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Dec 12, 2019

BDF Salaries to be Adjusted, Despite Delays

Felix Enriquez

A salary adjustment for members of the Belize Defense Force has been long in the making, bringing up to par the wages of all three arms of the national security apparatus.  As it stands, wages for non-commissioned officers are not on the average level of their counterparts in the Belize Police Department and the Belize Coast Guard.  Despite an attempt to regularize their salaries, the Ministry of National Security has been facing a few challenges getting it done.  While the effective date for the adjustment was initially set for June 2019, the process has been delayed for the past six months as government seeks to resolve the issues.  This afternoon, Chief Executive Officer Felix Enriquez explained the need for the salary adjustment and the problems they are facing.

 

Felix Enriquez, CEO, Ministry of National Security

“For some time now the security forces have had this, and the Belize Defense Force, in particular, has had this difference in salary although we deemed them to be in par in terms of the work that they do.  Their work is just as important as the other two security forces under the Ministry of National Security and so the exercise really is to bring the Belize Defense Force up to par with the Belize Coast Guard and the Belize Police Force to as best as we can and as much as we could afford.  There have been some setbacks and we have to take fault for the setbacks in that because there was some eagerness to get it done it seems that when it got to the treasury disbursal they noticed some anomalies that they want to get fixed.  Now it’s not to say that they will not get the salary adjustment and I have to be clear that it’s not a pay increase.  We’re not calling it a pay increase; we’re calling it a salary adjustment to ensure that the security forces are on par.  It means an increase in every case for the enlisted men of the Belize Defense Force, but what we are asking them to do is to be patient.  I met with the people from the treasury and the Ministry of Finance this morning and of course their concern will always be that we don’t overextend ourselves.  And so we decided that we will take pause at this, get it right and then release the salary, but the effective date for the adjustment was as of June 2019 and when we release it to them, they will get their payment that is due to them.”


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