No sackings!

CTUSAB boss warns against Government retrenchments

The umbrella trade union grouping is warning Government against severing public servants in a bid to cut its wage bill.

In responding to a call Tuesday by Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Cleviston Haynes for belt-tightening, including a reduction in Government spending, President of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) Cedric Murrell is advising Government to find another means of achieving its target.

While Haynes steered clear of recommending cuts in the public service, there have been calls from some sections of the society for Government to reduce the workforce in order to help reduce the deficit.

However, Murrell said it was a formula that did not add up and was likely to backfire.

“The question of wages and cutting of the deficit and the whole matter of impacting on public sector employees, we do not think that is the answer to the problem. Once we begin to shrink our economy then it means that ultimately we are not going to be able to satisfy our needs – that is in terms of being able to create sustainable growth [in the] economy.

“The big concern that the congress have is that, is the private sector of Barbados geared at this time to be able to absorb those persons that are being cut? We are not convinced of that and so we do not see that as a strategy that will be able to get us out of the woods,” the CTUSAB president said.

Murrell told Barbados TODAY the latest Central Bank report had confirmed that the economy was “still troubled” despite some “green shoots” in the form of two per cent growth and a small increase in the international reserves.

Haynes had reported Tuesday that the foreign reserves grew slightly to reach $705.4 million or 10.7 weeks of import cover, up from $681.1 million or 10.3 weeks of cover at the end of last year.

The growth continued to be led by the vital tourism sector, which recorded a 4.4 per cent increase in long-stay visitor arrivals.

However, Murrell said with the international reserves not growing as quickly as he would have liked, what the economy needed was more investment in order to create sustainable growth.

“On the question of growth, we in the Congress are still concerned with regard to how we are going to grow the economy, because that is the only way we are really going to have any sustainable basis upon which we can plan. One has to ask the question of the chicken or the egg situation and that is whether we should have confidence in order to invest or whether we should invest to create confidence. I think that debate has to happen,” he said.

In relation to whether the island should seek help from the International Monetary Fund, the trade unionist agreed with the acting governor that “we have to put our house in order by making our homegrown solutions sustainable”.

Meanwhile, President of the Barbados Economic Society Jeremy Stephen said though he welcomed the two per cent growth, the biggest takeaway from the report was the admission that “all is not well”.

Describing Tuesday’s presentation as a “brutally honest” one, the economist said Haynes had admitted that serious reforms were needed in relation to taxation and expenditure management.

However, he warned that unless Government followed through with the necessary steps, the recommendation from the Central Bank for decisive action to bring stability to the public finances would be nothing but talk.

“I believe a government that is prepared or recognizes that it must do, and is committed to doing, what the Central Bank speaks about, that is some form of belt-tightening, especially in a run up to an election, it should be actually commended. If there is will to follow through it should be commended. If they don’t, it just means that we are paying lip service,” Stephen said.

6 Responses to No sackings!

  1. harry turnover May 11, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Cedric Murrell EVERYBODY knows that is bare hot air coming from a big time DEM like you.Every body knows you and the MOF are buddies and that talk is only to make people feel that you are interested in their welfare.

  2. Alex Alleyne May 11, 2017 at 8:15 am

    What is wrong with sending home those who got in their time , those who don’t come to work, those who sit and do nothing ?.
    After doing all this , then Cut your Pay Mr. Politician.

  3. Freeagent May 11, 2017 at 11:21 am

    It has been proclaimed by every economic body in Barbados the the economy is in trouble. The various trade unions are against retrenching public workers so something has to be done:

    Merge some of government’s statutory boards and refurbish some of government’s historic buildings thus saving thousands of dollars in rent per month
    Close the constituency council offices and the parliamentary representatives will deal with matters at their constituency offices
    Prosecute persons who refuse to pay statutory taxes. Many artisans enjoy government’s benefits while they contribute nothing to the economy
    Make everyone pay “something” for health care.
    Make pensioners, children and policemen pay one dollar bus fare
    Increase the fee for school meals, text books, etc

  4. Just an Observation May 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Though the obvious maybe true in some cases, of inefficiencies within the public sector, it is rather unfortunate for those workers who give of their best, and who are grateful for their jobs are continuously judged among the minority who may take advantage of the system.

    My understanding is, that civil service must find it absolutely necessary before a post can be created and put into a government salary scale. The problem came when Ministers and Boards were no longer waiting on this process and were hiring indiscriminately, particularly top level post on contracts and way above government’s salary scales, although there is suppose to be currently a hiring freeze.

    In all fairness, an audit should be carried out to identify all persons hired in post that is not establish by or within the civil service, within the last 5 to 10 years be severed, this would reduce a large percentage of the government’s wage bill, particularly as it relates to statutory boards.

  5. Helicopter(8P) May 11, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Streight to the point of action! Here it is! Measures have to be undertaken by the general public to balance the equasion. Expendeturein its most productive form must be met. Top prioroity for the nation to adress is energy wastage, that costs the Central Bank foreign exchange in the way of fossel fuel purchases. One way to bring that bill down is to have a drop in demand and how do we do that? Private vehicles consume more fuel at idle than at kenetic energy stages and this is where traffic-jams and grid locks are the culprits of wastage.Production time is also placed in the negative because of lateness and that accounts to lost of revenue.Tranportation services are in turn effected and customer services become dissatisfied. A policy of having tolls or a two mile no private vehicle zone within the City’s Town center would save presous dollars!

  6. Lorenzo May 11, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    off topic was listening to brass tacks today with Sanka Price and while in general like his positions on most topics I get annoyed at the amount of time he spends reading whatsup messages as he did today after the news where he began by reading these messages frustrating callers on the line holding on.Corey Lane is also guilty of this gentle men Brasstacks is a call in program make calls the priority as the programme is short as it is.When will my favourites Mr Ellis and mr Wichkam be back as the program with the others is a bit dull.


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