More manners, please, Sinckler tells NHC workers
National Housing Corporation (NHC) employees who belittle and ill-treat people who call into the state agency have been put on notice that their behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
Chris Sinckler, parliamentary representative for St Michael North West which has the largest number of NHC estates in any constituency, sounded the warning today as he spoke of receiving negative reports about treatment of NHC clients.
In contributing to discussion on a resolution to vest 4.6 acres of land at Rosemont, Deacons Road, Black Rock, St Michael in the NHC the Minister of Finance, who stressed that he was speaking as an MP, said even though the corporation continued to struggle financially, scarcity of resources was no excuse for treating people “any less than they should be treated”.
“I get telephone calls or meet people while in the constituency and they complain about how some people in the corporation, particularly in the customer services department, treat them when they call about issues,” Sinckler said.
“People do have legitimate concerns and some [employees are] telling people when they call in there ‘Sinckler gi wunna de units, leh he fix dem’ and all that kind of rubbish. I have spoken to the Minister [of Housing] about it already, as I have spoken to the general manager.”
Speaking directly to the NHC employees, he added: “Whether you feel the issue is serious enough or not serious, trivial or whatever, you do not have a right as a customer service rep . . . to belittle people or make them feel that they are a bother to you, because at the end of the day it is their taxes that are keeping you employed.”
He further advised the workers that if they could not meet a client’s request, whether because of a lack of resources or otherwise, they had to communicate that in a “polite, decent and affable way”.
Sinckler was quick to add, however, that he did not believe the offending employees were in the majority.
“I don’t think it is widespread. I don’t even think it is one per cent of the employees of the NHC,” he said, adding that there were “some wonderful employees at the NHC who get up everyday and work hard on behalf of the tenants and people of Barbados”.
“I want to thank them for their work and encourage them to continue, even in difficult circumstances where the corporation doesn’t have a whole lot of money to do everything that everybody wants, to assist my constituents and all of the others who have to call on the corporation for solutions of one nature or the other,” Sinckler added.