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BWU wants details on Govt’s proposed VSEP


THE Barbados Workers' Union (BWU) is distancing itself from a memo sent out to workers of the Barbados Transport Board last Friday, asking those interested in voluntary separation or early retirement to state their intentions by Friday, November 23.

General Secretary of the BWU Toni Moore told members of the media at the union's Solidarity headquarters tonight that while the correspondence also stated that the BWU had agreed to the proposed packages, this was not the case.

Following a meeting with Transport Board workers, where the memo was one of many issues discussed, Moore made it clear that the Union would never agree to workers opting to go home, without knowing the terms and conditions of the packages.

"The Executive Council of the Barbados Workers Union wishes to distance itself from this approach as it relates to central government, as it relates to statutory corporations. Where there is going to be any agreement that carries the Barbados Workers' Union's signature to it, it would be an agreement that specifies to people up front, what they are entitled to, when they will be entitled to it, how it will be paid out to them," The general secretary assured.

The memo to Transport Board workers, titled voluntary separation, read that further to the meeting of November 1, 2018, between the Board and the BWU, it was agreed that the Board would engage employees in a process of voluntary separation and or early retirement to those persons who have reached the legal retirement age of 60 years, in the first instance.

The letter also stated that in this regard, all interested persons were asked to submit their names on or before Friday November 23, 2018 to the Manager-Human Resources and Marketing.

"While at the national level the Barbados Workers Union does not distance itself from the proposal made to Government that where retrenchment of any kind was being contemplated that voluntary separation should be one of the first steps taken so that you ensure that people who might want to go have the opportunity to express it and can go as opposed to forcing people out who don't want to go, and who perhaps can't go because of their financial situation.

"So we are not going to distance ourselves from what has been a good proposal from us that voluntary separation should be considered. But where we have a concern is that we have not discussed with the Transport Board what form that voluntary separation should take, how it should be applied, and the Transport Board has gone ahead, giving the impression that it is final," Moore said.

The General Secretary argued that management of the Transport Board has not given workers any indication regarding what they would receive  if they volunteer to leave their posts.

"And this relates to a memo that would have been sent out from the Head of the Civil Service on Friday last week as well, asking Heads of Departments to entertain voluntary separation with a cut off date of the 23 of November.

"But get this, you fill out an option form to say I want to go and you get the details after. Does that make sense? Would the Barbados Workers' Union, or anybody in their right mind agree to a situation that would have workers exposed to raising their hands for something and then finding out what they are going to get from it afterwards," she said.

Meanwhile, President of the BWU Division of the Transport Board Frederick Lovell told Barbados TODAY that the union never entered any agreement with the Transport Board, about asking workers to go home voluntarily.

"So, to have said that the union would have agreed to it, is not factual. We would never agree to something to put our colleagues blindly to accept a pig in a bag. It was distasteful. Workers are left in a quandary as to how they should approach the situation. We cannot allow persons to sign off on anything, not knowing if they are signing their death wish," Lovell said. (AH)


The post BWU wants details on Govt’s proposed VSEP appeared first on Barbados Today.

PM Mottley says ‘sabotage’ affected Government layoffs

by Anesta Henry

Prime Minister Mia Mottley this evening said that the Government’s restructuring exercise was affected by “sabotage”, but served notice that the order would be restored.

Reiterating that she was “deeply disappointed” in how the retrenchment exercise was being carried out, Mottley said “she was satisfied that there was an element of sabotage in respect to some aspects of it. And I am not blaming anybody, but I am not blind.

“There was a recommendation to lay off some people in the health sector, which I vetoed , people did not know that I vetoed it because I have been very clear that the basis of the layoffs has to be in areas where we can restructure and repurpose.

"Little did we know, that that recommendation which is nothing more than a recommendation, should find itself circulating on social media, yesterday morning, as a fact. And similarly, there have been one or two other instances that have been brought to my attention in the last 24 hours, where persons acted without the requisite authority. Suffice it to say, fret not thyself, there will be order and accountability in the Government of Barbados," she said.

Mottley however confirmed that a letter being circulated on social media issued by Head of the Civil Service Dr Louis Woodroffe offering Voluntary Separation Packages to four categories of public servants was legitimate.

She explained that while Government could not offer voluntary retrenchment to everyone, it was prepared to accommodate between 80 to 100 public servants.

"There is a cost to retrenchment and at the end of the day we recognize at the same time that we are restructuring elements of Government to make it fiscally fit and that there may be some people who for all kinds of reasons, may want to go home...," she said.

The packages are being offered to general workers, stenographer/typists, clerk typists and clerical officers.

Officers who wish to exercise this option must do so by Friday. (AH)

The post PM Mottley says ‘sabotage’ affected Government layoffs appeared first on Barbados Today.

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