PSU President Comments on Ombudsman Win against GOB
And in other legal matters, last week we reported that the Government’s application to stay a judgment failed. That judgement was in favor of former Ombudsman Lionel Arzu who sued the Government of Belize because he said he was short-changed when his contract was not renewed. The court ordered that Arzu be paid ten thousand dollars. GOB’s attorney failed at attempting to stay the ruling while the matter is appealed. President of the Public Service Union, Dean Flowers, was asked about it.
Dean Flowers, President, Public Service Union: “I think that every single contract officer whose salaries or whose benefits was negatively impacted by the government’s austerity measures I believe every single contract officer ought to have taken the government to court. Where the former Ombudsman is concerned his efforts and his actions must be applauded because that is the kind of society in which we live whereby if you believe that you were wronged that you can seek recourse to the courts. The government took from contract officers in the similar fashion that they took from public officers, well all public officers but I mean from officers in the permanent establishment and the open vote sector they took from contract officers in the same manner that they took from officers. Now they say a contract is a sacred document. The government consulted with us. The government satisfied section 106 of the constitution where adjusting our salaries was concerned but where adjusting the salaries and benefits of contract officers, a contract cannot be changed unless the two parties agree. The government did not sit individually or collectively for that matter I would dare say with those contract officers before they amended their terms and conditions and more importantly their salaries and their benefits as it relates to their contracts so the former Ombudsman did the right thing he stood up for himself and again his actions need to be applauded. Now as it relates to the other hundreds of contract officers who sat by and took to Facebook or railed hell in thier chairs as one of my mentors called them armchair revolutioners as far as their concerned again I commented earlier on the frog you put him in hot water he jumps out, you put him in a pot of water that is room temperature he sits there and takes its ick so I guess their contract is lucrative and robust enough that it didn’t impact them. That’s all I can say as it relates to that but kudos to the former Ombudsman for taking action.”