The position which will see 3,000 public servants placed on the breadline between January 15 and March 15, 2014, is “unfortunate” and “clearly . . . a situation whereGovernment had no other choice”.
This is the position being held by the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB), and articulated by its president Cedric Murrell following a meeting with Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Chris Sinckler this morning.
“What I will say to people generally in this country, because we don’t know who will be going home, is that they must have faith. They must have an understanding that there are times when an economy goes through trials and tribulations. [But] what we have to recognise is that the only way we can positively move from this position to a better position is by growing this economy.
“By growing this economy, it means that every single person in this country, has to see how best they can contribute to the sum total of the output of this country. We have to ensure that that output is focused and able, wherever possible, to earn us the foreign exchange which we are loosing and which we need,” he said.
He suggested that this was where CTUSAB would be focusing it attention: on moving Barbados from its “bunker mentality . . . to [one] of flowering and growing”, after emerging from close to two-and-a-half hours of talks with the Prime Minister and other groupings which make up CTUSAB – the Barbados Union of Teachers, Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union and the Barbados Nurses Association, to name a few.
Those talks, Murrell said were aimed at gaining further clarification on the implications, which accompanied Sinckler’s Ministerial Statement on the floor of Parliament on Friday.
“We discussed how best the unions of this country under the umbrella of the congress can respond and react to those proposals. The congress’ executive board [will] meet tomorrow afternoon and we will discuss in depth and at some later time we will be discussing the matter with the Press [either Friday or Saturday.]
“We would have had from the minister, more explanations in terms of what has happened and those explanations have certainly [been] able to make other things clear. With regards to [whether we are satisfied or not with the situation] we are never satisfied when you have situation where as many of 3,000 of our colleagues are going to find themselves out of work.
“Clearly we have a responsibility, as the representative of those workers, to be able to ameliorate that situation as best as we could. That is really what the meeting was about,” Murrell stressed.
With regards to a perceived snub by government and them not being informed about the plans to sever workers, he noted that that matter had been discussed and had been resolved.