By Kimberley Cummins
Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw is peeved with some public sector workers shirking their responsibilities and not giving the government an “honest day’s work”.
At the same time, she warns that if these people don’t pull up their socks they might very well find themselves out of a job. Addressing constituents at the annual general meeting of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) St. Michael South East branch at the Parkinson Memorial Secondary School Sunday evening, the Parliamentary representative issued a call to workers who love their country “to do better”.
Bradshaw contended that Barbadians are not getting the best out of workers and the public is well aware. As a result, she wants workers to reflect upon the “considerable amounts of money” the government is spending to make sure that it has created programmes in order to keep them employed. For this, she believes that they owe it not only to themselves but to their communities and country, in general, to give an honest day’s work as well.
“Things may be hard but at the end of the day if we are not getting the returns on a number of programmes we got to cut the programmes. Then you out of work, then you gine be cussing us all over again. So, we are in this together. This is not about drawing a salary without being able to give 100 per cent but rather being able to give of your all to make sure that there is a benefit to the country and indeed to you as well,” she maintained.
Specifically referencing people employed in the national clean-up programme, otherwise known at the ash project, and workers at the National Conservation Commission (NCC), Bradshaw commended some for beautifying the roads. However, she was equally intolerant of the others whom she said were satisfied with giving a mere three out of the eight hours per day they are employed. Or those that finished cleaning and then they leave bags filled with debris in the streets waiting for somebody to coordinate the collection of them but then the rain comes and washes the same collected debris back into the drains.
These are the types of complaints Bradshaw said she received as Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources and that was why she warned that she had made the decision rather than sit in meetings and be told “what people think I want to hear” she would be going into the communities to get a truer reflection on the productivity of workers. In so doing, she hopes to find the solutions to the existing problems sooner rather than later.
The minister also lamented that one of the challenges facing the public sector is proper supervision and she took some supervisors to task for not fulfilling the duties of their jobs properly. She believed that Barbadians need to get to the point where they take responsibility for what tasks they have been given because in the end, “Barbados belong to all uh we”.
Using the chronic late reopening of some schools at the start of each term as an example, the former Minister of Education insisted that sometimes the problem for delayed openings was the availability of finances but she charged that more often than not, it was due to somebody dropping the ball in terms of supervision.
“I talking it straight this evening because I can no longer sit down and be complicit in the behaviour of people when I love my country. When I get to see a bus stop, I want to see all the bush around the bus stop cleared. I don’t want that you just clear an area around it but you left the whole area leading to it, both in front and behind, and you gone long ‘bout you business and you drawing a salary. It cannot work! We have to start to pay attention to these things and we have to take pride in our country because this is all we got. We can’t go nowhere else; this is what we have. We have to make sure that the people who are coming to work and drawing a salary, who all of us are contributing to, that they are giving an honest day’s work. We cannot ask for anything else but that people give an honest day’s work,” Bradshaw noted, adding that government must also make sure that the workers are supplied with the tools to do their job and must make sure that the people get paid.