Headline — 04 August 2018 — by Rowland A. Parks
Belmopan City Council employees stage protest over no-pay

BELMOPAN, Thurs. Aug. 2, 2018– Workers of the Belmopan City Council and their transport officers’ colleagues have reportedly been having difficulties collecting their pay since April. Today, during their break time, over 20 workers staged a protest at the main entrance to the City Hall building.

The Christian Workers Union, which represents the workers of the Belmopan City Council, has written to the Council about the matter of their members not being paid on time.

In response to the union’s letter, the City Administrator dispatched a letter to the union explaining that the workers would have been paid today, Thursday. Up to midday today, however, the council has still not paid its workers.

City Administrator Ralston Frazer confirmed to Plus TV that the exchange of letters between the council and the union took place.

“Yes, we did receive that email. In fact, the email was addressed to the Mayor, myself inclusive as the City Administrator (CA). I will tell you I was a little bit hesitant to respond to the email, but it was the Mayor who told me, to respond to the email, which I did. In short, I just let the union know that we acknowledged our failed attempt to have made sure that members of the council, particularly of the union, had received their salaries on the day that they would usually receive it, but we have all intent and purposes for that to have been attended to,” Frazer said.

Plus TV asked Fraser to respond to the question that the Belmopan City Council is out of cash.

In dancing around the answer, Frazer replied, “That’s a question that cannot be sufficed by answering yes or no, but for the records I will say no. The council is not out of money, you will realize that our electricity is still running, our water is still running, etcetera. Do we have some challenges? Yeah, we do.”

Frazer added, “Do we collect all the monies that should come from the general society for which we need to run the council? No, we’ve been having problems with collections. And you know what? Fair is fair. I don’t know, maybe some of the very employees who are being emotional (and I understand) over the situation are some the people that owe taxes. This has been brought to the attention of the council and the council, I believe, had put something in place, in their last caucus meeting, where they are going to make an attempt to render this situation as fixed. But yes, this had happened before and this will happen again.

CWU’s president, Evan “Mose” Hyde, said, “Today, the staff had a small gesture of I would say trying to get the management and the council here to understand that this matter is very serious. And so I’m here this evening to speak to that, to speak to the fact that they are absolutely within their right to expect, and to be able to stand up and assert that they want their salaries on the due date. They must have a certainty of what the pay cycle is and for me that is a fundamental expectation.

“And so there is nothing wrong, nothing disrespectful, no ulterior motives, it’s just a man or a woman saying I have done my honest week or two weeks or a month’s work and now I want to be paid with certainty. That’s just what they are asking, and so I am here to basically make sure that those who have demonstrated the courage to be able to step forward, to have them understand that they are doing what is right.

Hyde said that the Christian Workers Union has been more than patient in dialoguing with the Council.

Belmopan Mayor Khalid Belisle is reportedly out of the country.

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Deshawn Swasey

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