Employees of the National Sports Council [NSC] are being assured that their jobs are currently safe.
This promise has come from Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley, as he sought to clarify comments made in an article printed recently in the media.
According to reports, at a recent departmental meeting held at the NSC last week, coaches were asked if they would be willing to take voluntary termination packages.
Sources revealed that at the meeting, which was chaired byassistant director of the NSC Mona Alleyne, they were told that those willing to take early retirement packages or voluntary separation packages should make themselves known.
However, Lashley maintained that he wanted to “calm the nerves” of concerned NSC employees who may have been misinformed by reports about the future of their jobs.
He said the article suggested that NSC workers’ jobs were in jeopardy and that discussion of voluntary termination packages was on the table.
But in seeking to clear up the matter, Lashley dismissed the article’s claim that workers would be given the option to take early retirement packages.
“There has been no mandate given to talk about early retirement packages. Whatever rumour has been spread was just that, a rumour,” he declared, noting that such a move would have to be approved by Cabinet.
The Sports Minister explained that Government was in fact interested in introducing initiatives to manage the cost of statutory corporations, and discussions were being undertaken to examine the integration of the NSC, the Wildey Gymnasium and Kensington Oval Management Inc. He stressed that the proposed integration was still at a very early stage and urged employees not to panic.
“It is too early to start talking about whether it will mean that people will go home. It has not reached that stage,” he emphasised, adding that even after the integration plan has been fully drafted, there was still a long way to go before any action could be taken.
He continued: “As soon as there is a full proposal to be discussed in relation to the integration, then management will discuss with the union and the staff… We will follow all established protocol in relation to the relevant unions and staff, to ensure that everybody is made aware as to what will happen.
“The staff at the Sports Council can relax and know that dialogue will be done to ensure that they are brought into the know as to what the plan entails,” Lashley insisted.