It’s privatization through the backdoor – Sutherland

The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has taken issue with the way in which the Freundel Stuart administration has gone about privatizing aspects of the operations of the state-run Sanitation Service Authority (SSA).

While not suggesting in any that it was against privatization, which was a major plank of its 2013 general election campaign, the BLP today accused the ruling Democratic Labour Party of “trying to introduce through the backdoor, the very privatization that it [the DLP] had rejected in the last election”.

However, party spokesman Dwight Sutherland, who is the shadow minister of health and labour, stopped short of suggesting that the move to outsource this island’s garbage collection was a bad idea.

Instead, Sutherland, who is also the BLP’s mouthpiece on the environment in the Lower House, took issue with the $411 per hour rate that is to be paid to private haulers for eight hours a day, five days a week over the next six months, saying it was beyond “excessive” and “causes one to wonder how the SSA can pay this but not find the money to buy the much needed garbage trucks.

“A rate of $411 per hour has been stated. Even if one assumes three men working per truck at a high rate of $200 per day and two tanks of diesel for the eight hours costing $300, that leaves more than $2,300 per day to deal with insurance and financing costs and profit to the contractor,” Sutherland said, while arguing: “Barbadians can easily work out that each contractor will have almost $50,000 per month after paying for labour and diesel – more than enough to cover any costs for borrowing and insurance.”

The Opposition spokesman also took issue with the “failure of the SSA and the ministers of environment, finance and labour to discuss with the SSA workers and the unions” the plan to contract out garbage collection, while pointing out that “there will be obvious nervousness on the part of the workers who will naturally be worrying about the security of their jobs, given that they are being paid now for a job that they cannot perform because the equipment is not available”.

His statement comes against the backdrop of reports that SSA workers were unhappy with Government’s new outsourcing arrangement and that the collectors from the waste collection agency were refusing to work with the private haulers because of concerns over insurance and other terms of the agreement.

The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), which represents SSA workers, has also taken issue with the partial divestment of the SSA’s garbage collection services, saying it will not only result in massive retrenchment at the SSA but also redound to Barbadians paying more for waste retrieval services.

In view of these concerns, the Opposition is calling for a thorough discussion nationally, as well as consultation with workers and trade unions.

“The Barbados Labour Party calls on this Government to respect the people of Barbados and the workers and come clean,” Sutherland said.

“You cannot introduce privatization through the backdoor, especially when the Government has no mandate, electorally or morally to introduce through a backdoor that which they vehemently opposed at the last election,” he said.

Sutherland lay blame for the current garbage “crisis” at the feet of Government for failing to prioritize its spending three years ago when the crisis started, arguing that inaction by the administration had significantly compounded the situation.

“Minister [of the Environment Dr Denis] Lowe and the SSA chose to commit $28 million to the building of a high rise headquarters at Vaucluse, St Thomas instead of buying trucks to collect garbage islandwide,” the Opposition spokesman charged.

He also said while a minimum of 35 trucks were needed on a daily basis to keep Barbados clean, the waste collection agency was “now fighting to get ten trucks per day on the road”.

15 Responses to It’s privatization through the backdoor – Sutherland

  1. Andrew Simpson
    Andrew Simpson October 12, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Even when good initiatives are implemented, execution seems questionable. This clearly demonstrates the need to have qualified professionals in positions of authority. Unless there is a higher strategy involved that my limited understanding cannot fathom.

  2. Alex Alleyne October 12, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Name just one thing that this administration try to do that did not went under the hammer. “Damn if you do, damn if you don’t.

  3. Phil October 12, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Sorting garbage begins with the little ones. A program should be implemented whereby all nursaries and schools from kindergarten up be taught and practically done in these learning institutions. It has to be a part of the curriculum. It is a program implemented from early in the USA, Canada, Sweden Australia, Japan New Zealand, U.K and many other developed countries around the world. Once we get it started here in Barbados, it will resonate into a good working habit. Incidentally, I sent a comment on this privatization issue to BT. They posted it and then removed it. I never offended anyone in my comment.

  4. Robbie-John Foster
    Robbie-John Foster October 12, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Wasn’t BLP not calling for privatization all along? Just shut up!

  5. jrsmith October 12, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I wonder how many people of our nation would join a march for a day to march from the garrison savannah , to the ministerial buildings bay street and then on to parliament buildings, just singing ,,,,,,, ( we shall over come one day),,,,…. carrying pictures of all politicians in Barbados, at the end a bond fire is made with the pictures… not a word of protest…
    This is just to show we are still Barbadians although we are facing serious economic pressure ,from no persons other than our politicians and nothing the people say can change anything…

    Privatization through the back door , this would be the best thing ever done for Barbados and all the people on this island and while they are at it , the transport system , the airport , the seaport and CBC .,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    I wonder how our Government does business , can you see them getting a loan from any financial organization and turning up with suitcases and a truck forgetting the world has technically moved on….

  6. Loretta Griffith October 12, 2016 at 11:32 am

    If this government continues to listen to all these obstructionists in this country, nothing will get done or implemented.
    It is time government do what is in the best interest of this country and forget those who are hell bent on taking this country further down the drain.
    Those of us who are not politically blinded can see past the facade.
    We need persons of integrity to stand up and call a spade a spade. Tell persons when they are wrong regardless of whom we offend. Too much deceit.

  7. Phil October 12, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Loretta, I had a parrot named Loretta. She dead now. De cat say dat she talk too much. Anyhow How much DEM pay you to talk yuh tripe? Yuh got dem well fooled cause I sure you does put yuh X in de red cormer..

  8. Loretta Griffith October 12, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Phil, I value my self worth and integrity. Unfortunately no one can pay this dead parrot.
    My intelligence is limited, so I will not continue to display my abysmal ignorance with you.

  9. Phil October 12, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Loretta, Thanks for your admission Check your last sentence
    It says you will not display your abysmal ignorance does that not tell us you are abysmally ignorant? Go read. reading radiates light…

  10. Loretta Griffith October 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Phil, the last paragraph says who or what I am. I did not contradict myself. All I wrote was self explanatory.
    It would seem you cannot comprehend English.
    Any how I will not continue to display my abysmal ignorance.
    Let us stop the pulling or tearing down and try to uplift ourselves and country.
    Country first and Party secondary. I

  11. Phil October 12, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Loretta my sweetie, I do not support any political party. I agree with you however. Stay well

  12. Sherlock Holmes. October 12, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    It baffles my mind to this day how this guy beat Suckoo, for every time he opens his mouth i am amazed,then again this is the nature of politics.

    • Coralita October 12, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      Lololol, is all I will say for now.

      I am not amazed though. I am sure that those who worked with him prior to his political life are not amazed either.

  13. Tony Waterman October 14, 2016 at 1:33 am

    @Alex Alleyne!!!!How can anyone name anything when whatever is being done is being done Ass backwards???

    The Caterpillar at the Dump, that was costing Taxpayers all their arms and all their Legs, when that Money scheduled to be paid out could have Purchased TWO Caterpillars,and this Deal is NOT a good Deal for the Taxpayers of Barbados, how do you thing the SSA Workers feel working for what they are being Paid and seeing all this Money being handed out to Private Companies??
    This is when the Union should Call a Strike as these Private Contractors are in Fact taking Union Jobs, and be aware i am NOT a Fan of Unions, but i will back them on this one, the Govt. should have negotiated a Lease of Truck and Workers with the Owners of those Garbage Trucks, so that they would be workin For and under the Control of the SSA, and being paid at the same rate as the Unionised SSA Workers.

    This is just friends stuffing the Pockets of Friends with taxpayers Money.

    did Josey Y Josey not offer to pick up Garbage Free ???
    how come he is NOT in this Deal , or is he??? i dont see his name in any of these articles, wonder why ???

  14. Loretta Griffith October 14, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Tony Waterman I don’t want to appear confrontational, but if my memory serves me correct I saw Mr Cherry on television saying he got a piece of the pie.


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