Only 1,300 layoffs since 2013 – Jones reveals

Only 1,300 layoffs since 2013 - Jones reveals

Minister of Education Ronald Jones has revealed what he says has been a state secret in terms of the number of workers that were actually sent home by the Freundel Stuart administration as part of spending cuts announced back in 2013.

Back in March this year, the General Secretary of the National Union of Public Workers Rosalyn Smith made a claim that after severing over 3,000 workers “in the lower rungs of the public sector only”, Government had since “gradually and discretely” rehired over 2,500 to date.

However, in revealing what he said was the real truth of the layoff situation, Jones told a gathering of ruling Democratic Labour Party supporters at St Giles Primary Sunday night that only 1,300 workers had actually been sent home, even though Government had publicly announced three times as many layoffs.

“We used the phrase, ‘we are going to send home 3,000’ [but] you know we never did,” said Jones, adding that “the [actual] figure was like 1,300.

“We kept all of those things quiet – 1,300 out of the 3,000,” he stressed.

Ronald Jones

The outspoken Minister of Education also confirmed that most of the workers who were sent home four years ago had been rehired.

“A lot of those 1,300 when people have retired, were filtered back into the system, cause that was the plan from day one,” he said, while stressing that “nobody wants to release workers”.

In announcing the spending cuts back in 2013, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler had suggested that the plan to cut public sector jobs would result in Government saving as much as $143 million.

Sinckler had also said that Government had agreed to institute a “strict programme of attrition” across the central public service, filling posts only where it is absolutely unavoidable, over the next five years, ending 2018-2019.

“This attrition is expected to reduce central government employment levels from approximately 16, 970 to 14,612 jobs – a projected loss of 2,358 posts and savings of $121 million.

“Over the current 19-month adjustment period public sector employment will be reduced by an additional 501 jobs with a projected savings of $26 million,” Sinckler had added, while also announcing at the time that the salaries of Government ministers and other political appointees would be reduced by ten per cent.

The decision on salaries has since been rescinded.

Earlier this year in response to Smith’s comments, a senior Government official had told Barbados TODAY that 1,800 workers were actually sent home over the past three years, given that on average 600 workers had retired per year over the same period.

The official had also acknowledged that while the baseline salaries of public servants had generally remained the same, provision had been made for between $30 million and $50 million per year in increments.

The well-placed Government source had also pointed out that the National Conservation Commission (NCC), which was one of the statutory entities hardest hit by the homegrown fiscal consolidation programme, was operating below the minimum requirement. In fact, the official said it was short of 170 workers as a result of the recent retrenchments, as well as internal sick leave.

However, Jones has thrown another spanner in the works while accusing the labour movement of accepting the private sector’s position that “you must cut wages and salaries”.

But while maintaining that “you can’t take bread out of people’s mouths”, he said Government had come up with a set of alternative solutions in the form its $542 million austerity Budget which “an alternative Government, one not elected by the people” was seeking to railroad.

“Their recommendations must be gospel. You can’t say no to some of them. ‘How dare you say no to us?’ But let me tell you, those days done ever since,” Jones said, in a veiled warning to members of the private sector. 

6 Responses to Only 1,300 layoffs since 2013 – Jones reveals

  1. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce July 25, 2017 at 3:54 am

    Rhonda hush yuh mouth do!

    Reply
  2. Rubertha Blackman
    Rubertha Blackman July 25, 2017 at 5:22 am

    Damn liar

    Reply
  3. Beverley Headley
    Beverley Headley July 25, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Well, well-as it get closer to the “sillier season” bajans would be hearing that not one public worker was sent home. You guys really are sickening as you unsuccessfully try to lie to the people of Bdos. Mr.Jones, this is still Bdos and we are all still aware of the pocket pain you all has and continue to inflict on the people, while padding your own pockets. We are all tired ad seeing, hearing and reading your trash and there is nothing you can say or do at this time that will stop we the people with the power from hanging all of you at the polls, and we will, cuz when that day comes, we going out with one thing on our minds and that is to rid ourselves of this horrible, lying, cheating, vindictive, wicked government called the Democratic Labour Party.

    Reply
  4. Barbados 2.0 July 25, 2017 at 9:24 am

    So let me get this correct Mr. Minister. You sent home, or said you were sending home 3000 people to try and cut costs in the Government. You sent home half that.

    And then you rehired them.

    So where were the savings? What was your cost of sending them home in terms of severance? Have you actually paid out more than you would have by keeping them employed in the first place? The whole argument that your Government made in the first place for sending home the “3000” was that your wage bill was too high, that we were in difficult economic times, and that this was a necessary step to move the country towards economic recovery.

    And then you rehired them. Clearly, as we are sadly seeing over and over, you and your government either have no intention of addressing the problems, or, worse yet, are still learning on the job.

    Reply
  5. Randolph July 25, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    I like your comment Barbados 2.0.Did sending homeworkers achieve its desired goal?If so why is the economy in a worst condition today?Why did Government have to sneak back in the workers?This is a foolish Government.

    Reply
  6. Belfast July 25, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Also, what has remained a closely guarded state secret is the reason why Prime Minister Stuart, took down Ronald Jones from holding the pick of Acting Prime Minister, in his absence.

    Reply

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