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Oct 15, 2015

…PSU President Says Exposure to Regional Issues Highlights Similarities

Eldrid Neal

The local affiliate of CPSA is the Public Service Union of Belize. Its newly installed President, Eldrid Neal, told News Five that the meeting exposes union executives to issues and best practices in the Caribbean which, in many instances, are similar across the region. For local public service officers, critical issues include the training of newcomers as well as financing for the union.

 

Eldrid Neal, President, Belize Public Service Union

“It is really important for us to start understand parliamentary procedures. We know belie tends to be very ad hoc in the way we do business on every level. So by way of having this meeting at this early stage for me as the new head, is very important because this is the house management outside of the annual AGM. For the Com to be exposed to this level is sufficient enough for me that we will be able to come to our meetings and operate at this such level. It brings in vital finances; it lends to the development of individuals and I think that in itself is sufficient to host the EXCO planning at this time.”

 

Duane Moody

“One of the purposes of the meeting is to discuss issues affecting public service officers. Talk to us about that. What are some of those issues and are you guys seeing that it is common throughout the Caribbean?”

 

Eldrid Neal

“Yes, all of us…brethrens and sistrens in this session…all of us are faced with similar traits. Financing being one of them. We are all strapped because most union functions off the guise of dues being paid by members and of course members who are more than often too ready to question how dues are being spent and what would they gain from their unions. When you work for membership, in the capacity that I serve and all of these other brethrens and sistrens in the room serves, the responsibility for education programs to be maintained; that’s one of the issues that have been highlighted. We are looking at the possibility of getting young workers on board. The issue on hand as we speak to young people on unionizing…what can unions do for me. If it is not financially going to affect an individual or something is going to tangibly affect their lives, they don’t see the purpose of unionizing or becoming a part of a group. So, on that note that is where we are trying to lend a different idea to the young people. Now in regards to working with the state, I perceive and from a personal point of view…work requires service, service means pay. I see a partnership. In this case the government of Belize creates the opportunity to give us work; for our services we are supposed to be paid. If our services are mediocre, our pay will always be mediocre. The minute we better our services, the minute we start training ourselves; putting the client first—and the client, I like to say, are truly the persons that pay you—because if we don’t render service then we don’t get paid. And that’s the culture that I think we want to start lending to our public servants.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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