By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
Teachers and public officers can expect another pay increase in the upcoming financial year, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said during the presentation of the national budget.
Barrow explained at the meeting of the House of Representatives that under the salary adjustment framework, government has allocated $20 million for pay raise for teachers and public officers; however the figure is subject to change.
“And as a place-holder only, we have allocated the sum of $20 million in the Capital II Program to fund the raise of pay. This translates into at least a 4 percent jump for these GOB employees, and it is on top of last year’s 6 percent. And although it may end up being a little more or a little less depending on the final recurrent figure,” Barrow said.
He added that the pay raise is the second under his administration, constituting a 10 percent increase within just two years.
Under the proposed framework for Salary Adjustment for Public Officers, Teachers, and Senior Managers, for the three-year period 2014 to 2016, the Government committed to applying 50 percent of any increase in the difference in actual recurrent revenue performance between successive fiscal years toward an annual salary raise, which was retroactive to April 1 2014.
“I can now say with certainty, based on the preliminary numbers, that there will be such an increase between FY 2013/2014 and FY 2014/2015,” he emphasized.
In January 2014 the Belize National Teachers Union held a country wide tour of rallies for raise of pay. The movement, done under the theme “Teechaz gat yoh bak,” began in Corozal and Orange Walk and ended in southern Belize, closing down schools on each event.
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry endorsed the teacher’s efforts at the time, emphasizing that it was necessary to deal with the rising cost of living.