The Public Service Union (PSU) has registered concerns over the recent increase in salary and allowance for the Governor-General, Her Excellency Froyla Tzalam. Speaking on the issue this morning was the President of the Public Service Union, Dean Flowers. According to Flowers, the Governor General should, in good conscience, refuse the increase for the greater good of the country.
Dean Flowers, President, PSU: “If I were to deliver a direct message to the Governor General it would be that we’re fully aware that she’s not the one that brought the bill to the House but the bill benefits her and if she is a true Belizean and if she is truly concerned about the workers of this country, the public officers of this country who make the wheel turn where the managing of the public service is concerned and the management of government finances is concerned, if she truly cares about the workers of this country she would do what as they would say the honorable thing. I would say do the right thing, the right thing is Sir Colville Young has been able to sustain himself and his family on this salary for twenty years and at no point in time did we see him struggling. There is absolutely no need for the increase at this point in time. I also want to state clearly we are not saying that Her Excellency Mrs.Tzalam is not deserving of the new salary package that is being offered to her, that’s not what we’re saying. We’re saying that at this point in time in 2021 should be the last thing that we should be hearing that anybody should be given an increase in salary or in any benefit package that is being offered.
In addition to the increase in salary and allowance, the Governor General has reportedly been assigned a driver and a 2020 Ford Expedition SUV. Flowers says the government has disrespected the Belizeans, and that in good conscience the Governor General should refuse the salary package at least until the economy stabilizes.
Dean Flowers, President, PSU: “The timing at which the government has decide to give the Governor General an increase in her benefit package, in addition to taking on additional expenses on the backs of tax payers and on public officers who have just suffered a 10% salary cut can only be classified as a slap in the face of public officers and disrespect to our livelihood. I think that the Governor General being the head of state I think as a leader that she is I think that it is very disappointing as well that at such a time of austerity that she would even accept such an increase in her benefit packages. And so it also shows a level of selfishness, a level of selfishness on the part of the Governor General and I say selfishness because she’s not the only one that benefits but her entire family benefits by way of insurance coverage and by way of of course the luxury and perks being provided to her while thousands of public officers who do much more than she will ever do for this country have been forced to take a ten percent salary cut. What exactly does the members of the Public Service Union want the union to do in addition to speaking out against it ? That mandate has not been sent to us and so I cannot say exactly if there will be any course of action in addition to speaking out against it that will occur but it is really sad that the government of the day continues to preach that we all must make sacrifices but those in authority are the ones who we see making the least sacrifices.”
Several groups and individuals have expressed disapproval on the increase for the Governor General since the announcement was made by Prime Minister John Briceno.