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Jun 22, 2021

CitCo Employees over 55 to be Retired

This morning the news of multiple terminations at the Belize City Council spread like wildfire on social media. But Mayor Bernard Wagner told News Five the employees in question are all of retirement age and council is to begin enforcing the City Council Act. He says keeping them on the payroll is costing CitCo hundreds of thousands of dollars. 


Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“Termination no, retirement yes, right? And it has not occurred as yet. Upon assuming office in 2018 there has been this ongoing situation of unchecked retirement and the City Council Act clearly states that retirement age is at the age of fifty-five. I believe previous administrations found it to not retire for political expediency. We found that where there are over fifty-plus employees that are working with the council over that retirement age. Some of them have even reached the point of being over seventy years – a couple of them I believe are in the seventy-two, seventy-three years neighborhood. So, we had to address it because what has been happening here is that we have fifty employees that are continuously accruing gratuity, pension, benefits, and severance benefit and as you go along and that situation if left untended could become a situation down the road. We look at it that if we leave it as is by the end of 2021 that number will grow to about seventy employees and it will cost the council about half a million dollars and if we leave it again to 2024 that number will increase to one hundred employees costing the council about a gratuity liability of about one point four million dollars. So, while it is always a tough position to reach to this point it is not termination and it is really retiring those individuals who have reached the age of fifty five.”


Wagner says the workers will be going into retirement in  three phases; as of July twenty-one employees over the age of sixty years old; in August twenty-two employees between the ages of fifty-seven to fifty-nine; and the final stage in September will impact ten employees between fifty-five and fifty-seven years old. Wagner says that they have met with the union because some of their members are being impacted.  

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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