BRA process must not be rushed, warns Sir Roy

The Barbados Workers Union (BWU) is not prepared to accept any snap decisions regarding the future of Customs Officers yet to be integrated into the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA).

In fact, following a meeting today at Government House between BWU officials and Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler, former general secretary of the BWU Sir Roy Trotman told members of the media there was still “a large number of outstanding issues” which were critical to any decisions being made.

Among the issues are job descriptions and conditions of employment.

Sir Roy Trotman and other members of the BWU delegation which attended today’s meeting with Chris Sinckler.
Sir Roy Trotman and other members of the BWU delegation which attended today’s meeting with Chris Sinckler.

“We have had discussions of a number of issues, and a number of matters which we were not happy about have been discussed and agreed to, and where not agreed, they will be made clearer. But there is still a large number of outstanding issues, which are essential to having anybody make a determination regarding whether people want to transition to a revenue authority or whether they want to maintain their rights to stay in the central government,” explained Sir Roy.

“We are not anxious to have any speed exercise in making that determination because there are some people who are not yet appointed and whom we want to have appointments for,” he said.

Sir Roy also noted that for some appointed officers the transition into the revenue authority would present challenges for them.

“And we are endeavoring to make sure that where we know what those issues are we put them on the table.  The minister and the team on the other side have undertaken to do some further study regarding those matters, which we have spoken about and which have been the subject of written correspondence between the Barbados Workers Union and themselves. They will get back to us on some issues,” the trade unionist explained.

Sir Roy said the information regarding job descriptions and conditions of employment have been given to the BWU and they were “studying” them.

“And we are putting together further proposals to ensure that by the time the exercise is completed that parties on all sides are satisfied that we are doing the best for Barbados as a nation, but for the individual workers as well,” said Sir Roy.

Last week Sinckler, Minister of Labour Senator Dr Esther Byer, and representatives of the BWU met, after which Sinckler expressed optimism that about 95 per cent of the workers’ concerns had been addressed.

Sinckler also indicated that he might have to go back to Cabinet and seek to push back the July 1 deadline to integrate the Customs Department into the BRA.

Asked if he had a deadline in mind when he wanted the matters to be fully resolved, Sir Roy said: “No, the Minister is talking about a time he would like the options made available but we have said that we will take that on advisement. We will have discussions with our members and we will write them back on those issues”.

He said the follow-up to today’s meeting would be that “both sides will be back in touch with each other [within] another week or so”.

The former BWU head could not say how many of the Customs Officers were not willing to join the BRA.

“We do not have that yet because people are still hoping to have some issues clarified before they make those decisions,” he said.

Opting not to give details, Sir Roy said: “We have received indications that offers along the lines we are suggesting will be made, but don’t forget we are still in the process of negotiating options. Options have not yet been offered to anybody, and that is so on our request”.

9 Responses to BRA process must not be rushed, warns Sir Roy

  1. dave June 9, 2015 at 6:40 am

    Not only should it not be rushed, it should not happen at all because it has already happened where the Revenue Collection part of Customs has already been sucked up by BRA: The Vat Division and the Excise was originally to go to BRA and those sections have been ‘taken’ up BRA already.

    The contention is that the other part of Customs -which is the Law Enforcement side of Customs that includes Officers and Guards should not be ceded to the BRA because this was not the original intent. What is so difficult about this that the Ministry of Finance cannot understand. Leave the Customs please ! You are looking to destroy something that years after, the country will be sorry for and pay for while you people will be somewhere enjoying your hefty pensions gained after 8 years in Ministerial positions and after 3 years of acting in a higher position as is the case with the Public Officers in the Ministry of Finance.

    The Customs Officers and Guards must resist the move with every muscle and sinew in their bodies . It would be for the good of the country. The short sighted people in the Ministry of Finance do not know the full extent of the damage that they seek to wrought. They are listening to Consultants from -over and away-who come with a blanket application of their desires in order to justify the sums of money that they are being paid. Barbados must say No to these people just like how we said No to the Ship Rider’s agreement and No to the IMF as we did in 1990s when the IMF officials were asked to leave Bay Street.

    There are some local Officials who seem to think that they must follow the advice of people from Overseas who have no knowledge of our culture and who would have done surveys and interviews and based their recommendations on such surveys as if when you interview people that they do not embellish stories, and exaggerate situations etc. If you are from overseas , you do understand the lingua and nuances of the Bajan vernacular but you based your recommendations on such. We all know what surveys do and how misleading these can be.

    Sivers, Sinckler, Stuart, CARTAC, IMF and the like—Leave the Customs as Customs and forget the crap about External Taxes and whatever. Give the Customs the necessary support and set standards. If you want to do something, provide a New Customs headquarters near the Bridgetown Port. There is enough Land there. Change the Uniform of the Department. Provide the Department with the necessary Training and Equipment , Pay the Officers proper salaries for the important job they do for this country and lift the image of the Department. Customs, a Law Enforcement Agency going under BRA is a No No.It is not necessary. Do not talk about Homeland Security in the USA. Not the same . Different Culture; different perspective. Leave Customs as Customs -Keep Excise and Vat. This is the only position to adopt.

  2. Andrew The Voice June 9, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Why dont this guy Sir Roy go away, didnt he retire and they have another person heading the BWU, let the woman do her job and stop hogging the spotlight, she will never advance her capabilities if this guy (Blocker Roy) is always there. If he is a consultant then consult and not be always up front and center on issues.
    GO AWAY.

  3. Winnie Meade
    Winnie Meade June 9, 2015 at 7:29 am

    To the workers please if sir Roy tell you all not to take the money take it and run so dam fast ?? Look at sandly lane n royal shop not one worker get no money come on miss t more where are you if you cannot do the job give it to someone else don’t let sir Roy take it away from you

  4. Ras Small
    Ras Small June 9, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Dem really believe unions/B’s/D’s out to serve dem best interest! Wunna getting sell out mo n’ mo each day. When wanna see he in he Audi, stop he n’ ask he.

  5. Marcia Clarke June 9, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Be Patient.

  6. Patrick Blackman June 9, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    The close relationship unions have always maintained with the political parties have often made me very uncomfortable to say the least. Unions have to understand that they should always proceed in their negotiations on the basis of “what is best for the country”. If you persist in fixing trees you will destroy the ecosystem and hence the forest.

  7. dave June 9, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Toni Moore is said to be out of the island.


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