By Alexis R. Milan, Staff Reporter
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, during Friday’s House Sitting, boasted that his administration has raised teachers’ and public officers’ salaries and increments by a cumulative 19 percent in just two fiscal years.
According to Barrow, that 19 percent represents a $72 million increase in salaries being paid out to teachers and public servants. He estimated that to be an additional $6,000 per year being paid to each and every teacher and public servant.
“A $72 million wage increase in two years for 12,000 Belizean workers has simply never happened before in this country, never ever,” Barrow gloated.
He added that the increase has boosted spending power, stimulating the economy citing figures from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), which most recently indicate that inflation is at -1 percent. Barrow said with no foreseeable spike in inflation the purchasing power of those 12,000 Belizeans has gone up significantly.
Barrow said the teachers and public officers are the single most valuable element in the unceasing endeavor of United Democratic Party (UDP) nation building and government. He also took the time to take a shot at the former administration comparing his eight year in office, giving salary increases, to the former People’s United Party’s (PUP) eighth year in office where they were requesting salary cuts.
Government recently announced that teachers would be receiving an eight percent increase for the last fiscal year. The figure was calculated using the agreement GOB and the unions agreed to two years ago as a part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Public Service Union (PSU), the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM).