The meetings between Government, trade unions and the public sector regarding the Barbados Optional Savings Scheme (BOSS) began today.
The first meeting of six, which will all take place in the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, Wildey, St Michael, featured protective services, with mostly members of law enforcement attending.
As part of the COVID-19 protocols, all attendees had to undergo a temperature check from a wall mounted thermometer, had their hands sanitised and their names and workplaces recorded in case contact tracing became necessary.
However, masks were optional as seating was widely spaced and the 50 or so attendees took up a small fraction of the available seating.
The meeting was chaired by Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados president Edwin O'Neal and Barbados Workers Union (BWU) general secretary Senator Toni Moore who said the series of meetings were an opportunity for anyone concerned about BOSS to be heard.
Also present was Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley who said she had proposed the meetings following discussions with the Social Partnership and the BWU because her administration was about transparency and they could not ask people to do something while hiding in the shadows.
Mottley said BOSS was a win-win situation and would address the island’s fiscal space issues.
The proposal is a four-year bond with an annual interest rate of five per cent. This will be paid semi-annually while the principal will be paid four years from the date of issue. The bonds are tradeable and the withholding tax on interest has been waived.
The other five meetings will take place between today and tomorrow and will feature the health care sector, state owned enterprises and Government ministries. They are also being streamed online. (CA)
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