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Jul 8, 2015

Unions Maintain Salary Adjustments Are Not From Petrocaribe Funds

Marvin Blades

In early June, the government announced that teachers and public officers will be receiving a whopping eight percent increase as a salary adjustment. Some, but not all public officers, are also benefitting from the annual increment of approximately two percent as agreed to in the Collective Bargaining Agreement by the Joint Negotiating Team and G.O.B. The adjustment came into effect on July first, and according to the government it amounts to seventy-two million plus dollars. Today, presidents from the Public Service Union, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers and the Belize National Teachers Union, clarified that the monies are drawn from the recurring revenue and not from the Petrocaribe funds.

 

Sharon Frazer, President, A.P.S.S.M.

“There seem to be some misconception that maybe it is coming from the Petrocaribe Fund. That is not where it is coming from. In fact, we have been fighting long and hard, putting in hours because by agreement our salary adjustment actually comes from the increase in revenue. We entered into agreement with government that where revenue increased one year over the next, the increase is actually split in half and it is that half that ultimately works out to the percentage that public officers and teachers get. So that is where we want to start from the get-go. There have been ads out and people are of the view that, “Oh, so weh dehn di complain for? The money is coming from Petrocaribe.” It is not coming from there.”

 

William Neal, Host, OYE

“Why is that such a critical issue?”

 

Sharon Frazer

“For one, because the conversation has been flogged so many times that the Petrocaribe Fund is sourced from a loan and you can’t pay salary out of a loan. So it is important for persons to understand that and we need to let people know that a lot of things have been said. So it was important for us to come to the media to speak about the adjustment in addition to get an opportunity to thank public officers and teachers who are working very hard and particularly the revenue collectors, the public officers who are in those departments, because without them, this eight percent we could not get.”

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