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Feb 6, 2014

Mayor Darrell Bradley’s choice words for CWU President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd

This morning, a team from the Belize City Council met with CWU President Audrey Matura-Shepherd and the Labour Commissioner in downtown Belize City. The issue on the table remains the declared redundancy of twenty-six workers in the Council’s Security Department. This is the second meeting since the union took charge of the matter in late January. It’s hard to tell what progress has been made so far, because both the CWU and Mayor Darrell Bradley seem to be on distinctly different pages, even as both declare that they have the interests of the workers at heart. The workers’ last day was to have been January thirty-first, and that was extended to this Friday. Matura-Shepherd has been asking for an extension of two weeks, as opposed to the one. The general rule in constructive discussions is diplomacy, but this morning that was shoved aside as the Mayor sent a clear message to Matura-Shepherd that Council business is none of her business.

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Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

Darrell Bradley

“I believe that Ms. Matura, with all due respect to her, misunderstands her role and function. Her role and function here is not to tell the City Council or an employer whether or not they can make staff redundant. I saw her on the news and she was talking about numbers and financial records and she shows an inability to read a balance financial sheet. So that when we look at these things; we know the savings. This is not a decision that I made lightly. It was a very difficult decision. I understand that it affects people and it’s very serious when you talk about jobs. But I just came out of a meeting and she wants to go into the City Council’s books to make suggestions on how the City Council can be more efficient in its operations. I was the first to respond to her and to tell her I know that the Belize City Council is one of the most inefficient organizations. I don’t need Audrey Matura to tell me that we are inefficient. We are making steps that are policy decisions to try and put the City Council in the right fiscal order and this is necessary. We met on Monday and she asked about financial information that she wanted. I gave her our budget; I gave her what we spent on security; I gave her the proposed cost for the privatization and how much we’re going to spend here. We’re spending seven hundred and thirty thousand dollars right now for security that’s budgeted. With this privatization we’re going to spend four hundred and eleven thousand dollars. It’s going to be a savings of three hundred thousand dollars savings. What we want to hear from them are very meaningful proposals of how we can reduce the harmful impacts of this redundancy on workers…not to hear whether or not we’re spending adequately on security. She asked about the security vehicle, she wants to know who drives that vehicle and where it is parked…that is not your business. Your business is to deal with the workers. I was listening to her in that meeting and I came off with the impression that we’re not talking about the workers.”

 

This evening News Five spoke to CWU President Audrey Matura-Shepherd. She reported that as is stands after the meeting, Friday will be with workers’ last day. She says that the union and the Council are deadlocked on one major issue – that of a compassionate package for the workers. We’ll have more on this issue in Friday’s newscast.

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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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3 Responses for “Mayor Darrell Bradley’s choice words for CWU President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd”

  1. ceo says:

    Mayor I like you but you sound a little high and mighty. You are working for the people so yes the people can and should tell you what to do. It is good to listen at times!

    My question is if we can get along without these peopole why were they hired in the first place?

  2. NYorker says:

    The mayor is right on target. Ms. Matura has her own agenda for whatever she is doing. Every crumb that falls off the table, she is there like a pit bull. And the people are eager to get free representation and Matura is well obliged for her own objectives. I would hope that her objectives are altruistic and not for future political considerations. Spend more time with Mr. Shepherd.

  3. Merlene Hyde says:

    So right. Ms. Matura is everywhere and anywhere a squeaky wheel can be found. Forget Mr. Sheperd. Every fight she fights is showing on her face. Spend time with yourself Mrs. Matura. Life is too short. Stress and cholesterol kills everyday.
    And yes. We already know that you are getting seasoned to run for politics.

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