By Alexis R. Milan
The Belize City Council will take on 158 workers formerly employed by Belize Maintenance Limited as early as next week, Mayor Darrell Bradley announced this week.
Bradley said the Council has scheduled an orientation session for the new employees who will start work on January 16th.
Bradley explained the incoming employees will be sub-divided into several units, which will deal with different aspects of sanitation.
There has also been a re-configuration of management to facilitate the increase in staff, the mayor said and new regulations will be drafted to deal with the changes.
Bradley said the Council will assess the skill levels of the new employees and added that some will be used in areas where the Council wants to provide other services to the public.
The Coucil has been working closely with the Christian Workers Union to ensure that everyone is satisfied with the terms of employment. Bradley said the 158 workers will start as fresh employees of the city, with no carry-over benefits from BML.
According to Bradley, CitCo is in the process of procuring new equipment with funding from the central government. The Government of Belize has provided $1 million to the Belize City Council to buy new equipment.
On matters of general finances, Mayor Bradley said the new intake of workers will bring the City Council staff to 428, the highest the City Council has ever had. Under its new budget, the council has been able to trim its sanitation cost from $78,000 a week to $40,000 a week. GOB is still contributing $35,000 a week to help cover salary expenses, but he was not sure how much longer that assistance will last. In the meantime the council has been looking at ways to increase revenues.
Bradley said he expects the City Council to be free of debt with BML by the end of February 2015.
He went on to say the Council intends to move forward with initiatives which will require residents to play a role in keeping the city clean including maintaining the area directly in front of each person’s property.
“We need residents to take a greater responsibility,” Bradley said.