Among the twelve resolutions down for discussion when the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados convenes its 9th Biennial Delegates Conference next Thursday and Friday, is one opposing the establishment of an Industrial Court in Barbados.
And President Cedric Murrell stressed that has been a position held by the organisation from its inception.
He issued this clarification earlier today during a press briefing at the offices of CTUSAB, Solidarity House, Harmony Hall, St Michael, where he acknowledged that from the establishment of the trade union movement in Barbados, trade unionists have always subscribed to volunteerism.
The union boss pointed out that another resolution called for the matter of heads of departments having legal and administrative authority to pay workers.
“That has arisen out of a felt need at this time where the payment of public officers is not as timely as it ought to be in some areas, and that is not because of anything other than the administrative situations which have been created by aspects the Public Service Act, which was passed in 2007 with an amendment in 2010. There are certain requirements within that Act and they are in a sense serving to delay the administrative process of the processing of temporary appointments and certainly their pay. We are seeking to resolve that matter by way allowing heads of departments to have certain authority with regard to that situation,” he said.
The head of the trade unions organisation further stated that there were two other resolutions which arose out of the Forde Commission of 1998 – one dealing with the establishment of a Teaching Service Commission and the other with a Protective Service Commission.
Murrell said: “The matter of the Teaching Service Commission is not new, the Protective Service Commission is a little newer, but these are engaging us because of what we perceive as an outdated system of administration via the present Public Service Commission. We are calling for the Police Service Commission to be expanded to a Protective Service Commission which will include dealing with matters of appointments, transfers and discipline of the Police Force, the Prison Service and the Fire Service. And we are also asking in those resolutions that separate administrative secretariats be provided to those commissions to ensure the work is carried out in such a way as to be effective and efficient.
“The Public Service today in terms of that aspect of it, cries out for reform and transformation. The Public Service is quite large and we do feel that the present arrangements are not adequate for a Public Service of today where we need to ensure that persons who work are paid in a very timely way. The matter of security of tenure looms extremely large for workers in this country even at this time where there is some uncertainty in the labour market,” Murrell added.
There was another resolution which addressed the question of the processing of pensions, he said.
“We have been hearing of cases where the processing of pensions for public officers both in the central civil service and statutory boards is taking longer than it usually did in the past and we want to ensure that we address that because it is certainly not desirable that someone would have retired and at times as many as six, seven and eight months have passed and they have not yet received their pensions.” (NC)