Seems the National Sports Council (NSC) staff isn’t just concerned about the loss of jobs. It appears Barbados’ biggest sporting agency has been crippled by several other issues for the last four years, including a severe lack of staff, equipment and communication from management.
An inside source at the NSC explained the details after Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley recently revealed that there would be cuts as a result of an impending merger with the Sports Council, Gymnasium Limited and Kensington Oval Management Inc. (KOMI).
“I mean the morale has been very low for a very long time as a number of staff went home as retirees or dismissals or resignations, and yet many of those positions have yet to be filled. So you have cases where ancillary staff has been doing the daily security work, or maids doing the messenger work, while there has been no personnel officer for a number of years,” said the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“We have vacancies for six coaches that have not been filled from hockey to cricket to netball to cycling. Two supervisor positions have not been filled after they retired. We are short in the accounts office and clerical clerks. There is no one running the stadium as someone is still acting, we are short drivers and every day it is a problem to get out workers. Essentially there is no leadership in the organisation.
“Then there is a severe lack of equipment as we have tractors breaking down that haven’t been fixed and everyone knows that the maintenance of our sporting facilities has been an issue. We have light towers here that have grass growing through them because they’ve been here for years waiting to get parts ordered for them,” he added.
It’s been a tumultuous last four years for the state-run agency, which has witnessed the retirements and departures of key figures like former director Erskine King, onetime National Stadium superintendent Colin Spencer and his replacement Joel Garner.
Yet further positions are set to be vacated with the proposed merger of KOMI and the Gymnasium Limited under the NSC’s management.
And as it stands several staff are already in upheaval, especially those at the National Stadium who are set to be relocated next door to the neighbouring Netball Stadium due to the condemning of the stands at the former venue.
“There has been an uneasy feeling among the staff as they haven’t heard much of anything for the last three years because no one is being talked to and no one is being informed of anything,” said the source.
“So now a lot of the work is falling down on one or two people and in many cases we have a number of people doing the jobs of two other positions because we aren’t replacing the people that have left.
“We have people who can stay on longer but are leaving in frustration because of what is going on and the lack of communication surrounding what is going on,” he added. (JM)