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Marty Offline OP
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The Minister of the Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform, Honorable Henry Charles Usher, The Minister of Health & Wellness, Honorable Michel Chebat and the President of the Public Service Union, Mr. Dean Flowers met on December 8, 2021, to discuss the vaccine mandate issued last month by the Government of Belize. Present at the meeting were the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of the Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform, Mr. Rolando Zetina, and the members of the Union's Executive Team.

At the meeting it was agreed that based on science, vaccination does provide protection against COVID 19 and that a growing body of evidence has shown that vaccines are safe and effective against the disease.

It was further agreed that the vaccine mandate, which was to come into effect on December 15, 2021, for all public officers, will be postponed until such time it is deemed fit and unavoidable.

The Union and Government of Belize will work together to compile statistics, such as the percentage of vaccinated public officers, COVID 19 infection rate within the Public Service, mortality rate among public officers and the sickness benefit costs associated with the disease thus far.

Guided by the outcome of the research and based on the data collected, the parties have agreed to work together to promote and encourage the effective enforcement of the safety protocols and whenever deemed unavoidable and in the best interest and safety of public officers and the public we serve, to effect the gradual introduction of a vaccine mandate.

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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Vaxx Mandate For Public Officers Recalled

On November the 15th, the Ministry of Public Service came out boldly when it declared vaccine mandate for all public officers. They were told via circular that if they didn't have a vaccine by December the 14th, they could not report for a work in a government office effective December 15th.

But, 6 days from that deadline, government has again capitulated - and agreed to a compromise with the Public Service Union.

A rare joint realize came out this evening, which says that the minister of the Public Service, Henry Charles Usher and the Minister of Health & Wellness, Michel Chebat met with the President of the PSU Dean Flowers yesterday to discuss the vaccine mandate. Also present at the meeting was the man who signed the circular, CEO in the Ministry of the Public Service, Rolando Zetina, as well as members of the Union Executive.

And, they decided that the vaccine mandate, quote, "will be postponed until such time it is deemed fit and unavoidable."

We spoke to the PSU President via Zoom half an hour ago and asked him if he's declaring this a victory:

Dean Flowers - President, Public Service Union
"Well in my humble view, I don't see it as a victory for PSU, I see it as a victory for democracy, I see it as a victory for public officers, I see it as a victory for social dialogue and inclusion and it's not a victory but a victory for Belizeans that if we can speak to each and respect each other's opinion and if we can appreciate what the other person is saying we can all come out winning. At the current moment, we were able to agree there is absolutely no life and death urgency before us that would require us to proceed with the mandate, however guided by data, we have agreed that, guided on what the numbers are saying as it relates to the infection rate within the public service, there may come a time that this COVID virus and the different variants, if they just keep on propagating and it gets worse, we might not have a choice, however if it gets that bad I don't think that there will need to be a mandate, Belizeans on public officers who we represent and do the right thing and get their vaccines."

Jules Vasquez
"I don't see any languages in there suggesting that you all will launch a drive or encourage people, to me it looks like just status quo, nobody move, nobody get hurt."

Dean Flowers
"We will not have to hit the ground to ascertain how many public officers are indeed vaccinated and how many are not and that just ascertaining that number will not guide us in making any decision where a vaccine mandate is concerned but that number will guide us in determining the extent of the campaign that will have to be rolled out within the public sector to educate, inform and sensitize public officers about the vaccine and about the importance of getting vaccinated and so when we make a decision as to whether or not there is a need for us to support a vaccine mandate by the government, we will be guided by data and it will not be an emotional decision as what we believe was this case, this current mandate on hold, we believe it was an emotional mandate and not a mandate guided by data."

Jules Vasquez
"What other data do you need? 600 people are dead."

Dean Flowers
"I think you are being very nefarious Jules, 600 people are dead but that is from the wider society, that is not limited or specific to the public service, we cannot make a decision on public service with that data. What the government can do however, is to use that as a guide as to whether or not they will implement a mandatory vaccination mandate for the entire country of Belize."

The joint release goes not say, quote, "The Union and Government of Belize will work together to compile statistics, such as the percentage of vaccinated public officers, COVID 19 infection rate within the Public Service, mortality rate among public officers and the sickness benefit costs associated with the disease thus far."

That study may take months to compile - but the release concludes that the parties have agreed to work together to promote and encourage… safety protocols (which are unspecified).

So, will a vaxx mandate ever be enforced for the public service? Here's how the release delicately puts it:"whenever deemed unavoidable and in the best interest and safety of public officers…(both sides will work together) to effect the gradual introduction of a vaccine mandate."

Bottom line, no fixed timeline, means no timeline at all, so don't hold your breath.

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