “receive prompt medical attention and treatment that is available at any government health institution without any cost to that public officer,” the PSU added.

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