Alleyne: Merger could cost jobs at UDC
Director of the Urban Development Commission (UDC) Derek Alleyne is suggesting that some members of staff would likely lose their jobs in a merger with the Rural Development Commission (RDC) and the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) recently expressed fears that Government would used the proposed merger, on which a Cabinet decision is pending, to sever staff at the NHC.
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has given the assurance that the amalgamation was “not an exercise in retrenchment” and that Government was not in the business of “rushing to dismember the organizations and scatter the people all over the place”.
Speaking with journalists today on the sidelines of the UDC’s Staff Entrepreneurial Showcase at the state agency’s Bridge Street location, Alleyne said he was not too perturbed at the moment becaue the merging of the three statutory bodies would not take place anytime soon.
Still, in explaining that “a lot of technical things” had to take place first, he hinted at possible job losses.
“You have to tell them who going, who want to go, what levels of pension that person is at, how much it will cost you. And if all the people decide they are not going, how much it will cost you to pay them out. So I am not worried about that right now,” Alleyne said.
However, he made it clear that “with all this recession we don’t want anybody here [talking] about sending home anybody”.
The UDC boss indicated that his preoccupation at present was with continuing the agency’s housing, roads and tenancy programmes and responsibilities with a reduced budget.
Besides the impact of the dreary economic conditions which have caused more people to be looking to the UDC for assistance, the Government agency has been hit by a budget cut of $3 million to $5.5 million in the 2016-2017 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure announced earlier this year.
“We still have to work. I still have to get my staff busy. So every day we sit down and we try think up what else can we do to make the work outside easier,” he said.
Alleyne made it clear while the UDC had no control over the merger, he had already advised the staff to be prepared in the event it goes ahead.
Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman, who has responsibility for the NHC, said last week that agency had been doing all it could to avoid any amalgamation.