Not right!

Workers claim NCC has hired 170 new employees

Workers at the National Conservation Commission (NCC) are becoming increasingly agitated over reports that the statutory corporation had hired 170 new employees in recent weeks, three years after 200 workers were severed.

Last July the Employment Rights Tribunal headed by Hal Gollop, QC, ruled that the 200 workers were unfairly dismissed when they were sent home in April 2014 as part of Government’s cost-cutting measures, and ordered compensation equivalent to 52 weeks’ wages. In addition, Government had agreed that the retrenched workers would be given first preference for any future vacancies within the state agency.

However, multiple sources said not only were the retrenched workers ignored in this latest recruitment effort, but eyebrows were further raised upon discovering that many of the new employees hailed from the constituency of Minister of the Environment and Drainage Dr Denis Lowe.

“This cannot be right. We have persons that were sent home and still not working, persons who lose their house and catching their tail, but you could now turn around and hire new people,” one frustrated employee said.

“We also went to management asking for new tools and they tell us they don’t have money to buy them. Right now we don’t have enough rakes and leaf blowers for the staff compliment but they could find money to pay 170 new workers plus tools for them to work.”

President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall told Barbados TODAY the issue had been raised with the union, which was investigating the claim.

He said if the allegation were confirmed it would certainly strengthen the union’s resolve to push for a salary increase for public workers.

The NUPW has demanded a 23 per cent pay rise for Government workers, although McDowall recently said the union was prepared to compromise

“These are very troubling allegations which the union would have to investigate. If it is true, the first point has to be that the Government has to learn to prioritize. We would have been asking for a salary increase and for the Government to bring on 170 workers without first making sure that public servants get an increase is irresponsible. The union is not against people being brought on, but we see the salary increase for public servants as a top priority,” McDowall said.

In addition, the recently reelected union boss contended, that “when the workers were retrenched there was an agreement with the Government that those workers would first be considered if any job opportunities would later arise within the NCC. We don’t know if this is the case but we are still doing our investigations and if is not the case, we are certainly going to have an issue with that,” he cautioned.

However, Lowe has strongly denied having any information about appointments at the NCC, telling Barbados TODAY he was neither familiar with, nor did he control the agency’s day-to-day operations, and was therefore unable to confirm or deny the claim.

“Why would you think that you could call me and find out from me if I know whether or not 170 persons were hired at the NCC? You need to look at what is, and what is not, policy, and the minister would not have knowledge relative to the day-to-day operations of the National Conservation Commission. Why would I have that information?”

The minister was also adamant that he would not comment further on the issue unless Barbados TODAY revealed its sources.

“If you can’t reveal the name of your source I can’t speak to you. I don’t chase ghosts,” Lowe stressed.

Repeated attempts to reach NCC General Manager Keith Neblett proved futile, and messages left with his office were not returned up to the time of publication.

Just last month, NUPW General Secretary Roslyn Smith had told the union’s 73rd annual conference that the clock had also been turned back on Government’s public sector job cuts, while warning that Barbadians were being made “perpetual pawns, scapegoats and playthings” of the country’s political leaders.

Smith said at the time that Government had severed over 3,000 workers “in the lower rungs of the public sector only”, but had since “gradually and discretely” rehired over 2,500 to date.

9 Responses to Not right!

  1. Sunshine Sunny Shine April 11, 2017 at 12:19 am

    What does anyone expect from the Low Lowe. Low Lowe will do anything to win back the favour of his constituency. So what better way to do that by hiring all from his constituency and should the Low life and his government win the next election (which is a long shot) he and his government can turn around and send this new set home – again. After all, the government has deficits to cut and an economy to stablize. So history is repeating itself and bajans look like they are going to accept it a second time around because they are gullible and voiceless. Go Low Lowe Go, push it, Go Low Lowe Go, push it!

  2. Tony Webster April 11, 2017 at 4:31 am

    FACT: Bajans got brains. And a memory. Desperate LOWE men…do desperate things. Like licking-out N.I.S. money. Like printing $tuff in Church Village
    FACT: Fool me once…
    FACT: tek de job…de money…but VOTE wid some sense in yah head. Effin yuh got a really rotten tooth…PULL IT OUT!
    FACTS…jes’ doan go -way easy…

  3. Andrew Simpson April 11, 2017 at 8:44 am

    With the advent of artificial smoke, discernment is needed now, more than ever, to determine whether there is actual fire. It appears to me that some politicians are becoming rather unpopular, even to the point of silence, to stay under the radar of scrutiny. Maybe it’s time for public servants to publish online, information as to what is, or is not being achieved in the carrying out of their posts on a daily or weekly blog. Ministers of government tend to spend more effort concealing the results of poor decisions than effecting good ones. Whatever happened to good old fashioned integrity, where resignations would follow failed policies and fiascos? Barbadians, we need design and develop a new governance platform that removes power from the few and places it in the hands of the many, on an ongoing basis. Modern technology is calling out. We must agree to leverage it in order that effectiveness, efficiency, transparency and accountability can be realized in the National interest.

  4. Wilfred Abrahams April 11, 2017 at 8:48 am

    What do you expect from the man who still will not confirm nor deny whether he told a bold lie from the floor of parliament when he said someone placed a profanity laced sign on his property which made him fearful for his life and prepared to defend life and property at all costs. And then a lady came out and said she placed the sign and all it said was fed up. He thinks he got away with that one don’t expect any different now.

  5. Outside April 11, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    That is so ridiculous and low down,I’m for people being hired but to layoff 200 people putting them in personal and financial distress is so ridiculous that’s a damn shame and then turn around and hired 170 new people to do same job what a slap in the face ,those who are responsible i really hope they sleep good at night

  6. Milli Watt April 11, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    this is what a low(e) down stinking rat would do……he got a doctorate in what again?

    • Jennifer April 11, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      ratting out and selling out.

  7. lime juice April 11, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Then I would hear bout thee government in got no money and them can’t afford to pay 23% increase but they can send home 200 people without money to suffer and then bring on 170 new ones just for a vote, wicked man, McDowall yuh got to fight for thee people and if yuh have to shut down thee whole public service shut it to hell down and he should be made to pay them out he pocket. But thee PM just like he .

  8. Shawn Phillips April 11, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    This is all about securing votes for the DLP for the next election.People need to wake up and see the real FACTS the DLP are about . These people will be hired and fired again by the DLP if they get back in power .I urge bajans to eat them out and drink them out but when the bell ring VOTE THEM OUT. #DLPMUSTGO


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