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Feb 24, 2023

N.T.U.C.B. Supports Unions on Increment Demands

April first is the deadline imposed by the unions for the return of annual increments to teachers and public officers.  But is it likely that the Briceño administration will acquiesce and set aside roughly twenty million dollars to further adjust salaries for persons who qualify for increments?  Earlier this week, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize issued a release not only to reiterate the points raised by the Joint Unions Negotiating Team, but to stand in solidarity with its sister organizations.  Luke Martinez, president of the N.T.U.C.B., spoke with reporters this afternoon and shared the following.


Luke Martinez

Luke Martinez, President, N.T.U.C.B.

“The National Trade Union Congress we continue to push our full support behind the joint unions in the request for the increment restoration by this fiscal year which is 2023/2024.  We believe that that is something that needs to happen and it should happen.  We keep on hearing the prime minister and some of his team talking about how good the economy has been performing and G.D.P. is up there and the economy is rebounding.  It can’t be that the economy is rebounding and you’re not finding the funds to ensure that you pay the people who are working hard, who are the public officers.  And the prime minister and his team need to understand that the increments that we’re talking about are performance-based increments, meaning that the public sector workers, teachers, police, B.D.F., nurses, union members, they fall into that category.  They are appraised yearly and you receive an increment based on your appraisal, so it’s a performance-based tool. So we are saying that if the economy has rebounded, the increment is less than half of one percent of G.D.P.  In dollars, that is about eighteen to twenty million dollars.  The government has that funding.  The government has that money to restore public officers’ increments, and so we continue to stand behind the joint unions in that support and we’ve been saying over and over that the government should, as a matter of fact, when they restored the ten percent, they should have restored the increment.”

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