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Apr 19, 2021

A Letter from G.O.B. to the Unions over Salary Adjustments

Sharon Fraser

The Joint Unions Negotiating Team, comprised of the Public Service Union, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers and the Belize National Teachers Union, met with government representatives on Friday.  The meeting with Minister of Public Service Henry Charles Usher succeeded a recent breakdown in negotiations that has resulted in an impasse between the unions and government over imminent wage cuts and increment freezes.  Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser, President of the A.P.S.S.M., recalls receiving a letter last Tuesday that cited an obscure section of the law.


Sharon Fraser, President, A.P.S.S.M.

“We received a letter dated April thirteenth, in which it was basically a legal letter, a constitutional letter, I would say, where in fact we were told that the Minister of the Public Service was now prepared based on the constitution to advise the Governor General to set our salaries which by law he is empowered to do.  But, in fact, I can speak from my perspective, I found that very, a little disturbing given the fact that we were in negotiation.  Why it is that you are going to tell me, oh, the law empowers me to do this when in fact we are at the table and we are sitting down and we are trying to work out as best as we can how to move forward given the financial state that our country is in..  Of course, I have to admitted to you that in Friday’s meeting, the minister sought to clarify that he was not, the letter was not put to threaten us, but that in fact just to inform us.”

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