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Feb 19, 2013

Unions wrap up consultation on salary adjustment

The Belize National Teachers Union, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize sat with the Prime Minister inside the cabinet room in the capital on February first to discuss how salary adjustments for union members could be achieved. The agreement has been taken to the union members by their leaders in a series of national consultations. Those consultations ended on Friday, and the unions are preparing a response to the government. News Five spoke to APSSM’s Immediate Past President, George Myvette, about the message the leaders received from their membership.

 

Jose Sanchez

“We’ve heard consultations have been poorly attended in Belize and Orange Walk. How have they been going? Have they been received positively?”

 

George Myvette, Immediate Past President, APSSM

“I have participated personally in the Belize City. I did not attend the consultations any other part of the country. My colleagues have assured me that the consultations in Punta Gorda and Dangriga were well attended. The one in Orange Walk was not as vigorously supported and the explanation was the time that was basically chosen. Essentially most of the teachers are from rural parts and they were not mobilized in advance to be there. Corozal, my understanding is that the attendance was fairly good. So it is a kind of mixed response that we have gotten. At the high end of it, you would have Dangriga and Punta Gorda where the attendance was good.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“In terms of response to the proposals; have they been positive to say they seem to want to agree with what was presented before them or they are given another message?”

 

George Myvette

“There’s a diversity of views. When we walked away from the table with the proposals as the negotiation team on February one, we felt that there were issues of interest that we could take to them membership. The responses that we have been getting is very, very diverse. One of the ones that keeps coming at us is that the membership generally feels that there should be a minimum assured quantum for salary adjustment. What we walked away from the table with—in terms of proposal—does not have a minimum. So there is a quote unquote floor that has been reiterated and suggested by membership. The other one that comes at us from the membership is that there has to be some kind of savings that can be accrued from wastage. There is this huge issue of government vehicles being used for personal use and being abuse. And so there are savings that can be had from fuel consumption, savings across the board. Another area that has been a part of the proposal is that there are delinquencies in terms of the collection of government revenues. And one of the suggestions coming across the table was that those efficiencies in terms of revenue collection should go towards the salary adjustment that is on the table.”

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