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Sep 22, 2023

AG and Fin Sec Meet with Aggrieved Crown Counsels

Joseph Waight

Tonight, it appears that the sickout that has hindered the October session of the High Court is coming to an end.  Earlier today, Attorney General Anthony Sylvestre and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight met with the aggrieved crown counsels in Belmopan. Since Monday, several prosecutors have called in sick amidst demands for better pay and increased security.  In their absence, the Director of Public Prosecution has had to bear the brunt of the workload to ensure that matters are heard before the High Courts. Today’s meeting at the Office of the Attorney General lasted approximately two hours. We spoke with Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight, at the conclusion of the discussion. Here is what he told us about government’s position on the demand for increased pay.


Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“In anything, you have to think about equity, equality across the public service. This is one segment of the public service, but you have the general public services, the security services. There are three commissions and what you do in one affects immediately, there is a ripple effect immediately and a knock on effect to other. So, whatever you do, and also you have to watch the bottom line. You could have a situation where somebody deserves and needed but if you don’t have the money then what will you do? But where are trying our best to first listen, understand and appreciate the concerns of the judicial officers and to see how best we can respond, bearing in mind that whatever is agreed or not agreed, has an effect for the rest of the public service and bottom line, affording it.”


Paul Lopez

“What is your take away from what you have heard here today in terms of the concerns and how do you see these concerns raised, financial concerns raised, in terms of compensation, how do you see those being addressed?”


Joseph Waight

“Everything has a cost, so whatever we agree on will have a cost. We have to see how we can accommodate those you know. I will say it is constructive and we believe that at the end of the day there will be an outcome that will be satisfactory to most if not all.”


Paul Lopez

“Are you of the view that these demands are rational and level headed?”


Joseph Waight

“As I told them earlier, coming out of the meeting, I am older and wiser, older for sure, wiser I think.  So I understand the concerns.”

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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