By Alexis R. Milan
The government announced on Tuesday that public officers and teachers will receive an eight percent salary increase, totalling some $38 million.
The increase is part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, signed by the Government of Belize and the Public Service Union (PSU), the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM).
It will take effect in July and is retroactive to April of this year.
The government said this increase is separate from the two percent increment, which is given to teachers and public officers on the basis of merit.
PSU President, Marvin Blades said public officers were very happy and satisfied to be receiving the salary adjustments. He added that the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the government and the PSU, the BNTU and the APSSM hasn’t been completed yet.
According to Blades, the salary adjustment was addressed separately from the other proposals and last year’s agreement will come to an end next year, when another bargain will have to be made in regard to the terms of future salary adjustments.
He explained that the adjustments are made based on the agreed-upon formula, but the total cannot be calculated until some time after the start of the fiscal year in April.
Once the amount is determined, the salary adjustments take effect and are made retroactive to the start of the fiscal year.
Blades also said some of the outstanding proposals yet to be resolved include health insurance and tax structure, among others. He added that some inroads have been made in terms of the negotiations and said he expects the CBA to be completed by the end of the year.