APSSM President to retire; optimistic about JUNT negotiations with GOB

APSSM President to retire; optimistic about JUNT negotiations with GOB

The Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) is likely going to see a change in its leadership. That’s because its president, Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser is retiring from public service later this month. This morning, Fraser discussed some of the things affecting public officers and senior managers. One of those issues is that it has been a years-long, painstaking process of getting a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) finalised between the Government of Belize and all public officers. She lamented that it was a disappointment that the CBA could not be signed before she leaves public service. Here’s what she had to say on that today. 

Sharon Fraser, Chief Magistrate: “To be honest with you I was hoping that at least our CBA would have been completed. I had expectation that even before I retired at least that we would have concluded the CBA if nothing else. There have been proposals on there that people have retired and have not benefited, proposals that APSSM had put forward that has not concluded. Of course we’re here and it’s not concluded and I don’t see it concluding by the date I’m to leave. How that is going to work I’m not sure how that is going to work. I’m going to see and based on the feedback I get in relation to what my next move is going to be. As I said I just want to quiet my spirit. It want to – a number of public officers they work hard they retire and they die they never get to enjoy the years of contribution they have made and I’m hoping at least I can get to do that and still assist in whatever way that I can in looking to the interest of public officers and senior managers.”

The APSSM remains a critical part of the Joint Union Negotiating Team, which is currently dialoguing with GOB on this issue and several matters, including the reinstating of increments for public sector workers. You will remember that those increments were frozen as part of the Government’s cost-cutting measures in 2021 and almost two years on, those have not been restored. President Sharon Fraser says she still is hopeful that these issues can be resolved. 

Sharon Fraser, Chief Magistrate: “I’m optimistic. Despite what people might want to say out there the team of ministers and of course now I don’t have to sing for my supper in any way but the team of ministers have really come into the room with respect. We have spoken, while they cannot make any decision because it is the Cabinet that has to make decisions we all understand that it’s a collective responsibility I’m optimistic that they will do whatever they can in trying to ensure that their colleagues are on board and that public officers get what they’re supposed to get when they’re supposed to get it. So only time will tell. I know what they’ve expressed to us I think the amount of years that I’ve had I know when it is that people are not being as genuine as they can and I cannot say I get the sense that they are at least the leader, the Deputy PM has come in the room he has put his hands up he has been open, he has been forthcoming, he has said what can happen, what can’t happen, what he would like to see happen so yes I am optimistic and I’m just hoping for the best.”

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