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Prime Minister says the law provides for legal officers to be on different pay scales than public officers

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Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2022. 7:07 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The Public Service Union has raised serious issues with legal officers within the Attorney General’s Ministry being paid differently from other public officers, but Prime Minister John Briceno says that there is nothing wrong with the way they are being paid.

Briceno noted today that legal officers, though traditionally kept at the same pay scale as public officers, are constitutionally supposed to be paid differently. He noted that the Legal Services Commission dictates that legal officers should be paid differently because they are separate from the public service just as judges and magistrates but that he understands both the contentions raised by the PSU as well as the reason the Attorney General Magali Marin Young, has decided to ensure legal officers are paid their proper wages.

“I could understand the Attorney General trying to look after her employees because the challenge that we are facing is that a lot of these attorneys that we have working they are saying that ‘You know what, I can go to the private sector,’’’ Briceno said. “They being paid about $40,000 a year and for an attorney that is no kind of money. And so she is concerned that they are going to leave and she is going to stay with no one. And when you try to get people to work, they are not going to work for $40,000 a year.”

He stressed that he realizes the timing of the salary changes may not be optimal and says that it is something that government can look at in the near future but that the Attorney General is, in paying legal officers differently, trying to correct a wrong that has been done to them.

 

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