The state-owned Barbados Water Authority (BWA) parted company with several of its staff earlier today as a number of key positions became the latest casualties of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation programme (BERT).
Among those getting cut from the payroll were the chief security officer Al Walcott; director of procurement Gregory Gaskin; financial comptoller Lorna Mascoll and director of projects, Wayne Richards. The face and voice of the BWA, Joy-ann Haigh, who managed the rapid response unit and the communications section also received her walking papers. She got a letter telling her that the company had made both posts redundant effective November 29.
“I was surprised,” Haigh said when contacted by Barbados TODAY tonight about being terminated.
“But I accepted that it had to be done in keeping with the BERT programme. I was happy to be a part of the team in delivering one of the most important natural resources next to air during the past eight years,” said the former BWA supervisor who was the point person to whom most customers turned when they experienced problems with the water service.
When asked how she felt about being placed on the breadline having been the face of the company she replied: “Greater and lesser than me have come and gone. Every set back is an opportunity to come back. I am just focusing on moving forward.”
It is also understood that Patricia Inniss, the expert who was hired under the last Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Administration to address the south coast sewage mess and related issues, was slated to go home today, but she is on sick leave.
“I am on sick leave,” is all Inniss, a former DLP candidate in the St. Michael North East constituency currently held by Prime Minister Mia Mottley, would say when asked to comment on reports that she is listed for retrenchment.
Another top BWA official, senior engineer Stephen Lindo has also parted ways with the water works company, along with a female member of the legal team; seven people from customer service, six tanker drivers and nine assistants.
Social media administrator Tamesha Doughty, who was recently hired, has also been sent home, along with office cleaners and clerical officers, according to our source.
A BWA source said a redundancy letter, signed by general manager Keithroy Halliday, explained that because the BWA would no longer be receiving a Government subvention, the company must now generate all of its revenue. The correspondence also advised that the state-owned enterprise must operate in a way that is fit for purpose and a subsequent reduction of its salary and wages bill has resulted in the elimination of some positions.
Of the BWA’s 250 staff complement, 75 were retrenched today while scores of others have opted for voluntary separation packages.
Spokesman for the company, industrial relations consultant John Williams has already declined to comment on the retrenchments.