While Government has so far made no official statements on how it will reduce its expenditure, and with the 2013 Budget speech at least three weeks away, public servants are starting to get glimpses of the austerity that will visit them.
Just this week, Barbados TODAY learnt that supervisors of the Sanitation Service Authority were told by their management that a number of spending cuts had gone into immediate effect.
The biggest of these, one source said, related to overtime, which departments have been mandated to slash, even though it has not been completely eliminated.
Supervisors now have to better schedule the duties of their subordinates so that they are covered during their regular shifts, with additional work being incurred only when absolutely necessary.
Additionally, the source said, no interviews are to be conducted to fill vacancies, although casual employees on the payroll of the authorities can be used to replace full time employees who retire or otherwise leave the agency. However, no new casual workers can be brought in to replace those moving up.
Barbadian households and businesses are also being roped into the cost reduction programme by the SSA enforcing garbage collection schedules that push the population toward recycle waste.
“What will happen is that districts will no longer receive more than one collection per week, and therefore householders will have to recycle rather than leaving it in the garbage can for a week to smell,” an SSA source explained.
“So for now, the position that no one will be sent home and the regular work hours will not be cut still holds, but there will still be expenditure reduction by as much as 30 per cent in some areas.”
Meanwhile, since reporting that the Transport Board had designed a expenditure reduction plan that would see staff being deployed on a three-day work week, Barbados TODAY has learnt that management has also been examining the feasibility of contracting out its security needs to the private sector.
Additionally, a source pointed out that the primary provider of public transport services in Barbados had started looking at how much it would save by employing a totally automated bus cleaning system for its near almost 300 units, more than 200 of which are currently operational. Currently manual labour is deployed to ensure Barbadians are riding in clean buses. (RRM)