The Caswell Franklyn Column – DLP Preparing to Fool Public Servants a Third Time

Caswell Franklyn, Unity Workers Union

The Barbados Today of February 5, 2018 reported that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announced that thousands of public servants, who had been working for three or more years, would receive their official appointments by March 1st. That announcement was made the previous night at a Democratic Labour Party meeting.

Over the years, I have come to the realisation that statements or promises made at political branch meetings are intended for the consumption of the party faithful; they should not be relied upon or taken seriously by the general public. This time around I hope that this particular promise would turn out to be an exception.

But after reading further, I started to become nauseated. The article went on to state that the PM dismissed calls, from leading economists, to lay off public sector workers in order to curb spending, saying that he found the “stench” of that suggestion offensive.

He further declared that he would never resort to dismissing civil servants in a desperate attempt to save the economy. I well recall that the Government dismissed 3,000 temporary workers between June and December 2013, and a further 3,000 souls were shown the door in 2014, all in an effort to save the economy.

This apparent Saul to Paul transformation of the PM led him to continue to assure his supporters by saying: “I do not accept and will never accept that when the Barbados economy gets into trouble that workers are to be the fall guys in this exercise all the time to bring it back to respectability”. I am sure that workers would welcome his change of heart. However, he continued to lay it on thick by saying: “We have to find other ways to ensure that we can correct our problems. If the workers have done nothing wrong, why should they be victims to all of this?”

The country heard similar sentiments prior to the 2013 general elections but once the elections were over, Government could not move swiftly enough to rid itself of 6,000 voters, oops, I mean workers. Why should public workers expect to be treated any differently this time around?

At section 8 of their 2008 manifesto, the DLP promised public servants that they would restore their pensions that were eliminated by a previous DLP administration. That pledge has not been honoured. Additionally, at section 21, they promised duty free cars for personal use for designated public officers. Thus far those designated public officers have turned out to be the general secretaries of the two major trade unions.

In 2013 public workers were promised that there would be no lay-offs. We are painfully aware that the promise was honoured in the breach.

Now in 2018, in an effort to woo the public servants, the DLP is promising to appoint thousands of temporary officers who have been employed for three or more years. That can only be a sick joke being played on public officers.

In the dying days of the Arthur administration, parliament passed the Public Service Act. At section 13.(7) that act provided that all temporary officers, who were employed for three or more years prior to December 31, 2007, would be entitled to be appointed, if they had the necessary qualifications. Thereafter, at section 13.(11) the act provides that no established office in the Public Service shall remain vacant for more than one year. Why is the time being extended to three years?

The DLP has ignored that law and is making out that waiting three years for an appointment is somehow better than waiting for one year. Worse yet, they want to be rewarded at the polls for delaying public officers’ lawful claims for appointments, until it suited the DLP. They are not doing anybody any favours; they are merely complying with a 2007 law that they opposed.

There is a saying: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”. The DLP has already fooled public workers in two consecutive elections with unfulfilled election promises, and is now seeking to make fools of them a third time.

I can only conclude that the DLP believes that public workers are so imbecilic that there is no need to lead them to the slaughter like lambs, that they would just walk there on their own.

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117 Comments on “The Caswell Franklyn Column – DLP Preparing to Fool Public Servants a Third Time”

  1. David February 12, 2018 at 6:14 AM #

    @Bernard

    Let us not pussyfoot with the numbers. We know there is hardy any science associated with hiring people for the public service, especially in the SOEs. A lot of it is driven by maladministration and zealous politicians. You heard the NUPW senior official last week who stated they have been asking the PAD/government for numbers working at the statutory agencies for years without success. Again the question asked above- how do we determine the right number to employ in the public service. Our experience says that like the private sector this is a moving number based on the output required now and in the medium term.

    Like

  2. Hal Austin February 12, 2018 at 6:33 AM #

    Bernard Codrington February 11, 2018 at 9:23 PM #

    Your politeness is extra-ordinary. Trying to explain basic economics to many Barbadians is near impossible. I blame the miseducation of Cave Hill for this.
    You have just explained this Keynesian model like a patient teacher. First, if we do not know the methodologies used by the authorities we cannot make any proposals using the same models; second, demand management is one of the key macro-economic policies of government.

    Like

  3. William Skinner February 12, 2018 at 6:57 AM #

    It is obvious that many of us do not understand the historical role that the public service has played in the development of the country. The problem we now have is that we are unprepared to to accept that it can no longer play that role. Both the public and private sectors, suffer from the same malady: lack of vision within a rapidly developing society.

    Like

  4. David February 12, 2018 at 7:08 AM #

    Where have you read a blogmaster’s comment trivializing the public sector? In fact it is the opposite. All we get in various fora is the bashing of the two sectors by principals from either side. Our investment in education behoves us to deflate the emotional BS.

    Here is what we know, Barbados has the most expensive public service based on a standard measure across the Caribbean.

    Like

  5. millertheanunnaki February 12, 2018 at 7:43 AM #

    @ Bernard Codrington February 11, 2018 at 8:39 PM #
    “What you are saying makes absolutely no sense. When a worker in the private sector works he produces something but when he works in the Public Sector ,he produces nothing of value?”

    This is a rather ‘circulatory’ argument on your part. So where does the money come from to pay the public sector worker if not through taxation on the very private sector?

    Is the public sector controlling the commanding heights of the Bajan economy as say in the USSR in pre Gorbachev days?

    If, as in your estimation, the Bajan economy is largely public-sector driven why then is the GoB singing (when its suits its political purposes) the praises of the same private sector?

    And acting as the town crier for FDI in shouting Sandals, Sandals, Hyatt Hyatt, etc, etc while divesting itself of profitable assets like the Hilton and the BNTCL?

    Why not print money as if the Bajan dollar was fiat and stimulate the massive public sector driven economy like the grand ole USA?

    The Bajan private sector might have its major faults, warts and all. But its focus on importing and distributing consumer-demanded goods is a reflection of its commercial history and the country’s lack of resources to support alternative competitive industries.

    Is the public sector any better in being in the vanguard of creating an alternative economy? Look at the large acreage of former agricultural lands now under public sector ownership and control!

    The GoB is nothing but a beneficial parasite to the economy which provides services (public goods) to taxpayers simply because of economies of scale and its pivotal role in the achievement of certain social goals necessary for the maintenance of the ‘good’ modern society. And even those can be outsourced to the private sector.

    The GoB’ role is this tripartite-based economy is to legislate regulate and to enforce the laws; not to operate commercial and industrial economic activities.

    Recent history is too replete with such abject failures. Just look to your former mother country and see what Thatcher had to do to save Britain from the blight of public sector dominance.

    BTW, I left that institution in third form with one certificate stamped “Commonsense”. Ask Hal Austin, he used to copy from me at the polytechnic of N. London.

    Like

  6. William Skinner February 12, 2018 at 7:48 AM #

    @ David

    “Here is what we know, Barbados has the most expensive public service based on a standard measure across the Caribbean.”

    I hope you also know that it has the most competent as well.

    Like

  7. Hal Austin February 12, 2018 at 8:02 AM #

    There is a simplistic equation: government = bad, private = good. But the history of privately run businesses in Barbados, historically family-owned businesses, is not that good. When they came together to form joint businesses it was usually because of the threat of failure; eventually the Trinidadians moved in and took them over in any case.
    Our standard of living, our level of education, our collective ambition, have all been driven by the state.
    What has happened, and this is a new public sector culture, is that some people now see the public sector as a place to do nothing, where productivity is at its lowest, and there is no public service ethos.
    We get the same with arguments about the call for the privatising of CBC. What people are really complaining about is the poor management and editorial competence. CBC was highly competent when it was launched in the pre-independence 1960s.
    What its critics are not calling for is the sale, preferably through auction, of a broadcasting licence.
    Equally, when we call for the privatising of the Transport Board, it should not mean selling state assets to Simpson. I suggest the John Lewis Partnership as a suitable model for Barbados.

    Like

  8. millertheanunnaki February 12, 2018 at 8:12 AM #

    @ William Skinner February 12, 2018 at 7:48 AM

    Then it must be great fun having a read of the various Auditor General reports in those other countries (if those backward, in your estimation, banana republic have an AG far less two).

    Like

  9. millertheanunnaki February 12, 2018 at 8:32 AM #

    @ Hal Austin February 12, 2018 at 8:02 AM

    One wonders if your “friend” in fanning the flames of animosity against certain bloggers (like “Well Well at your Service”), the venerable “govt45” witht he loaded pistol is reading what you are writing right now.

    Hal Austin, are you a socialist, a communist or a sucker for con artists? The capitalist agent, govt45 wants to know.

    BTW, John Lewis Partnership is a Private Sector business (and pays taxes); not a state owned and managed enterprise.

    Like

  10. David February 12, 2018 at 9:00 AM #

    @Miller

    How does William know that ours is the best?

    You make the good point that the AG reports is also an indictment on the PS like you stated.

    The civil service to be fair is only as good as the system they have to work to produce, we know they have old systems. The narrative about the public private sectors must change.

    Like

  11. William Skinner February 12, 2018 at 9:44 AM #

    @ millertheanunnaki
    The Auditor General is the victim of political managerial incompetence, not the public servants. As a matter of fact he is the ultimate public servant, keeping all and sundry informed of the nonsense that the politicians orchestrate.

    I dont remember inferring that any country was “backward or a “banana” republic.

    @ David

    “You(Miller) make the good point that the AG reports is also an indictment on the PS like you stated.

    How on this earth or the next can a highly competent Auditor General , whose reports expose the underlying corruption of the political managerial class be seen as an indictment of the Public Service ?
    You like yuh fuh get dat he is a public servant and his reports come from other public servants. Your reasoning is muddled beyond comprehension.

    Like

  12. millertheanunnaki February 12, 2018 at 9:58 AM #

    @ David February 12, 2018 at 9:00 AM

    Barbados inherited a very good and competently functioning Civil Service along the lines of Whitehall, with a number of tweets to suit local cultural conditions.

    What has happened over the years since Independence is its politicization for partisan purposes from the very bottom to the top.

    The only thing that can accrue from such dastardly acts is the adulteration and further dilution of the professional integrity and competence of the players in the service.

    The coming weeks should see if the senior civil servants would be prepared to sell their professional soul to the partisan political devil of law breaking by facilitating the planned excessive spending spree by the current DLP administration.

    Money should only be spent in accordance with the programmes voted by Parliament and not at the ‘discretionary’ demands of the political wild boys.

    We shall see if these top bureaucrats have the balls and ovaries to stand up to their political dictators and say Enough is “Enuff” and in true Westminster “Yes, Minister” fashion politely turn down (in keeping with the Financial Administration & Audit Act) those extravagant ‘off-the-cuff-off-budget’ expenditure requests to play pork barrel garrison politics thereby pushing Barbados further up the economic creek and immediately into the arms of the Devaluation lover waiting in the wings for the signal to come through the door.

    If these top local mandarins refuse to follow the law then they would have to pay the price later on; just like any other common criminal.

    Like

  13. Pachamama February 12, 2018 at 10:00 AM #

    William Skinner made a comment around 7 about the sustainability of the civil service that is correct

    Then he made another near 8 about the competence of that service is inconsistent with the first

    How could such an army of occupation be considered competent while itself lacking the vision to foresee the fomer statement

    Like

  14. David February 12, 2018 at 10:07 AM #

    William are you aware the PS is the CEO of the ministry and is responsible for budgeting, managing HR resources and the governance day to day duties of a ministry? The quality of the civil service in our system of government reflects the talent competence of the Permanent Secretaries . It is why the political class have dragged to keep so many of them acting as a means to intimidate. Some of them have retreated to retirement others have joined the ranks of the working compliant. Do you understand what this means?

    Like

  15. William Skinner February 12, 2018 at 10:17 AM #

    @ David

    My apologies. I thought PS in this case meant Public Servants. Comments withdrawn.

    Like

  16. William Skinner February 12, 2018 at 10:20 AM #

    @ Pacha

    Even under the circumstances, one cannot conclude that every single public servant is incompetent. That’s like saying there is nothing good about capitalism.

    Like

  17. millertheanunnaki February 12, 2018 at 10:22 AM #

    @ William Skinner February 12, 2018 at 9:44 AM
    “How on this earth or the next can a highly competent Auditor General , whose reports expose the underlying corruption of the political managerial class be seen as an indictment of the Public Service ?”

    You are omitting one vital ingredient from your pot pourri of contradiction.
    The people making up the “political managerial class” are NOT the accounting officers in the eyes of the Law.

    Politicians can only be deemed corrupt through the patent facilitation from the same senior public sector managers given the various checks and balances officially embedded in the system regulating financial management.

    In other words, no collusion with politicians then No blatant corruption and financial mismanagement or malfeasance as outlined in the many AG’s reports over the years.

    Unless, of course, you have come around to the conclusion that the same public sector managers are indeed not the sharpest tool in shed of regional public sector incompetents.

    Like

  18. David February 12, 2018 at 10:23 AM #

    @william

    Communicating via text will pose a challenge from time to time. The important thing- and others can learn from this- is to keep the commutation channel open.

    Like

  19. Bernard Codrington February 12, 2018 at 11:21 AM #

    @ David at 6 :14 AM

    I repeat :” What are you telling yourself when you see the numbers? What are they telling you?”

    The GOB has to manage this country as best they can with the remaining levers that are available.
    I explained what the numbers suggest to me. I am yet to find out what they are telling you personally. Not the parrot nonsense that you are repeating.

    Like

  20. Hal Austin February 12, 2018 at 11:36 AM #

    William are you aware the PS is the CEO of the ministry and is responsible for budgeting, managing HR resources and the governance day to day duties of a ministry? The quality of the civil service in our system of government reflects the talent competence of the Permanent Secretaries . It is why the political class have dragged to keep so many of them acting as a means to intimidate. Some of them have retreated to retirement others have joined the ranks of the working compliant. Do you understand what this means? (Quote)

    Is this the Whitehall/Westminster model at work?
    In London at some Underground stations there is a free book swap service, in which travellers who have read books swap them for those read by others.
    On Sunday I was about to dump a book on the British Civil Service. I am glad I did not. But I will send it free to anyone who wants it.
    It explains the Whitehall/Westminster model without the fantasy.

    Like

  21. David February 12, 2018 at 12:05 PM #

    Thanks for sharing your view Bernard.

    Like

  22. Pachamama February 12, 2018 at 12:21 PM #

    Skinner

    Both your language and mine were in the aggregate

    We were not talking about individual assessment

    Like

  23. Explain It to Me February 12, 2018 at 2:07 PM #

    Barbados has about 285,000 people. Just how any public servants does a sovereign state actually NEED to run the public administration of such a tiny population? In Bim, what is the ratio of civilians to people sucking deep, deep on the public tit?

    Like

  24. Hal Austin February 12, 2018 at 2:35 PM #

    Explain It to Me February 12, 2018 at 2:07 PM #

    What we want is enterprise, innovation, creativity to drive small and medium businesses, which will attract workers, many of them from the public sector.
    A nation of hotel rooms is a waste of very expensive secondary and university education, and even then the top executive jobs go to foreigners.
    We have public sector small business unit; how many small businesses have they helped to come in to existence. We have a business school at the university, how many graduates have gone on to found their own companies?
    It is not just a Barbados problem, but an English-speaking Caribbean problem. Trained and educated Caribbean people like the certainty of a monthly salary, rather than the risk of self-employment.
    Where is our manufacturing sector? Why does Barbados import T-shirts from South Africa? Where are the world-class fitters, turners and pattern makers we had in Barbados before the Barbados and Central foundries were allowed to die? We have a dry dock that is now clogged up with rust and weed when Antiguans have stolen the wealthy small yacht owners from us?
    Our only world-class product, rum, is left to drift as a cottage industry; why have we not developed this vitally important product? Compare rum with the whisky industry, if you want to see how one progresses while the other dies a natural death.
    I can go on and on about the failure in our corporate culture, although we prefer to shout about the economy and politics.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Hadrian Hindshite February 12, 2018 at 2:56 PM #

    Seriously? Rum is “a vitally important product”? To whom? To its makers, doubtless. But who else in the whole wide world sits down at a bar and thinks, “mnnn, I’d like some rum”?

    Like

  26. Caswell Franklyn February 12, 2018 at 4:45 PM #

    Hal

    I would be grateful for that book, if it is not already taken.

    Contact me at caswellf@hotmail.com

    Caswell

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

  27. NationBLPnewspaper February 13, 2018 at 11:58 AM #

    Refer to the Nation Newspaper today- Page 12, Tuesday, Feb 13, 2018 – Dale Marshall is quoted as saying “They want to distract you from the constant battering they are getting in the press”.
    OOPS! The BLP Nation strategy revealed.

    Caswell Franlyn – the Lackey who I called out on this blog is toeing this line and collecting his pay check. Caswell is a mouse and not a man!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Roverp February 13, 2018 at 12:34 PM #

    Thank you CASWELL….the DLP government believe we are IDIOTS that believe their lies and have no other option but DEMS!

    Like

  29. NationBLPnewspaper February 13, 2018 at 1:32 PM #

    Caswell, Harry Russell, Tennyson Joseph, Clyde Mascoll, Frances Chandler, Albert Brandford, Ezra Alleyne, Lisa Cummins- all BLP pimps employed as part of the Nation BLP Fox news strategy to consistently attack one party and give a pass to the other .

    That is why BLP MP Dale Marshall can so proudly say in today’s paper “They want to distract you from the constant battering they are getting in the press”.
    Marshall said it ,not me – the battering in the press by the commentators above is intentional. It is not an accident and it is not an accident that ALL the commentators above NEVER NEVER criticize the opposition leader in anything she does.

    Contrast that to the pre 2008 period when Nation BLP columnist Albert Brandford was aiming all of his journalistic wrath on then opposition leader David Thompson.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Explain It to Me February 13, 2018 at 5:59 PM #

    Still unanswered: what is a good ratio, in a country with a population of about 285,000, between people sucking on the public tit and people not sucking on the public tit?

    Like

  31. Explain It to Me February 13, 2018 at 6:01 PM #

    Indeed, does anyone know: in Barbados, what is the ratio between civilians and people sucking on the public tit?

    Like

  32. Explain It to Me February 13, 2018 at 6:26 PM #

    Quoting Hal Austin:

    “It is not just a Barbados problem, but an English-speaking Caribbean problem. Trained and educated Caribbean people like the certainty of a monthly salary, rather than the risk of self-employment.”

    If that had been written by what the resident laughable halfwit on this blog calls “albinos”, the subliterates would have been enraged to delusion.

    Still to know, and it’s important to know: what proportion of the 285,000 people in Barbados is depending for its subsistence on the public tit?

    Exit question: of the proportion of the Barbados population who depend for their subsistence on their access to the public tit, what percentage depends on, say, Sweden? If the donors turn off the tap, for how long can the government keep providing the milk for all the people on the tit? Anyone know?

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Theophilius Gazerts February 13, 2018 at 7:00 PM #

    @Hal 2:35
    On the mark.
    Real questions

    Like

  34. Theophilius Gazerts February 13, 2018 at 7:01 PM #

    Promotion from HaHa to
    Hal

    Like

  35. Explain It to Me February 13, 2018 at 7:19 PM #

    It’d be interesting, wouldn’t it, if the donors turned off the tap?

    What might happen?

    Well, we can be pretty much assured that halfwits on semiliterate hate-mongering blogs would stop, immediately, from mentioning “albinos”.

    Like

  36. bajans February 13, 2018 at 10:49 PM #

    @Explain It to me; you are becoming boring like a stuck record. Are you that Boremann person.

    Like

  37. Explain It to Me February 14, 2018 at 12:35 PM #

    Still to know, yet to learn, and how boring it is to have to repeat the questions. What proportion of the 285,000 people in Barbados is depending for its subsistence on the public tit?

    The other thing, while the halfwits swim in this delusion of punching above our weight: what percentage of the Barbados population depends on, say, all the taxpaying “albinos’ in Sweden? All the “albinos” in the Netherlands?

    If the albino taxpayers in Sweden and Holland decide to stop being donors and turn off the tap, for how long can the government of Barbados keep providing milk for all the people on the tit? Anyone know?

    Like

  38. Hal Austin February 15, 2018 at 5:13 AM #

    Caswell Franklyn February 12, 2018 at 4:45 PM #

    I would be grateful for that book, if it is not already taken.(Quote)

    I have sent you an email.

    Like

  39. Black guy who reads February 15, 2018 at 6:11 PM #

    It is depressing to have to ask these questions again of someone who should have the answers at his fingertips.

    What proportion of the Barbados population is directly dependent on the public tit?
    What proportion of Barbadians dependent on the public tit depend on what Barbados Underground’s resident morons refer to as “albinos”?

    Like

  40. Hal Austin February 15, 2018 at 6:43 PM #

    Black guy who reads February 15, 2018 at 6:11 PM #

    The Estimates should tell you how many public sector positions there are and salaries, but Sinckler has changed its composition – without a word of protest. You will have to do your own arithmetic. But the number is between 26000 and 30000 out of a workforce of about 140000 and a de facto unemployment rate of about 25 per cent.

    Like

  41. Black guy who reads February 15, 2018 at 7:19 PM #

    That’s close to one in ten public-tit suckers. And we haven’t even got close to how many of their income depends on what the stunningly stupid resident halfwits at BU refer to as “albinos”.

    Murda ah lie cricket’n’Bob

    Like

  42. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right February 16, 2018 at 4:21 PM #

    @ Mr. Caswell Franklyn

    The dangling of “permanent appointments” to temporary employees in the Public Service seems neither to be a DLP or a BLP owned phenomena.

    What you have underscored that this is bribing is being carried out by a DLP administration which is known to be the very worse government that this country has ever had.

    What is also a given is that none of the potential appointees will, as a matter of conscientious objection, strenuously object to their appointment, should that be their reward/bribe.

    Of one thing however the bajan electorate might be able to rely is the following

    where the appointees WILL TAKE THESE BRIBES and WILL VOTE THEM OUT.

    Like

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