In a statement issued late yesterday evening, the PUP Belize City Council explained why six employees were terminated. In the release, it states that since the council is in a poor fiscal condition, it was necessary for a restructuring exercise to be carried out in order to achieve financial stability. That exercise included the termination of six employees who received their walking papers on Tuesday. The letters did not state a reason and according to CWU President, Mose Hyde, a reason must be provided in cases of dismissal and not terminations. The Belize City Council says that after reviewing the departmental structures, it made the decision to part ways with five staff members. The City Administrator Candice Miller was fired on a different basis. The United Democratic Party has called the move heartless and unfair. Today Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber reiterated the UDP’s position.
Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: “There is victimization and we ought to condemn that wholescale. The People’s United Party when they won the City Council Elections here in Belize City I believe made it very clear that that kind of practice would not happen. We are seeing where they started off toying with the idea very early and now it seems that it’s full scale that it’s a full scale operation. I am told that there are more people to come and we have to be very concerned about that. I think it is noteworthy to point out that the PUP’s claim that there are a changed bunch, that this kind of thing would not happen and indeed it is business as usual for them and I think the Belizean people are taking note of that.”
Reporter: Some may say they were never saddled down with big $90,000 contracts as in the case of Miss Miller.
Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: “Well absolutely I don’t know the details of her contracts so I’m not going to comment on that. YOu are saying so but I don’t know that that is the case but there are many situations that existed under the time of the PUP in fact the scandals, the large contracts not necessarily with employees but with sanitation companies a lot of wastage was happening certainly very evident there and so we can’t support that kind of victimization.
Reporter: Sir didn’t the UDP do this when they got in power?
Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: “If there is good evidence that in fact something is flawed in terms of the awards of these contracts or that these people committed some kind of wrongful act that would lead to their termination then fine.”
Reporter: I believe that the UDP PG Town Council fired eleven people last month, would you still say the same about them.
Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: “Well you also heard the complaints coming from some of the peopled fired who were UDP so clearly streamlining and bringing your house in order in terms of spending is one thing and if it were as Miss Polanco just suggested that they terminated Miss Miller because of a huge contract that is not the reason they gave in her termination letter. They didn’t say ‘this contract is unfair and bloated so we are terminating you.’ they gave grounds I believe that had nothing to do with that and in the Punta Gorda situation it is not a change in administration in terms of change in party but it is still a UDP council so there is no issue of political victimization there, it is clearly a matter of just streamlining with their financing.”
The UDP has called for the council to reinstate those fired.