Long queues at Government agencies and departments across the island as Barbadians conduct business has been flagged as a growing concern by the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations (CTUSAB).
In a statement late Tuesday, the umbrella labour body declared that lengthy wait times cause tremendous inconvenience to workers. It blamed an inadequate civil service staff and problems with the rollout of new e-Government technologies.
While demanding an immediate review of public sector manpower needs and operational systems in the various departments, CTUSAB has further challenged Government not to prioritise improving the ease of doing business ratings with international entities at the expense of its citizens.
The statement said: “The Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) holds the view that the problem of inadequate staff may be as a consequence of the retrenchment of workers in the public service, following the implementation of the BERT [Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation] Programme.
“Paradoxically, while the debate in the legislature seems concerned mainly about the ease of doing business with international entities, Barbadians are experiencing distress with doing business as evidenced by these long queues.”
The Congress predicted the slow service at Government departments would have a domino effect on national productivity when dozens of workers are forced to spend hours away from their jobs.
It continued: “The contention remains that these inefficiencies in the delivery of service in the public sector, run counterproductive to the Government’s intention to promote improvement in doing business,” the statement continued.
“CTUSAB calls for an immediate review of the manpower needs and the operational systems which are engaged in the various agencies and departments, with particular emphasis and a sense of urgency, at the judiciary and other regulatory bodies.”
The delivery of service by businesses did not escape the CTUSAB’s criticism, as it noted problems of poor service delivery in the private sector.
The statement concluded: “The Congress cites as an example the complaints of long queues and poor customer service being experienced in the banking sector.
“Labour posits that the matter of service delivery warrants immediate attention by public and private sector managers, if the frustration of the public, declining productivity and challenges in doing business, are to be addressed.”