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Jan 30, 2014

B.N.T.U. National President says salary adjustments and increment are different things

Luke Palacio

As we told you, Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with the joint union negotiating team in Belmopan today. Since he has already said as much in an unofficial but public capacity, it is expected that the figure of three percent in salary adjustment will be placed on the table, as well as the matter of the annual increment being linked to that adjustment. On the podium this morning, B.N.T.U. National President Luke Palacio made light of that figure, saying that it is not at all substantial. Off the podium, he was a little more guarded stating that the negotiating team would speak jointly on the three percent if it did come up at the meeting with the P.M.  But he lashed out at the concept of lumping the adjustment and the increment together, saying that they would not be willing to buy into that.

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Luke Palacio, B.N.T.U. National President

“We need to reiterate the point that an increment is not a salary increase. An increment is performance based. Secondly, not every public officer, not every teacher get an increment…and the open vote workers in particular don’t get increments. So we will definitely not buy into it, from the B.N.T.U. stand point, the matter of now it’s a total of five percent if it is indeed three that he is going to offer. That it is now five percent because of the increment, we are not buying into that one. The increment is a separate issue and we will continue to make that statement and make it known that increment is not automatic. Increment is not given to everybody, so it cannot be considered a part of the salary adjustment that we are proposing in out proposals that we submitted to the government.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Could you give us an idea of the discrepancy between what the unions first approached the Prime Minister with? Because he it was something like thirty percent that the unions wanted first in salary adjustments and now he is talking three percent. Is there such a wide gap between how it started and where it is now?”

 

Luke Palacio

“Of course there is a wide gap and basically again we need to make the public understand. We were not asking for thirty percent salary adjustment in one year. The life of a collective bargaining agreement is usually three years. So yes, our proposal was for thirty percent basically to catch up with the last value of the purchasing power of the dollar. We had asked for thirty percent but it would have been basically ten percent, ten percent, ten percent over the life of the collective bargaining agreement.”

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