Salary scales remain a concern for Public Service Union
At the top of our news, we told of the joint unions meeting with government officials. At the top of the agenda was the pension reform for public officers. Amid the discussions, President of the Public Service Union, Dean Flowers had tabled the concern over the salaries of public officers. In a recent interview with Flowers, he had indicated that the union was unhappy over the haphazard decision making when it comes to determining salaries for those hired by the government. He had additionally noted his intention to not pursue negotiations on pension reform if the salary scales are not standardized.
Dean Flowers, PSU President: “We did emphasize or re-emphasize to the government our position as was stated in our letter of August, I believe August 17th, whereby we informed the Prime Minister that due to the piecemeal approach that the cabinet was taking as it relates to salary adjustment for different groups of public offices that the entire pension reform process provides a wonderful opportunity for us to do a comprehensive compensation review of the public service to get the relevant expert in whether – we were not of the view or at least we are unaware that the extent of the review that we’re hoping to see that expertise exists in country. We are currently being guided by our counterparts from within the public service in Jamaica and so we hope that once the committee starts working that we will then hand over to them some of the contact information for Ernst and Young for them to perhaps have a preliminary meeting or with any other firm or consultancy that will be able to do a comprehensive review of the compensation packages in Belize. We did receive commitment from the government side for the working group to look at what is being requested and for the working group to make the recommendation as to how it will be done. So we have that commitment. So, and hence the reason why I am saying that the working group is expected to hit the ground running as early as perhaps next week or the week thereafter. So one, provide us with at least a preliminary report not necessarily until February 15th when we expect for them to provide us with a comprehensive review which will look at the entire scheme. But we’re really hoping that we can get something quick from them with regards to the proposal on whether or not we can get this review done within the upcoming fiscal year and within as short a period as possible but of course, ensuring that we get quality or value for money.”