Some coaches who have served over three decades at the National Sports Council (NSC) are unhappy and are expressing their disgust at the permanent appointment of some of their colleagues who have been at the institution for fewer than ten years.
The appointments relate to two specific categories – sessional to temporary and temporary to permanent – and some of the coaches have accused the NSC hierarchy of preferential and partisan treatment in relation to how some individuals have been selected for appointments.
One aggrieved worker who spoke to Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity and for fear of reprisals, said a coach who served at the NSC for over 30 years and never had any disciplinary issues with the board, has yet to be appointed. The source revealed that as recently as March 1 this year, some were given permanent appointment with as little as five to seven years of service.
The source indicated that some of the coaches who have supervised sporting talent in various tournaments such as the annual Herman Griffith Primary Schools Cricket Competition, Bico Football Tournament, Pine Hill Netball Tournament and National Primary Schools Athletics Championship were among those who have been overlooked despite their several years of service.
“How is it that men and women who have never produced a sportsperson in their life can sit and determine the appointment of coaches? How it is that these appointments were made and their head of department was not invited to the meeting?
“How is it that two well-known cricket coaches with one of them being a former Barbados and West Indies cricketer [Sherwin Campbell] could get their appointment letter on the very first day of being on the job? Yet persons who have dedicated two decades or more of service are overlooked without any explanation,” the irate employee stated.
The source noted that former Barbados and West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman and veteran cricket coach Tennyson Payne had retired a few months ago, and there was a vacancy for a cricket coach. However, the employee noted that a coach who has been at the NSC for 31 years has not been appointed to that position.
“Consider that very same coach came to the council in 1986 around the same time as Payne, Richard Straker, Milton Small, Ricky Skeete and George Linton, who were all appointed and have since left the council. Linton has died, Small was fired, the other three are now retired and yet the last two cricket coaches who came on got the nod over the 30-year veteran,” the NSC employee stated.
The source revealed that persons with disciplinary matters before the board were also being appointed.
“Two female coaches left the island without permission when they were supposed to be at work during the National Primary Schools Athletics Championship, they have a case before the board, were at the council for less than a decade and received permanent letters last month,” the source charged.
The source explained that NSC coaches were not pleased generally with how the council was being managed. The source referred to a situation were appointments were suddenly being made but the accountant had not been informed.
The source noted that a number of the concerned coaches at the NSC had taken their grievances to the interim chief executive officer Jerry Blenman who had promised to deal with their issues but to date, nothing had materialised with respect to their grievances.
“Just two days ago we had a meeting with the accountant and she declared up front that she is a senior officer, and nobody has alerted her about the appointments and this is the woman that has to pay us. They have gone ahead and appointed these people and have not informed the accountant. Our head of department has no idea of it, she was not invited and that is the boss that has to give us instruction and she doesn’t know,” another coach told Barbados TODAY.
Union representative and shop Steward for the coaches Ralph Watson told Barbados TODAY he didn’t have much information to speak on the matter. But he added he was aware of the situation and the union had been alerted on the matter.
Meanwhile, efforts to reach the Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley and interim chief executive officer of the National Sports Council, Jerry Blenman, were unsuccessful up to the time of publication.