GOB’s short-lived Decision to Increase CEO Phone Allowances Sparks Debates: Mayor Wagner Weighs In

GOB’s short-lived Decision to Increase CEO Phone Allowances Sparks Debates: Mayor Wagner Weighs In

The Government of Belize’s short-lived decision to increase telephone allowances for CEO’s and heads of department was prominent in the news this week. The decision to raise the allowance from two hundred and fifty dollars to six hundred dollars was rescinded not long after the approval was revealed to the public; leaving questions about who actually approved the increase. But while the government has backpedaled on the decision, the matter has instigated debates and discussions in various circles.  This week, Mayor Bernard Wagner shared his thoughts on the phone allowance issue and the need for CEO’s to receive some form of salary increase.

Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “I join the Minister of Education, the Honorable Francis Fonseca, in really commending the caucus of the CEOs in rescinding that proposal. I believe it is not necessary at this point in time even though I know that our CEOs are to some extent being underpaid and the type of job and the type of commitment they have to do on a 24-7 hour basis is, you could never, like for me my job is 24-7. I’m always answering emails even if I’m at home in the nights or in the weekends. So your job as public officials is really a 24-7 jobs and the remuneration that you receive can never really, really equal to what you are putting in. And so I have to commend the government as well for really listening to the people. We always want to pride ourselves in listening to the people, in listening to the people’s concerns and ensuring that we not only listen, right, but we also act.”

Members of the CEO’s Caucus said that they were unaware of the pending increase and said that they were willing to forego any increases at this time. Meanwhile the Public Service Union says that the CEO’s were not being benevolent, since the increase was unlawful to begin with.

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