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Feb 7, 2023

Unions to Briceño Administration: “Unfreeze Increments by April First” or Else…

Dean Flowers

The Public Service Union and the Belize National Teachers Union members called a press conference this evening to voice their concerns on several pressing issues. The unions want to update the public on the outcome of a Joint Union Negotiating Team meeting with the Prime Minister back in December 2022. According to the President of the Public Service Union, the general membership had to first be informed of the meeting’s outcome before calling the press conference. Now that such an exercise has been completed, those at the head table held nothing back during the hour-and-a-half press conference. One of the more pressing matters raised at today’s briefing was the current freeze on public servants’ increments. The unions are demanding that their increments be reinstated by April first, or else.


Dean Flowers, President, P.S.U.

“As it relates to the increments of public sector workers, the prime minister informed the joint unions that not only was he not prepared to restore increments in the upcoming fiscal year but that he was also not prepared to restore public officers on the point where they ought to be when his government decides when to resume the payments of increments. Now, you will hear me use the word restore and not resume, because the restoration or resumption of increments is not guaranteed in 2024. Our position to the government remains, increments must be restored by April first 2023. There is absolutely no reason for the government to continue punishing public officers by withholding their increments. When the financial secretary came to us he was clear that the government would have yielded approximately seventeen million savings. For the past three years that would have resulted in fifty-one million dollars in savings. Low and behold if it is that the government really needed to freeze increments then how in the world that his administration can justify that in one year, a part from passing the budget they went back to the house for two hundred and forty million dollars in supplemental. That does not show austerity for a government who is managing the finance of the country prudently.”

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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