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President of UB Association Resigns; President Slusher Writes of Financial Woes

Today, the faculty and staff of the University of Belize began a go-slow which we are told should result in a sick out on Thursday and a meeting on Friday. In addition, the President of the recently revitalized University of Belize Faculty and Staff Association, Fermin Olivera has resigned from his post. As we showed you last week, Olivera had sent a letter to the membership of the association stating that if they no longer want him as the president then he would resign. We are not sure why he resigned but an inside source told Love News that it was because of his his political affiliation. Also, we received a copy of the letter sent by the President of the University of Belize, Alan Slusher, in respect to the meeting held on October 6. In that letter, Slusher listed several other problems that the University has been trying to deal with including the inadequacy of facilities. To deal with these issues and the 14 percent raise of salary that the faculty and staff are demanding, the University will need major cash. In his letter, Slusher states quote, “The budget outturn for the financial year just ended had projected a cash deficit of two point five million dollars; this was held to a deficit of point four million dollars mainly through not filling staff vacancies or delaying appointments..” end of quote. Slusher continues quote, “the University is completely dependent on the Government of Belize for its financing and for support for its financing decisions, including student tuition and fees” end of quote. Currently the Government provides the University with ten million dollars annually but according to the President, personnel cost accounts for some twenty million dollars. Slusher tells Olivera that quote, “You would therefore understand that the University is not in the position to provide any direct response to a demand for pay increases”, end of quote. But the faculty and staff are not too happy with that response and, like today, they will be on “go-slow” tomorrow.