No need to panic, says PM
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart today met with senior civil servants responsible for personnel and financial matters for an update and clarifications following widespread concerns expressed regarding the situation of temporary public workers after the presentation of this year’s Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.
And, at the end of the near 90-minute talks with the Head of the Civil Service, Martin Cox; Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Service, Alyson Forte; Acting Chief Personnel Officer, Margaret Mayers; Acting Permanent Secretary, Finance, Nancy Headley; Acting Accountant General, Dane Coppin and Acting Director Information Systems in the Treasury Department, Mary Walrond, Prime Minister Stuart gave the assurance that there is no need for alarm.
He said: “It has emerged that a lot of the alarm at this time is without basis. Many of the queries raised relate to salaries and wages for August which had nothing to do with the Budget.
“An analysis of the existing financial situation following the budgetary proposal which took effect from September 1, 2013, is being done within all the ministries and departments, with a deadline set for September 30. This information will be submitted to the Director of Finance and Economic Affairs.”
Stuart explained that the results of those analyses would be examined and then “we will know what will be the real impact of the 10 per cent cut in Government’s expenditure on the emoluments of temporary employees, persons in acting positions and substitutes. We will then know if anyone presently employed will be affected, but our preliminary analyses show no cause for undue disquiet”.
He pointed out that all the parties involved, including the Ministry of the Civil Service, would continue dialogue on the matter, but stressed that the discussions were not intended to compromise the objectives set out in the Financial Statement, which must be met.
“All of this will lead to a more efficient, effective and productive public service,” he indicated.
The Prime Minister advised that an effective communication process would be put in place to ensure both the public sector and the trade unions were fully informed going forward.