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May 7, 2020

P.S.U. & B.N.T.U. Meeting Tonight Before Responding to FinSec

Dean Flowers

A legal battle, says Vice President Flowers, is imminent should the prime minister proceed to amend the Public Service Regulations, since he does not have the authority under the existing laws to make individual decisions where that is concerned.  According to the P.S.U. executive, PM Barrow is not headstrong enough to make a move without dialogue with them.  As for the Belize National Teachers Union, President Elena Smith is yet to comment on the latest developments regarding allowances for teachers.  Nonetheless, both unions are meeting virtually tonight to chart a collective way forward before issuing a formal position on Friday.


Isani Cayetano

“What happens once they proceed to effect an amendment to the Public Service Regulations?  What are we to expect from the PSU as a consequence of such a move?”


On the Phone: Dean Flowers, 1st Vice President, P.S.U.

“Clearly any amendment to the regulations that attempts to alter the emoluments of public officers would be an interference with our different terms and conditions under which we are employed.  So I think that it is safe for me to say that we’ll definitely be looking at legal battles, perhaps from a PSU standpoint, as well as from individual public officers standpoint because clearly the terms and conditions under which people are hired does not include the prime minister unilaterally taking such decision as to alter one’s salary.  So the prime minister, no doubt, would have to consult the PSU.  The prime minister, no doubt, would have to speak with public officers and teachers and I, for one, while I take the threat serious.  I don’t think that the prime minister will be bullish enough to make such a move without sitting with us, hearing from us and seeing where we can meet a middle ground.”


Isani Cayetano

“By any chance, have you guys met with the leadership of the Belize National Teachers Union, as I understand as well that the teachers stand to be very much affected by whatever decision goes forward by the government.”


On the Phone: Dean Flowers

“The P.S.U. and the B.N.T.U. are in dialogue.  The P.S.U. and the B.N.T.U. will be putting out an official position tomorrow.  We have a scheduled meeting tonight whereby we will be presenting our position to them.  We will be highlighting the reasons for our position and we will be hearing from them in terms of what their position is and the reason behind that and we’ll strike a middle ground and we’ll move forward together.  That much I can assure you.”

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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