Moore: Last in first out a ‘reasonable conclusion’

GENERAL Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU)Senator Toni Moore says while it may still be a bit premature to say how many government workers’ will lose their jobs as a result of the recently announced Barbados Economic Recovery Transformation programme, the last in first out policy would undoubtedly be considered.

She was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the second day of the BWU’s 77th Annual General Conference at Solidarity House yesterday where she was asked to comment on the recent announcement from a member of Government’s economic team that approximately 1 000 public servants could be on the breadline as government seeks to cut expenditure and streamline processes in the public sector.

According to Senator Moore, “If we were looking at a head count exercise alone, 1 000 if that is what is being suggested as a figure, would be a reasonable conclusion when one considers that within the last six to 12 months before the General Election there were a lot of people given positions in Government, where it was already known that there were not positions available”. “So if we were entering a head count exercise, naturally that is where people would be considering.”

Moore made the observation that government has generally not been very efficient in terms of assessing people in a way that will rationalise any other determination.

“I say that recognising that it is unfortunate in some cases because when you go last in first out generally it is a lot of younger people that will be impacted and also it is a situation in which you definitely may have the skills that may be the skills required to take you into another dimension but that being said, where you have been reckless in terms of how people are engaged in the first place, you can’t hope you finish right in all respects when you started wrong in the first place.”

“So last in first out is really where it comes to jobs falling that we will see that process has to go. We have had, and there are known situations and I don’t prefer to get into the specifics of those, but especially in the statutory boards and so on where there were people brought in when it was known that they were not needed.”

“So what resulted, is that you have people who are going to work for a whole day but not necessarily doing a whole days work. And that is the kind of burden that it places you in because whenever you have to talk about jobs falling, there is a perception that it is a bad thing- and it is a bad thing because you never should have been there,” she said.

Moore said the general mood in the BWU membership is that “something has to give.”

“But they are counting on the BWU to do the best in a situation to make sure that balance is brought to the objectives produced....any implementation or roll-out and in the long run the role or the purpose that we serve in ensuring a better way of life for all is one that we can deliver on does not mean, and the BWU cannot, has not and will not commit that there might not been a certain level of displacement, but we think it may be premature even for the government at this stage to say in any definitive terms that it is X amount that will go. Because to the best of our knowledge and we have been in discussions, we are not there yet,” she said. (JH)

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