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Aug 6, 2012

B.N.T.U. and P.S.U. discussing salary adjustments with G.O.B.

George Myvette

It has been over a decade since the last salary adjustment for teachers, as well as public servants, who contend that the cost of living has increased by approximately thirty percent over the past eight years.  This, in addition to twenty-three other concerns, has been tabled for negotiations between Marion McNab, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Public Service, on behalf of government and the Belize National Teachers Union, the Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers.  The collective bargaining agreement was first presented to government in late 2008; however, dialogue on the matter came to a standstill until it resumed last month.  According to George Myvette, president of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, negotiations are seventy-five percent completed.

 

George Myvette, President, Association of Public Service Senior Managers

“The negotiations are referred to generally as the collective bargaining agreement negotiations and they cover twenty-three points.  As you would be aware, it’s a joint negotiation from both sides.  From our side we are represented by the APPSSM which I represent, we are also represented by the Public Service Union whose president is Mr. Marvin Blades and we are represented also by the BNTU, the Belize National Teachers Union whose president is Mr. Luke Palacio.  Our negotiations with what is being referred to as the official side started up in September of 2008.  Since that time we have developed the collective bargaining agreement and we have submitted these to the official side.  We submitted this in December of 2008.  We had a vision that these negotiations would have been brought to some conclusion actually sometime in ‘09.  It was our understanding that once we had submitted to them our proposals they would have submitted back to us within one month a counterproposal but that did not happen until August of ‘09.  And so obviously there has been some delay and these negotiations have not been brought to a successful conclusion.  We are looking at August 31st, 2012 to try and bring this to some conclusion. The salaries issue is really potentially the most contentious one.  We have not treated with this issue in a constructive way at the negotiation table.  In fact, it has just been mentioned but we have not really dealt with it as a subject matter that we have gone into in any great details.  You would note though, the general public would note that from time to time people from the official side do refer to the issue of salary, quote on quote, increase.  We see this not as a salary increase but we see this as a salary adjustment.  It’s really to compensate for the increased cost of living more or less over the last eight to ten years.”

 

Also on government’s negotiating team are representatives from the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance.

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