Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
by C. Foster
In a recent article, Economic Advisor Dr. Kevin Greenidge made a statement that any increase in salary for the civil service must be commensurate with productivity.
There are several metrics that one may use to measure productivity, but there are also several variables that one must consider that may impact the results of one’s calculations. It makes one wonder what tools were used by the experts, and if, like any good researcher, the various limitations of the research were also considered.
Then one must also wonder, is this a case of lazy statistics, or a case of taking a less than salubrious delight in the fantastic fallacy that others have consumed with relish – that civil servants are lazy and unproductive?
While there may be some bad apples on the banquet table, civil servants on a whole are not a bunch of lazy, unqualified sycophants.
There seems to be a trend for some politically-appointed persons, particularly those with private sector roots, to push this narrative that civil servants are lazy to then justify any disrespect, “punishments” or injustice that are to be rained upon their heads. Think about it.
Would you stand up for someone whom you believed their punishment was well-deserved? Or would you support their elevation or awards if you deemed them to be unworthy?
So while the unprincipled are licking the juices of civil servant vilification from their fingers, may I offer some sustenance for those who feel starved for truth?
There are civil servants who work ridiculously long hours every day, whether it’s manual labour or on their computers. Sun up to past sun down can be an occasional or regular occurrence, sometimes six or seven days a week with no extra pay.
There are civil servants who are highly qualified academically and experientially who are disregarded by those who should trust them just because they work in the public service. There are civil servants who do the groundwork that make our officials shine.
There are civil servants who take care of our children and their futures sometimes without thanks, furthermore talks of extra pay. There are civil servants who go above and beyond to take care of our sick, even at risk to their own lives. There are civil servants who keep this country running, and the day that they stop we will be lost, whether it is our infrastructure, our utilities, our social programmes … WE – WOULD – BE – LOST.
We would be lost and yet these good men and women are treated as if they are among the lowliest of the low. Just collateral damage as our country seeks prosperity. Just pawns in a game where they are never to aspire to become Kings and Queens themselves unless they pledge to never think for themselves.
There is a lack of appreciation, a lack of gratitude, and a lack of common decency from various quarters that they experience every day but they keep pressing on, not for love of money, but for love of country.
In some ways, I wonder if I should feel sorry for those who paint all public servants with the same uncivilized brush. Is it that they are knowingly pushing a false narrative or is it that it is presented so often that this is what they truly believe?
People need to stop consuming this garbage to ensure that they do not become what they eat.