September 15, 2020
For Immediate Release
University of Belize and the University of Belize Faculty and Staff Union Sign Agreement
The Management of the University of Belize and the University of Belize Faculty and Staff Union (UBFSU) agreed on Friday, 11th September, 2020 to a number of measures to address the University’s financial shortfall in these challenging times. The agreement that was signed on Friday had the blessings of the Board of Trustees of the University of Belize.
The discussions, engagements and negotiations occurred over a period of three months including a meeting with the Ministry of Labour, chaired by the Hon. Minister of Labour. The agreement signed covers several areas that affect both the University and its employees including a tiered cut in salaries from 22% to 5%, an increment freeze for the financial year, a Voluntary Separation Program, restructuring of certain areas of the University’s operations, especially those that have been closed through the pandemic or significantly contracted because of our mainly online teaching and reduced student numbers this academic year. Other subsidiary areas agreed to included for example, the ability to work from home with a technology grant and an interest-free loan to eligible employees for the procurement of internet access and a computer/laptop respectively to facilitate this.
The University and the UBFSU agreed that in six months’ time the state of the University’s finances will be reviewed with a view to examining the feasibility of returning salaries to or near to their previous levels. The parties also agreed to continue to communicate and to work collaboratively to ensure that the University of Belize and all of its constituents can weather this difficult period brought about by the pandemic and the cut in the University’s subvention and income from students. The parties also thank the Ministry of Labour for facilitating our initial discussion and the University’s employees for their understanding of our situation.