74 F
Belize City
Thursday, June 4, 2020
Home General Chamber calls debate between GOB and unions unacceptable

Chamber calls debate between GOB and unions unacceptable

BELIZE CITY, Fri. May 15, 2020– The two major trade unions representing public servants, the Public Service Union (PSU) and the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), have been involved for the past few weeks in negotiations with the Barrow administration over government’s proposals concerning increments and retirement benefits.

On Wednesday, the two sides met in Belmopan, but following the meeting, the unions wanted to amend the agreement that had been reached with government.

Today, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued a press release chastising both sides over their impasse, and describing the situation as a debate that is totally unacceptable.

At the heart of the dispute is the union’s refusal to accept government’s proposal to slash increments for the fiscal period 2020-2021. The two unions are insisting, instead, on a deferral of the increments until the economy improves.

In its press release, the Chamber said, “This debate is totally unacceptable…To now witness a debate about pay increases, to see public sector workers’ refusal to relinquish their increment (or any other form of compensation) at a time when thousands are losing their jobs completely; when businesses are having to close their doors, suggests that too many involved in this debate are out of touch with the current reality we are universally facing.”

The release continues, saying that both sides should “immediately reorient their approach and come together to discuss making government less costly so that each member of the population —including the unemployed — doesn’t have to carry the additional burden of paying $250 each month to maintain a government that is far too costly for our population’s size, unemployment and poverty rates.”

If the two unions don’t agree to government’s proposals, the Prime Minister is weighing the option of amending the Public Service Regulations to give himself, as the Minister of Finance, the authority to institute the changes in salaries.

Feature photo: Nikita Usher, President Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Belize in the eye of the storm; let’s stay there

BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 1, 2020-- With the latest easing of restrictions in the State of Emergency, athletes and sports fans may be getting...

Nimrod Tillett charged for brutal murder of Yo Creek caretaker

ORANGE WALK TOWN, Fri. May 29, 2020-- An  investigation into the brutal death of Abner Novelo, 30, a farm caretaker of Yo Creek, Orange...

Tacos, gyms and boledo are back!

BELIZE CITY, Sat. May 30, 2020-- The national lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that brought Belize’s economy to a standstill has been eased...

Police killing of unarmed black man ignites fiery protests in US cities

BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 1, 2020-- The death of an unarmed African-American man at the hands of a white police officer has triggered a...