Dr Louis Woodroffe (FILE)
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ABOUT A MONTH after Government started its retrenchment programme in the public sector, the head of the Civil Service has offered voluntary separation packages to employees in certain areas.
However, both the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) are eyeing the offer with scepticism.
Last Friday, Civil Service head Louis Woodroffe sent a memorandum to permanent secretaries and heads of department informing them that Government was “contemplating” offering a “limited number” of voluntary separation packages to general workers, stenographer/typists, clerk/typists and clerical officers.
The memo, however, indicated that any public servant who wanted to take up the offer had to indicate interest by Friday, November 23.
The document added that “details of the proposed package will be available shortly and will be discussed with officers who express an interest”.
It is this uncertainty that is bothering both NUPW president Akanni McDowall and BWU general secretary Toni Moore.
McDowall told the Nation the memo might be in keeping with what the NUPW had asked for “in trying to ensure that this process remains as painless as possible by finding alternative ways to achieve the overall Government objective of modernising the public service”.
“However,” he added, “again we lack specifics about the selection process; that is, are officers going to be selected by age or years of service, and what compensation will be offered to officers who accept the offer? Indeed, this information is critical if you’re going to be deciding on your future. Therefore, the union will continue to request more relevant information.” (HLE)
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