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Aug 29, 2022

G.O.B. to Return Salary Deduction to Nurses by Weekend

According to Minister of Health and Wellness, Kevin Bernard, prior to the events that occurred over the past three days; his ministry had met with the Nurses Association of Belize, and subsequently wrote to the Ministry of Finance. He told reporters, via Zoom, that the nationwide protests caught him by surprise, in light of prior meetings with the association. Nonetheless, Minister Bernard elaborated on the first two agreements made during today’s meeting. Those agreements were in relation to an adjustment made to the calculation of overtime hours for shift workers, and the return of monies deducted from nurses’ salaries during the last pay period, as a result of a short hour deduction policy.


Kevin Bernard

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness

“The overtime calculations will be calculated on a monthly basis, as opposed to every week, or everyday, where nurses and doctors and all shift workers. It is not only applicable to nurses and doctors, this affects all shift workers, attendants, domestic workers, everybody that might not necessary be at the ministry of Health, but the issue came up with the nurses. So, we have agreed with the Ministry of Finance that calculation will revert back to where it was calculated monthly so that not to affect a nurse who works on a shift basis, where they would be deducted if they did not work the weekly amount. With that out the way, the other issue was the short hour deduction that was made this pass pay period, for the August 2022 pay roll. That immediately sent shockwaves across the medical profession and I don’t give nurses or the doctors or any of these frontline workers, or shift workers, who as I said to the Ministry for Finance are feeling it in their pockets. How can you expect these persons basic salary to be deducted and expect of them to survive for the rest of the month. So, my position and the ministry position, along with the Nurses Association of Belize as that we revert that back immediately and that we reinstate those deduction. It was a very fruitful discussion, however where everybody understood, I know from the Minsitry of Finance, we had people that deals with the payroll system there, they had their issues with technicality and they had to look out in terms of how are we going to ensure that it hits, because it is outside of the pay period already, so we had to look at options. So, we agreed that all those persons that had that short hour deducted will be paid by no longer than the ninth of September, we are hoping that they can be paid by Friday.”

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