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Apr 7, 2021

PSU Holds Emergency Meetings to Finalize Position on GOB’s Wage Cuts

The Public Service Union held a series of emergency meetings today to discuss with its membership the position they will take regarding a proposed salary cut and increment freeze.  Permission was granted by the Ministry of Public Service earlier today for government employees, those who belong to the labor organization, to get time-off to attend the meeting.  News Five understands that an initial meeting was held via Zoom at midday during which a vote was taken on whether the union should serve notice to government of an existing trade dispute.  Of the one hundred and two members in attendance, seventy-one voted in favor of serving notice on GOB, one member voted against the suggested course of action and another thirty abstained from the exercise.  Another virtual meeting was held at three o’clock this afternoon which will be followed by a final meeting at seven p.m.  The PSU is galvanizing support ahead of Friday’s budget presentation.  As we have reported, the Briceño administration is in a logjam with the tripartite body that represents the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, the Belize National Teachers Union and the Public Service Union.  The PSU is led by President Gerald Henry who appeared as a guest on Open Your Eyes on Tuesday morning.


Gerald Henry, President, Public Service Union

Gerald Henry

“In terms of focusing on the budget, the only discussion we had, I believe, were in two areas where they would try to maintain the same amount of funds going to health and also the same amount of funds, trying to get the same amount of funds going to education and focusing on those two and perhaps looking at even the issue of police, the security aspect as well, the security budget.  That’s considering that crime is still very much a part of society today.  So those would be the only three areas that came up in the discussion relating to the budget and what the budget may look like.  There was also a discussion that the goods and services will have to be decreased, you know, there will be an increase in the percentage cut to goods and services from, I think it was fifteen percent up to twenty percent, if I am not mistaken.  But that again will have to be done very carefully simply because government has obligations it has to meet in terms of its social responsibility.”


In other union news, the Belize National Teachers Union is hosting a two-day national convention during which new executives, including a first vice president, will be elected by Thursday.  Senator Elena Smith who is sitting president of B.N.T.U. retains her seat as the post is unchallenged.  It is expected that the issue of the proposed salary cut will also be a central discussion among members of B.N.T.U.

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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