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“Teachers and Public Officers getting back their full salaries in July,” says Prime Minister John Briceno

Posted: Monday, February 28, 2022. 5:56 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Prime Minister John Briceno has pledged to restore the salaries of teachers and public officers in the month of July, after cutting those salaries by 10 percent last year.

In a letter issued today to the Joint Unions Negotiating Team (JUNT), Briceno announced the decision to restore the salaries. The JUNT consists of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), Public Service Union (PSU), and Association of Public Sector Senior Managers (APSSM).

In the letter, Briceno explained that cutting salaries was a difficult decision to make, one that put a lot of pressure on those affected but was ultimately for the goal of bettering the country’s economic position.

“I am therefore most pleased to inform that my Cabinet has agreed that in this upcoming fiscal year, the Government of Belize will fully restore the wages and salaries of our public officers and teachers. To be more specific, as of July 1, 2022, the 10% reduction in wages and salaries will be no more. It will be restored not in stages, not in increments, but in full as of that date. Allowances that had been reduced will also be restored in full,” Briceno said.

He noted that once wages are restored as of July 1, the work week for teachers and public offices, which was shortened as a means of compensation for the 10 percent loss, will revert to the original 39.5-hour schedule that existed prior to the salary cut. This means that schools, when they reopen for the 2022-2023 school year, will revert to a full five days of classes for whichever style of learning so employed by those schools.

Briceno also told the JUNT that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) advised GOB not to give their members their full salaries back at this time, but to increase it only to line up with inflation. He said that the IMF cautioned that Belize was not “out of the woods” economically, and still had more fiscal consolidation, among other things to be done.

“Just as we chose to undertake our own homegrown fiscal and economic recovery plan against the advice of the IMF, we respectfully disagree with the IMF on this recommendation once again,” Briceno said.

He noted that government is confident that, going forward, teachers and public officers will not have to endure another 10 percent salary cut.

 

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