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Feb 6, 2019

P.S.U. Condemns Request by Paulette Elrington

A package of allowances and salary to the tune of one hundred and ninety-one thousand seven hundred and twenty dollars annually was requested for approval from public funds on behalf of Paulette Elrington, the daughter of the Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. Paulette, who has been making that sum while at the United Nations for eight years, made the request to proceed on study leave in Jamaica. The matter drew consternation because Paulette is a political appointee on contract with the government and is not established staff in the public service.  The money was requested by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry, Pat Andrews, to the Financial Secretary.  This afternoon, the Public Service Union blasted the request, expressing disappointment with the C.E.O. as well as the Head of Mission to the UN for conceiving the recommendation.  The P.S.U. condemns “the blatant and contentious display of nepotism being exhibited by the current administration.” In a release, it further advises the C.E.O. that permanent posts should be created based on need and not to facilitate study leave that persons on contract are not qualified for. The P.S.U. advises that study leave for over a year should never be approved at one hundred percent commitment at the expense and detriment to the people of Belize and that the allowances to Paulette are not afforded to officers on study leave.  The union states it cannot back any request that aims to convert the status of an officer for the sole purpose of granting study leave with full pay, noting that these diplomatic appointments change whenever government does.  The P.S.U. also calls on the Ministry of Public Service to reject the request.  When News Five raised the matter with Minister Elrington, this is what he had to say:


Wilfred Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs [January 24th, 2019]

“Between you and I, I don’t think it is the kind of submission that should properly be approved. I don’t think so. And had I been consulted on  it I would not have put it forward because the kind of submission that was being made is not in my experience with the public, the submission that is made for contract officer. Unless you are in that special category of contract officers where you get special privileges from the Government. As far as I know, no Elrington has ever gotten any special privilege from government. None!”

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