Photo: Caneros from BSI protest on Wednesday in front of Independence Plaza
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Mar. 9, 2023
After weeks of intense, sometimes strained negotiations between GoB and the Joint Unions, and then GoB trying to unshackle the deadlocked tug-o-war between BSI/ASR and the BSCFA that seemed to be going nowhere, today’s historic Cabinet brief on 9th March, Baron Bliss Day, came with no sound of cymbals and beating drums, no fanfare and victory parade, but it may well have, for in the few words from the party in government that declared in campaign that “everybody fi win,” the revelations of today’s Cabinet brief indicate that this government is listening to its people.
And it has not been a one-way street. Our people, our public officers and teachers strong and unwavering in their quest for progress and justice, have been patient and self-sacrificing in partnership with their government leaders through the tough times of our economic challenges. And our valiant and brave cane farmers have stood firm, while holding down their simmering anger at the perceived unfairness in their relationship with the corporate giant.
The game is not over; it’s never over. But there is room for hope, and relief and some satisfaction with the progress we have made, we the people and our government, toward all our best interests. Indeed, people power is manifested in the words of today’s Cabinet brief, and they are worth remembering:
- Increments for all public officers and teachers would be unfrozen effective 1st April 2023.
- discussions with the Joint Unions… on two increment points lost…
- …phased approach to the Public Sector Pension Reform… a working group …government, JUNT, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, GAMAS, and the private sector
- Cabinet has decided to convene a Commission of Inquiry to examine the modernization of the sugar cane industry…
Today, there is a sense that Belizeans, government and people, are making some progress.