NIS honours long-serving staff

Being a public servant for almost half a century, and involved with labour relations for 44 of those years, retiring Chief Labour Officer, Vincent Burnett, was described as a ‘conciliator of note’, when he was honoured earlier this week by the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).

Burnett’s name featured prominently among the 2016 honourees at a Christmas Awards ceremony of that government agency, which has a responsibility for workers’ welfare. Burnett served as a director of the NIS since 2001.

Retiring NIS director and Chief Labour Officer Vincent Burnett receives a service award from Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo.

“A stickler for detail and dedicated commitment to duty characterized his work ethic. Those characteristics . . . enabled him to take on the role of ILO Desk Officer and [become] involved in the department’s annual estimates preparation,” said MC Allison Harewood as she read out the citation for Burnett at the Hilton Monday evening.

“He also developed a reputation as a conciliator of note, all the while being an exemplary labour officer. Moving through the ranks of the department, in 2009  Burnett emerged as Chief Labour Officer, becoming the department’s second home-grown chief,” Harewood said of the man who entered the public service in 1970.

Burnett, who has been on pre-retirement leave since September, expressed delight at being able to serve the NIS, Labour Department and country. “I just wish that National Insurance goes from strength to strength. And I hope that the investment portfolio would be expanded,” he said.

Expansion of its investment to spread and reduce the risk to workers’ money has always been a goal of the NIS, which has over the years seen most of its funds being borrowed by one entity, the Government of Barbados. The borrowed amount stood at $3.3 billion as of September this year, according the latest Central Bank’s quarterly economic report.

Delivering featured remarks, Minister of Labour, Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo conceded that the NIS had ‘missed some targets”, without stating what these were.  She however insisted that NIS has much to celebrate as it approaches its 50th anniversary next year.

Byer-Suckoo congratulated Burnett and other long service awardees “who we acknowledge this evening for your service, not only this year, but throughout the many years that you’ve served the National Insurance”.

NIS staff who gave from 10 to 30 years of service were honoured at the function.

Marcia Marshall (right) receives her 30-year award from Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo.
Heather Millar (right) receives her 30-year award from Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo.

10 Responses to NIS honours long-serving staff

  1. Peter December 30, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Why gift-wrap that award? Was there something you were ashamed of that you hid it with opaque gift-wrapping paper?
    Let me guess. It was either a plaque, A framed portrait of Errol Barrow or Fruendel Stuart, or a lovely painting/print of the NIS building. What else could it have been? He will be getting a good pension so there is no need for a cheque. Theladies received cheaply engraved plastic/glass plaques for posterity more than anything else.

  2. Peter December 30, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Look at their faces. They’re all asking the same question.. What the hell am I going to do with this?

  3. Hal Austin December 30, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Has Barbados, or the UWI, ever recognised the Emptage chap who invented the first search engine?
    What about Kamau Brathwaite, have we made him Poet Laureate for life?
    How about Malorie Blackman, have we made her children’s laureate fore a liftime of achievements?
    How about Gary Younge for outstanding journalism?
    The list goes on.

    • Peter December 30, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      Hal, I agree with you. How about Rihanna for Bajan singing non-Barbadian songs Every single one with back-up singers Because she strays off key and they are there to guide her back on key. How about the golden award foe Fruendel as in silence is golden? BT may remove this comment as they usually do when someone there gets offended by my comments.

  4. june December 30, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Please arrange for nis pension benefits to be paid on the same DATE each month instead of every two weeks (cheques) or every four Fridays (direct deposit). People cant budget properly.

  5. Ed December 30, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Why must you guys be negative all the time? These are service awards within a career, not national awards.

  6. Stump December 30, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Typical Bajan…..can always find a way to complain or find fault….can never see beyond their noses

  7. Stump December 30, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Typical Bajan…always see a way to find fault or complain

  8. Hal Austin December 31, 2016 at 4:55 am


    BT has a record of censorship, yet it speaks of free speech.

    • hcalndre December 31, 2016 at 6:31 am

      @Hal Austin, Peter should know that there`s no such thing as Free speech in barbados, just listen to the call-in programs and see how callers are been cut for what the host thinks that will cause the station to be sued because a public person feel they should not be exposed. He will have to go to ND which they try to silence and air their comments.


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