“Confusion” in the Government’s ongoing retrenchment process has frustrated the country’s largest public sector union to the point that it is demanding the Prime Minister’s direct response.
Less than one week before Christmas, National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) officials have confirmed that Mottley will be on the receiving end of an urgent letter from the union, outlining a number of “important matters” to be addressed.
While not divulging further, NUPW General Secretary Roslyn Smith told Barbados TODAY of “some concerns . . . relating to how things are being handled”.
When pressed for further details, Smith would only say, “It relates to the whole issue which needs to be dealt with. There are a number of issues, which I am not happy about.”
She also gave no indication of a timeline in which she was expecting the PM’s response. When asked what, if any, action would be taken if the concerns are not addressed within a reasonable time she said, “I will write her and outline the areas that we are concerned with, then we will go from there. I will send off the letter by tomorrow and put the issues into perspective.”
The Government has completed 85 per cent of the first phase of retrenchment, it has said.
So far, 1,282 workers out of a planned 1,500 have been dismissed, as part of an International Monetary Fund-backed restructuring programme.
The layoff process has attracted claims that it was rushed, leading to questions about whether Government has in fact observed the last-in, first out principle as was promised.
Mottley charged that Government’s retrenchment exercise had fallen victim to sabotage, a claim which the NUPW has challenged her to prove.
Acting NUPW General Secretary, Delicia Burke described the layoffs as “the most confusion that I have ever seen”, with a lot of missteps.