The Barbados Workers Union (BWU) has tabled a range of alternatives to the government in a bid to avert plans by the Freundel Stuart administration to retrench more than 3000 public servants as it seeks to revive an ailing economy.
BWU general secretary Sir Roy Trotman, who held talks with Finance Minister Chris Sinckler and officials from the Ministry of Finance and the Civil Service, has proposed among other measures that all government employees volunteer for a pay cut.
“And among those we have put forward has been recognition that there could be a commitment by parties to accept that they will accept to surrender some portion of their current earnings.
“We have recognised that in some areas where that maybe difficult there could be some sharing of hours. We have also looked at the matter of early retirement provided that we were able to make the packages attractive,” Sir Roy ssaid.
Similar proposals have come from the Congress of Trade Union and Staff Association which held separate talks with Sinckler as well as prominent businessman Sir Charles Williams.
The government said that the first 2 000 job cuts would take place by January 15, followed by others by March 1.
Sinckler said that the plan to cut public service jobs would result in the government saving as much as DBS$143 million (One BDS dollar = US$0.50 cents) and that the government had also agreed to institute a “strict programme of attrition” across the central public service, filling posts only where it is absolutely unavoidable, over the next five years, ending 2018-2019.
“This attrition is expected to reduce central government employment levels from approximately 16 970 to 14, 612 jobs – a projected loss of 2 358 posts; and savings of BDS$121 million. Over the current 19-month adjustment period public sector employment will be reduced by an additional 501 jobs with a projected savings of BDS$26 million,” he added.