BELIZE CITY, Wed. June 17, 2015–The paychecks of teachers and public officers will be substantially larger next month, when Government will pay what’s due to them to satisfy an 8% salary adjustment being implemented this year, amounting to an additional $38 million in salary payments.
Usually, the budget figures are not finalized until months after the fiscal year closes on March 31, and the Government announced today, via the Ministry of Finance, that teachers and public officers will be receiving their salary adjustment in the coming weeks.
Marvin Blades, president of the Public Service Union (PSU), who has also been representing the unions in the salary negotiations with Government, told Amandala today that the salary adjustment to cover the months of April, May and June would be included in July payments to open vote workers as well as established public officers, pensioners, teachers and all who work for the government. Others who receive increments based on merit will get an additional 2.25% salary increase, Blades said.
He told us that the unions have verified that the salary adjustment which will be paid next month to teachers and public officers is correct, based on information gleaned by their own people who have checked the Government’s figures to ensure that the payment is correct.
Dylan Reneau, past president of the PSU and of the NTUCB (National Trade Union Congress of Belize), indicated to us that the 8% salary adjustment will be based solely on recurrent revenue – not funds which the Government has obtained under the PetroCaribe initiative.
When the national budget was presented back in March, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow had announced that $20 million was being included for the salary adjustment, as a placeholder.
This is in line with the collective bargaining agreement of February 2014, which calls for adjustments over three years.
Last year, teachers and public officers received an adjustment of roughly 6%, which Reneau told us actually translated to $21.8 million more in salary payments for the last fiscal year.
The final tier of the increase should be implemented in 2016 for the fiscal year 2016-2017.
Marvin Mora, president of the NTUCB, told Amandala that the unions were represented in talks with the Government over the salary adjustment by a negotiating team which included Luke Palacio, Sharon Fraser, Marvin Blades and Dylan Reneau.