Government Agrees to Full Salaries and Pensions for Grant-Aided School Staff in New CBA

Government Agrees to Full Salaries and Pensions for Grant-Aided School Staff in New CBA

As the government and the unions met to agree on the CBA, one of the main points of contention was BNTU’s proposal 22. Under this scheme, the government will now provide full salaries and service benefits to teachers and support staff of all grant-aided schools. Additionally, teachers from these institutions will no longer receive only seventy percent of their pension payout from the government, but rather, the entire one hundred percent. According to the government, this shift will increase the wage bill by 68 million dollars over the next five years. But, how will the government sustain such a hefty charge on the public purse? Prime Minister Briceno explained today that it will take major changes and adjustments to the public pension scheme. 

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “In my remarks I mentioned to it and it’s something that has to be addressed and so we are addressing it right now when it comes to the issue of the pensions that is unsustainable. And we’ve had a number of discussions with the unions and the unions have already agreed in principle that the pension as it stands right now is unsustainable and that we are coming up with an agreement as to where is going to be the cut off date as to who will stay on the present system and who will come on on the new system.”

Reporter: The new system of pensions.

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “The new system of pensions yes. We must recognize the tremendous work that Minister Fonseca did as the Minister of Education because when he started look at his budget and did some reallocations within the budget to be able to help to be able to pay these pensions that was the right thing, that it was not fair to these teachers that were retiring but because they were in a grant aided school they would not, in secondary and tertiary institutions, were unable to get their pensions.”

Briceno also noted that it would take some convincing but there is a need to restructure the current pension scheme.

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