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Jul 29, 2021

Fonseca on PM’s Comment on Salary Cuts

Francis Fonseca

Education Minister Francis Fonseca is setting out to clarify recent comments made by Prime Minister John Briceño regarding the implementation of the ten percent salary cut for teachers.  That is because the Belize Council of Churches has taken umbrage with what was initially mentioned.  In responding to a statement issued by the Council on Tuesday, Fonseca said that it is all a misunderstanding and that the churches misinterpreted what the Prime Minister said.


Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“Let’s be very, very clear, government absolutely values the relationship we have with the churches.  I have been a part of two meetings along with the prime minister, he and I met with the Council of Churches and we value their advice.  We fully respect our church leaders and certainly, as the Minister of Education, I have worked very closely with our church leaders and with the Council of Churches to implement many of the recommendations that they have made to me as the Minister of Education over the past eight months.   I think this is much ado about nothing, I think there is a misunderstanding in terms of what the prime minister said and how it was received.  The government has always made it clear, we were engaged in consultations, for as you all know for four months.  We made it very clear to the unions that we were in an economic crisis and that economic crisis demanded that we make tough decisions and one of those tough decisions of course, very painful decision was that we had to reduce the salaries of our teachers and public officers by ten percent.  So we have never backed away from that, that was a government policy decision.  What the prime minister had been referring to was the fact that we had to be taken to court by the B.N.T.U.  They’ve taken the managing authorities, as well as the Minister of Finance to court and in responding to that court case, we had to make it very clear that the process of implementing that ten percent salary cut is one that has to be taken through by the managing authorities.”

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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