Government and Unions Reach Salary Agreement

Press Release - Belmopan, Nov. 14, 1996 - BIS -

          The Office of the Prime Minister has announced that the Government of Belize and the Belize National Teachers and Public Service Unions have reached a salary and compensation agreement for teachers and public officers.

The salary and compensation package includes an interest free bond equivalent to one year's annual increase foregone. The bonds will be issued to public officers who were employed by the Government on April 1, 1994 and will be redeemable in three equal annual drawings beginning with the fiscal year 1999/2000.

As part of the salary agreement, a one time Lump Sum Payment equivalent to two percent of the annual salary, at March 31, 1996 will be paid to all public officers presently on staff and employed by the Government prior to April 1, 1996, including grant-aided teachers and Open Vote Workers. This payment will be free from income taxes.

In addition, the agreement includes a three percent salary increase retroactive to April 1, 1996, and two percent increases for fiscal years beginning in April 1, 1997 and 1998. In recognition of the plight of pensioners Government has also agreed that the annual salary increases will also be extended to pensioners.

In addition to this agreement, Government remains committed to the recommencement of the granting of annual increments to public officers and teachers with the effect from April 1, 1997 and the transfer of 180,000 of B Ordinary Shares in the Belize Telecommunications Limited in a Trust of all Government aide workers at an estimated market value of $4.00 per share. The total value of these shares would amount to one million nine hundred and twenty thousand dollars and based on last year's earnings would yield dividends of approximately two hundred thousand dollars annually.




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