Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says his administration intends to meet the deadline set for implementing the fiscal adjustment programme as Barbados grapples with a sluggish economy.
The adjustment programme was announced in the national budget presented last month by Finance Minister Chris Sinckler and Prime Minister Stuart, who met with union leaders on Wednesday, said “we intend to meet this 19-month programme of targets, not in a chaotic way, but in a clear and humane way”.
Prime Minister Stuart met with officials from the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) to clarify issues pertaining to temporary employees in the public service.
Stuart underscored the critical role the NUPW has to play in helping its membership adding it was, therefore, necessary to put all the issues into perspective so the union could advise accordingly.
“I met with the relevant Government officials and we have put in place a set of procedures that will govern the process which was outlined in the Budget. The Ministries and Departments are expected to gather all relevant information by September 30, 2013, for the analysis of the existing financial situation.
“That analysis will put us in a position to assess the real impact of the 10 per cent cut in Government’s expenditure on the emoluments of temporary employees, persons in acting positions and substitutes,” he added.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Stuart held talks with senior public servants amid ongoing reports of retrenchment within the public service.
At the end of the 90-minute discussion with the head of the Civil Service, Chief Personnel Officer, permanent secretary in the Ministry of the Civil Service and other stakeholders, Prime Minister Stuart gave the assurance that there is no need for alarm.
He said all the stakeholders, including the Ministry of the Civil Service would continue dialogue on the matter, but stressed that the discussions were not intended to compromise the objectives set out in the financial statement, which must be met.
Following the meeting with the trade union, a government statement indicated Prime Minister Stuart reiterated that his administration, which was re-elected to office in February this year, “was dealing with some stubborn economic challenges which had to be tackled now, so as to put the country back on a growth path.”