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Jan 26, 2022

No Word on Pay Cut Yet; Second Meeting in February

The meeting between the Joint Union Negotiation Team, and its government counterparts concluded just before news time this evening. There will be a second meeting, scheduled for February sixteenth. Tonight, there is no word on whether there is a case for the reinstatement of the ten percent pay cut.  When we spoke to Union leaders following the meeting, they informed us that they are not in a position to make any declaration until after that February sixteenth’s meeting.

 

Elena Smith, National President, Belize Teachers Union

Elena Smith

“We received some of the information that we had requested, before the meeting. The coming here we received additional information. We have agreed that we are going to be meeting on the sixteenth of February. At that time, whatever added information we need to properly analyze, we will request that and that will be sent to us before that meeting on the sixteenth.”

 

Reporter

“Are you satisfied with the amount of information, the level and depth of this information provided?”

 

Elena Smith

“Well, I would not say we are satisfied, because you all know that we had requested a number of documents. And, we have to now review what we have today, based on what was presented and see, as I said before, exactly what is there. And so, we believe that there is more information we will need to properly assess the situation and determine where we are in relation to how we are doing.

In terms of the picture presented as to the country’s economic performance, PSU President, share your thoughts with us. How good or how bad the country’s is finances recovering.”

 

Dean Flowers

Dean Flowers, President, Public Service Union

“It depends on which perspective you look at the current indicators or numbers. The budget as was presented last year, base don’t he numbers, the current fiscal position of the country is that they are performing well, or at least they superseded what was projected for this period that we looked at. But again, if you are somebody who is analytical, you can look at it from two perspectives. You can look at a historical perspective, in terms of how those numbers were on both the revenue and expenditure side and see if where we are is as a result of growth, or recovery, or prudence in our tax collection and spending. You can look at it from that perspective and do an analysis and say is this as a result of good fiscal management or is this as a result of under budgeting. Hence the reason why the good sister said there is some additional information we want to look at. But, just on the surface of things, the budget is well on course in terms of achieving a balanced budget. I want to state, of course, we had some observations and we were not too pleased when we looked at some of the supplemental that were passed. There are additional supplemental we understand are expected to be passed before the fiscal year is out. Those things do impact on the economic situation of the country and on the budget as it relates to the commitment that government made to public sector workers. And so, we just have to wait and see how that conversation goes on the sixteenth of February, and taking into consideration the additional information that has been promised.”


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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