President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall says Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s pre-election pledge to appoint some categories of civil servants by March 1 was short of what his administration had promised back in 2016.
Speaking to the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) faithful at Queens College on Sunday, Stuart mentioned clerical officers, security guards, postal workers and prison officers as those who would receive appointments.
McDowall told Barbados TODAY he was happy for the workers who would soon be confirmed in their jobs.
However, he reminded the Prime Minister that during the 2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler had announced that all temporary public officers with more than three years of continuous service in the public service would be appointed.
“The NUPW is happy that these category of workers are being appointed because it is my understanding that because there are so many persons in this category, the [Public] Service Commission opted to appoint en mass without first doing the interview process. But this is not the promise made by the Minister of Finance back in 2016 when he said all workers with three years’ continuous service would be appointed.
“So while we are happy for those who are being appointed we are demanding that other qualified persons across the public sector be appointed as well,” McDowall said this morning, while questioning why the process had taken as long as it did in the first place.
“This was something that was supposed to have been done since last year. The union was informed that these groups would have been appointed since last year so some of these appointments should have been completed by the end of December ,” McDowall stressed.
Sinckler had said that many of the public officers, some of whom had been working for more than ten years, had been in the unsecured and unenviable position of non-appointed officers.
“In the coming weeks it is our intention to speak more specifically to the details of this initiative and the work of the committee, but I would like to say to those officers who currently suffer from this particular ailment that your Government has heard your cries and help is on the way,” Sinckler had said.
“In this regard, Cabinet has agreed that an initiative be launched immediately to put in place a working committee led by the Ministry of the Civil Service and including other relevant Government departments, as well as representatives from the workers’ organizations. This committee will advise Cabinet on the procedure, methodology and legal requirements for the execution of a programme to appoint all temporary officers in the public service with more than three years’ continuous service at a threshold date to be determined by the committee,” the minister had promised.