26 September 2023

BAHAMAS: Unions attack PS reform proposals

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The Bahamas Minister for Public Service has announced a human resources audit across the island nation’s bureaucracy is to begin this month (February).

Minister, Pia Glover-Rolle made the announcement at a media conference after unveiling her Ministry’s 10-point plan for reforming the public sector.

The decision was attacked by the main public sector union who claimed it had not been consulted.

Mrs Glover-Rolle (pictured) said the audit was part of her Ministry’s reform initiative and would address skill gaps and productivity in the workplace, among other things, to ensure proper staff placement.

“So, we have talked about building capacity, about people wanting Government jobs, but we have to make sure that from a proper human resource perspective we’re not just hiring people haphazardly and we’re looking to see where these people fit when we build capacity,” Mrs Glover-Rolle said.

“We have persons throughout the service who are skilled in one area, but working in another,” she said.

“Once we fix that organisational structure, then we know who to identify and who to attract so we can build the proper capacity.”

Mrs Glover-Rolle said that while there were no plans to reduce staff following the audit’s completion, “workers must not come to the false conclusion that they cannot be fired”.

President of the Bahamas Public Services Union, Kimsley Ferguson warned Mrs Glover-Rolle not to disadvantage any Public Servants in her planned reforms.

“The Government will not arbitrarily be able to move persons without running afoul of the protocols and procedures that govern such activities within the Public Service,” Mr Ferguson said.

“The Public Service is not over-staffed and the Government cannot simply pick up and move these people.”

He said there should be more consultation with the union “to let us know what they intend to do — they are failing to consult and do things appropriately”.

Nassau, 28 January 2022

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