Barbados’ largest public sector union is telling Government its retrenchments have left a number of departments under too much strain and stress, and it wants to discuss a possible rehiring of some of those sent home.
Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Delcia Burke said today the union will be seeking to sit down at the negotiation table with Government early next year to discuss restoring some normalcy to the proper functioning of these departments.
Burke said the resulting shortage of staff is placing undue burden and stress on those workers left behind who now have to perform the duties of two and three people.
“We have a number of issues with persons who have lost their jobs. We are going to maintain that the Government sets up at the earliest possible time, the mitigation unit so that workers can be helped. We also want to see in areas where the departments are short staff, that something is done, so that the workers who are over-extending can go back to the normal work habit,” Burke told Barbados TODAY.
She identified the Statistical Department and Customs as two of those areas currently experiencing a level of chaos.
“We are having some issues in the Statistical Department where they have cut the clerical staff, leaving only about two out of 23. That department is having some challenges. In the Customs Department the same thing…they are short staffed. We have to represent on their behalf to ensure that those numbers come back up to manageable levels, so that the workers can work comfortably,” the acting union leader said.
Burke warned the Mia Mottley-led administration that the union cannot allow this state of affairs to continue to the disadvantage of the employees.
“We also have to go back and work on behalf of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) because there are a number of issues that they have to have resolved,” she added.
She noted that the New Year will also see the union fighting on behalf of the locally-based pilots of LIAT Airlines.
“We have just taken on the Barbados-based pilots of LIAT . . . and they, too, have a number of grievances. So we are trying to set up a meeting early in the New Year with the CEO of LIAT to see if we can have these grievances resolved,” Burke told Barbados TODAY.
While declining to provide details of the grievances at this stage, Burke however said that they included the issue where some pilots who have retired and have still not received their pension.
“There are a number of issues and I don’t really want to go into them until we receive correspondence from LIAT, but there are a number of issues that seem only to affect the Barbados-based pilots,” she added.