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McDowall elated

Union boss celebrates pending public service appointments

Thousands of temporary public officers with more than three years’ continuous service are set to receive their long awaited appointments to the public service, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler announced Tuesday.

And already one of the island’s main trade unions is celebrating.

“I am absolutely elated,” President of the National Union of Public Workers Akanni McDowall told Barbados TODAY in an immediate reaction.

As Sinckler was preparing to wrap up the near three-hour presentation of the 2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, he announced that Cabinet had stamped its approval on a recommendation put forward by a Working Committee led by the Ministry of the Civil Service to rectify the problem, which he said had emerged from the Public Service Act 2007-41.

Lamenting that some public servants had been working for more than ten years without security of tenure, Sinckler told the Lower House the untenable situation had caused “tremendous discomfiture and disquiet among public servants”.

“This situation has put many of these individuals, their families and their livelihoods in a state of suspended animation as it is nearly impossible for any of them to plan out a secure future from a position of uncertainty.

“As such, few if any of them can plan for such things as educational advancement, mortgages or other types of financial loans to improve self or property, as financial institutions cite their unsecured employment status,” the minister told Parliament.

Sinckler said the Committee would advise Cabinet on the procedure, methodology and legal requirements for the execution of a programme to facilitate the appointments.

The NUPW president said the appointment of temporary civil servants was top priority for his executive and praised the Freundel Stuart administration for taking action.

“As part of our salary negotiations – remember that we are asking for 23 per cent salary increase for public servants – but as part of our non-salary items we would have asked the Government to appoint all public servants who were in vacant posts for more than three years.

“So I am absolutely excited and I usually give the Government licks when I have to, but I can definitely say they did a good job on that particular point,” McDowall said.

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