By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Senate has endorsed giving back teachers and public servants the 10% salary cut implemented last year.
“Madam President, I rise to move the second reading of a bill for an act to amend the Public Sector Employment and Allowances Reduction Act, #14 of 2021, to reinstate the 10% salary withheld on account of a salary reduction imposed on certain persons appointed to hold a public office and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto,” said Eamon Courtenay, Leader of Government Business in the Senate and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Courtenay said the public sector cut in salaries and wages, including benefits, was for three years but fortunately after just one year those salaries could be returned.
“Madam President, as you are aware, the government had to – we were forced to cut public sector salaries and wages by 10%, including benefits. The law at the time provided for a three-year period for the sacrifice to be felt by the Belizean people,” Senator Courtenay said.
“Fortunately, we are here one year later and are able to give back the benefits that were taken away under the Public Sector Employment and Allowances Reduction Act.”
Courtenay went on to thank the public officers and their families, who he said have suffered the brunt of the sacrifice.
Opposition Senator Jacklyn Burns also supported the reinstatement.
“On behalf of our public servants and our teachers, myself being a teacher, I fully support the reinstatement of the 10%,” said Senator Burns.
She said that based on personal experience, the experience of colleagues, and from listening to public servants that it has been tough.
“We know the reality that we have been going through. We know where fuel costs are. And the purchasing power of even our public servants, our teachers, and our professionals in the workspaces has been severely tight,” Senator Burns said.