Amandala | The British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) has announced the first tranch of layoffs in connection with its planned downsizing of staff at the base in Ladyville.
Initially reported to be taking place over the next two years, new information indicates that the cuts will go into effect during and at the end of this year.
According to the officer commanding BATSUB, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lindsay, who spoke with KREM News, the first 41 locally employed civilians (LEC) have received letters of termination as of Friday, January 14; actual terminations take effect on March 31, 2011.
Another reduction will take place during the summer and the level of local staff is expected to reach 62 by the end of the year, a 62.5% reduction as part of expense cuts instituted by the UK government for this year.
Lt. Col. Lindsay told KREM, “This is very sad news and BATSUB will be doing all it can to assist our workforce at a difficult time.”
And while the news comes at a bad time for all, Lt. Col. Lindsay noted that, “A number of those made redundant are likely to be re-employed for shorter periods of time, as BATSUB will not be closing, and training will be continuing. However, as the level of training will be lower than currently, we cannot justify having all our current LECs working full time. By retaining some LECs on shorter term contracts, in addition to the remaining 62 LECs on full time contracts, BATSUB will be able to continue to support training and provide employment to a number of Belizeans.”
These trainings are expected to last for up to 2 months at a time.