BELIZE CITY, Fri. Feb. 12, 2021– In an interview with local media last week, the 1st Vice-President of the Public Service Union (PSU), Dean Flowers, stated that the PSU would only consider pay cuts if a clear plan for how the savings would be used is presented by the Government of Belize. When he was questioned about this position that he and his union are taking, Flowers went on to assert that the pay cuts must be viewed in the context of the impact that such cuts would have on the country and its public servants at large.
He stressed that a decrease in salary would further damage the morale of employees in the public service who already at this time have very low morale. Flowers also cautioned that the Government would also have to look at the impact the pay cut would have on the general economy of the country, and lastly, how the savings obtained through the salary cut would be used.
In an interview with 7News, Vice-President Flowers pointed out, “As we speak, we still have not been told how much savings were realized from the cost-saving measures that have been in place since April of [this] year. Is it 1% of GDP as perhaps — I don’t know if that is what the Prime Minister was alluding to when he said that our cost-saving measures would only yield 1% GDP, I don’t know. If it is that, then that would translate to what, 18 million, 20 million dollars, somewhere around there? What are we going to use those 20 million dollars for?”
He questioned whether the saved funds would be used to service our enormous wage bill, or if it would be used to continue to support the food assistance programs. He reasoned that if the funds would be used to finance current expenses, then the cost-savings which the measures are supposed to achieve, wouldn’t be realized.
“Will [it] be placed in a sinking fund, so that when those bullet payments come, we have money there to pay? Or will it be used to meet the government’s excesses that currently exist? Then, we wouldn’t be realizing any savings,” Flowers told 7News.
He added,” You cannot just throw a blanket statement out there, that we’ll cut people’s salaries without having a clear plan of action.”