It’s official: salaries for teachers, public officers and open vote workers will be readjusted to reflect a ten percent reduction as of June first. Earlier today, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight issued a circular to the Office of the Governor General, Chief Justice, Auditor General, Solicitor General, and C.E.O.s, among others, regarding a reduction in public service emoluments and allowances. The document also introduces new pay scales. The memorandum succeeds the ratification of the Public Sector Emoluments and Allowances Bill which was passed by the House or Representatives on May twenty-eighth and in the Senate on June fourth, respectively. The bill is also the first piece of legislation to be signed by Governor General Froyla T’zalam since taking office on May twenty-seventh. The Joint Union Negotiating Team, comprised of the leadership of the Belize National Teachers Union, Public Service Union and APSSM, are vehemently opposed to the salary reduction and was in a deadlock with the Briceńo administration for several weeks following failed negotiations.
The unions subsequently went on strike in what is the longest period of industrial action in recent history. The emoluments payable to a minister of government is effectively reduced by fifteen percent, their allowances have been cut by fifty percent. We will break down the new pay scales and who are most affected in Wednesday’s newscast.