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Not a boy!


The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) wants the Freundel Stuart Government to take retrenchment of public servants off the table, even as it struggles to find a palatable national solution to its worrying fiscal deficit and dwindling foreign reserves.

General secretary Dennis Clarke said the union had made its position quite clear in meetings two weeks ago with the Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and Central Bank Governor

Dr Delisle Worrell.

“We did not accept the whole approach to layoffs because

we believe that the workers, as promised, should not be laid

off in the public service; and that is basically our position in the whole matter. They [Government] have to find alternatives at this point in time when all over the world we see public servants are being taken advantage of. They are bearing the brunt

of the burden  in this economic crisis,” Clarke told

Barbados TODAY.

There has been mounting speculation that at least 3,000 Government workers could be soon be on the breadline from as early as January next year. However, Clarke would neither confirm nor deny that any such figure was discussed in the

recent meeting with the top officials. He would only say that that the NUPW would do all it could to prevent widespread layoffs

in the Government service.


“If that is the figure, and I  am stressing if, it means then that for this 3,000, you will need to multiply that by three. You are affecting at least three mouths in every household, and then you have to look at the ripple effect in the private sector. That is why we are waiting to meet with the Ministry of Civil Service

to hear then what is the real position with this whole question of layoffs.

“That is why on Thursday we will  raise the matter with the Min istry of the Civil Service. This is our regular meeting where we will want to  hear  [Government’s]  real  position.  Our real bargaining partner is the Ministry of Civil Service. I  am not saying the parties that we [the NUPW] would have met with  [Sinckler and Worrell] are lying, but when the Civil Service is coming to the bargaining table, they have to come to us with something realistic that we can sit down and discuss,” he explained .

Clarke’s comments came as one Government spokesman

reported  that the Stuart administration  was busy fine-tuning arrangements for the likely cuts. The official, who did not wish to be quoted , also refused  to be drawn into any discussion about  an overall  retrenchment

figure, but he said the current emphasis was on “consolidating” lease arrangements, cleaning. security and other “significant” administrative costs.

Mention was also made of

getting the union to agree to a freeze of increments, but Clarke said that had not been put on the table in discussions with Sinckler and Worrell.

In any event, he said, that was

not a matter for consideration  by

the union, which had come

up with its own “mini-budget” for public servants.

“When the time is appropriate


we will put it on the table for consideration by the Ministry of the Civil Service, but those things will stay close to our chests until we have had

that meeting.”

Asked if there was a figure for layoffs that the union would be comfortable with, Clarke responded saying “not one”.

He however refused to be drawn into talk about a possible devaluation of the Barbados dollar should Government delay any further the needed expenditure cuts. He also refused to comment

on the union’s response should the Government

proceed with any layoff plan, which also comes amid a visit by a team from the International

Monetary Fund.

“I dont want to see it get to that stage in this

country,” he said.

One Response to Not a boy!

  1. Harriett December 6, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Mr Clarke are you serious? What about all of those persons who were hired in the period leading up to the last elections? Surely, you would not be uncomfortable if temporary employees in this category are terminated?

    Isn’t it time that leaders in this country start to look at the good of the entire nature and stop looking only at their own narrow interest??


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