BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Apr. 15, 2021– The Nurses Association of Belize (NAB) released a statement yesterday, on April 14, informing the Government of Belize that they will stand in support of the Joint Unions Negotiation Team in rejection of the proposed 3-year salary cuts for public workers.
The association further advised the Government of Belize that they are ready to participate with the other unions in industrial action if the impasse in negotiations is not settled to the satisfaction of public officers.
In addition to their opposition to the proposed salary cuts, the nurses also want full and speedy implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in Belize.
The NAB release notes that 99% of their responding membership are totally against the salary cuts. Also, 94.5% of their members are ready for industrial action if the cuts are instituted and the UNCAC is not enacted on a fast-track basis. At least 60% support the increment freeze, with up to 80% saying they would take that cut for up to two years.
The NAB shared that the Government must seek alternative forms of revenue generation before going after the salaries of public servants. They said that GoB could realize savings by cutting allowances to Ministers and senior executives, and that it should instead prioritize the spending of government funds on initiatives to improve the lives of people and the judiciary. The association also urges the government to cease hiring of non-essential workers and the creation of unnecessary positions and stop wastage of Government’s funds by ceasing “punitive national transfer of Public Officers that serve no benefit to the people and rather serves only to frustrate the experienced and much-needed officers.”
The NAB also demands that public officers are employed based on their qualifications and not their political affiliation and that laws be enacted to enhance the revenue collection of the Government. Finally, the union is calling for the use of government vehicles to be confined only to official purposes.
The release ends by stating,”The Nurses Association of Belize, thus, informs the Government of Belize, the general public and ALL nurses nationwide, that if these points are not accepted and an all-inclusive plan is not established to repair the economy of the country, we will be left with no other option but to make a stand against the injustice being perpetrated against public officers and this country. Successive Governments have only bestowed pain and suffering upon this nation through reckless borrowing, spending and pillaging of the people’s resources; it stops now.”