Union and SSA to discuss restructuring
The state-owned Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) has apparently taken the first tangible step towards restructuring, in keeping with a policy of the Freundel Stuart administration to review the operations of various statutory bodies.
Acting General Manager Roslyn Knight today reportedly posted a circular on the SSA’s notice board which spoke to restructuring of the solid waste management entity.
The terse contents of the memorandum did not address possible job losses, but official sources told Barbados TODAY that the southern depot and those in St Philip, St George, St John and upper Christ Church were to be split in two. It is generally accepted that in any restructuring exercise, some people may have to go home, but Roslyn Smith, acting general secretary of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) which represents SSA employees, told Barbados TODAY this afternoon she doubted anyone would be retrenched.
“We recognized that (Government) didn’t touch (the SSA) during the layoffs (in public sector last year). The problem with Sanitation is (lack of) management, vehicles and things like that,” Smith said.
She said the union’s leadership had a meeting scheduled for Thursday with the SSA management, but to discuss the non-payment of workers who went on strike last month.
Smith said a special meeting would be held to discuss the restructuring, as well as the terms and conditions of employment for SSA workers. No date has yet been set for those talks.
As far back as April 2013, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government identified statutory boards for restructuring in order to help control spending and allow it to better manage the massive fiscal deficit.
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler is on record as saying that while the changes would be done without causing “undue dislocation”, agencies such as the Transport Board, Barbados Water Authority, Sanitation Service Authority and National Conservation Commission would be subjected to “structural reforms”.
Sinckler said while he was hearing “a lot of comments about the size of Government and all of these things”, he recalled that under the last Barbados Labour Party administration “a plethora of statutory agencies were created”.
“Invest Barbados, . . . KOMI that runs the Kensington Oval, Needhams that is responsible for Hilton (Hotel), Rural Development Commission, Urban Development Commission, (Commission for) Pan African Affairs, a whole plethora of them each having their own civil establishment, each having their own boards, each having their own director, … each requiring a transfer from the Government,” he stated.
The minister noted that some of these entities had been having fiscal issues in relation to their performance, revenue and expenditures.