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Oct 12, 2004

Nat?l Sports Council Workers want more pay

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This afternoon, employees of the National Sports Council staged a protest at the Council’s offices below the Belize City Centre demanding monies they say G.O.B. is refusing to pay. The workers, who are members of the Christian Workers Union used their lunch break to hold up posters calling on government to fulfil a promise made to them, that they would be getting salary increases given to public officers starting in 2003. In April of last year, senior officers were granted a five percent salary increase, while junior officers got eight percent. But while other public officers got their increases, president of the C.W.U. Antonio Gonzalez says employees of the National Sports Council are still waiting to see that difference in their pay checks.

Antonio Gonzales, President, Christian Workers Union

?The minister along with the CEO in the Ministry of Education came here and promised the workers that, yes they will get the five and eight percent increases.?

Patrick Jones

?So you?re accusing the government of reneging on their promise??

Antonio Gonzales

?That?s the only thing you can say right now, because we have tried, we have sent correspondence over correspondence. We have written the Prime Minister, we have tried to call Mr. Waight; the amount of telephone calls.?

Patrick Jones

?So what?s the problem then if it?s been approved by the Minister why are they not being paid??

Antonio Gonzales

?Well we understand that when the former Minister was there, he had approved these monies, now from June. These salaries are to become effective first of April 2004.?

?We are not threatening anybody. But what we are saying is this, its time to give the workers or the employees of National Sports Council what they are due. That?s all we are saying.?

Gonzalez says that a letter from Joseph Waight dated June eleventh confirmed that the employees were to be paid their salary increases from a subvention fund which the Ministry of Education gives to the National Sports Council on an annual basis, but so far no money has been forwarded to them.

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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