Board will allow BWA managers to do their job
The Board of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has agreed to take the proverbial step back and allow the internal management processes of the organisation to function.
In a statement issued this morning, Minister of Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams said the board had adopted a more hands on approach to management given the “large number of critical matters and crises” the new Board found at the BWA, but this had led to strained relationships with staff and their respective trade unions.
The minister chaired a neat 10-hour meeting at BWA headquarters yesterday, during which several decisions were reached, including the reinstatement of director of human resources management and development, Jacqueline Belgrave. There were threats of industrial action over her dismissal.
The full statement follows:
Today I chaired a meeting between the representatives of the Barbados Workers’ Union and the Board of the Barbados Water Authority to address and resolve a number of outstanding issues which impacted the relationship between the board, the management and the staff of the Barbados Water Authority.
In the nearly ten-hour meeting, a number of grievances were fully ventilated, including the Board’s direct interaction with staff, protocols for communication and other matters.
It was acknowledged that the Board of the Barbados Water Authority had taken a hands-on approach to the management of the Authority. This, in the opinion of the Board, was necessary and warranted to bring stability to the operations of the Authority in the face of the large number of critical matters and crises that faced the newly constituted Board.
This approach, however, led to strained relationships with some members of staff as well as with the union.
The realities of recent interactions and personnel matters were also discussed and the Board acknowledged certain practices which resulted in discomfort to the staff including the recent separation of the director of human resources management and development.
The Board has recommitted to allowing the management structures to work in the way intended and the observation of the proper protocols governing internal matters as well as industrial relations going forward. The commitment has been made to take this opportunity to reset the relationships between Board, management and staff and to follow the processes that would lead to a healthier industrial relations climate within the Barbados Water Authority. In this regard, the decision was been taken to reinstate the director of human resources management and development with immediate effect.
The Barbados Water Authority is one of the most critical institutions in Barbados and this recognition must remain foremost in the minds of the members of the Board, the members of management and the members of staff.
A properly functioning and efficient Barbados Water Authority delivering on its mandate is critical to the future development of Barbados. The healing process has begun. (PR/SAT)