The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – A Fair Retrenchment

The impact of job loss is tremendous. The loss of a job is never easy, even if it is expectedUnexpected job loss has an even greater emotional impact on us…. For both men and women, job loss will reflect on our personal value. It may be argued that we put too much value on the external image of a job and not enough on the internal dignity of being a human being. Yet, it is hard to see or feel dignity when your source of income is removed. There is no simple solution; a job loss WILL cause stress. Many researchers rank the stress of job loss with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) found in combat.

Life Challenges Website

The corrosive effects of job loss on the individual, especially where that termination is at the initiative of the employer, are too well documented in the relevant literature to bear repetition. Since this phenomenon implicates the dignity and autonomy of the person, it is quite natural for the State to intervene in the process to ensure that fairness and justice prevail in so momentous an undertaking. It may thus be a useful analysis to compare the locally prescribed procedures for termination with those that obtain in the currently ongoing retrenchment in the public sector.

Mass retrenchment or redundancy as part of a restructuring of the workforce appears inevitable in a process of economic transformation. While our nobler instincts of people- centredness and social welfare considerations may demand that retrenchment be perceived as a last resort after all other alternatives have been explored, considered, analyzed and rejected, the law recognizes that there may be circumstances in which retrenchment of workers becomes the most effective option.

To this end, there are two parts to the stipulated process. First, that there must be agreement reached through good faith bargaining between the relevant parties, namely the workers’ organization or the individual employees and the employer of the need at all for the proposed retrenchment. And while it is accepted that the provisions of the Employment Rights Act 2012 do not bind the State qua employer, it still provides, in my opinion, cogent evidence of best practice in regard to the retrenchment process.

According to section 31 (1) of that statute, a dismissal is not to be considered unfair if it is owed to redundancy and the prescribed procedure has been followed. Insofar as liability to retrenchment is concerned, the analogous private sector requirement provides, where relevant, that redundancy of the employee arises “where the requirements of the business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind…have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish”.

Where the reduction in the workforce is anticipated to be significant, the employer is also expected to provide the employee, or workers’ organization where there is one, and the Chief Labour Officer with a written statement of the reasons for and the other particulars of the dismissal.

Sub-section 5 provides for what should be contained in the statement, including the facts supporting the situation of redundancy, the number and categories of employees likely to be affected and the period during which their dismissals are likely to be carried out.

As is the case with all collective employment, the employer is required to engage in good faith negotiation or consultation with the certified bargaining agent on behalf of the workers. The essence of the obligation is to negotiate in good faith, hopefully to reach agreement.

It is mandated that these consultations commence not later than six weeks before any terminations and that they be in respect of (i) the proposed method of selecting the employees who are to be dismissed; (ii) the proposed mode of carrying out the dismissals; and (iii) any measures that the employer may be able to take to find alternative employment for those who are to be dismissed and so mitigate for them the adverse effects of the dismissals. Provision is also made for the circumstance in which it is found impracticable to comply with the stipulation as to commencement of the consultations.

Of course, I am not at all privy as to the detailed circumstances in which the current retrenchments were carried out and it is acknowledged that the legislation referred to herein is not directly binding on that process, although as I have observed above, it might be indicative of best practice in this context, given its intendment to comport with principles of fairness of termination of employment. These embody a concept that is directed towards preserving the dignity and autonomy of the employee who, through no fault of his or her own, is forced to face the ineluctable stress that accompanies sudden joblessness.

Rigorous and faithful adherence to the statutory process by the relevant parties would have at least scotched any suggestions that the process was tainted by indirect gender discrimination through the selection of the class of stenographer/typists for retrenchment or that there was direct status discrimination through the selection of lower level employees only. It would have lain ill in the mouths of the workers’ organizations to condemn a process and its outcome in which they had fully participated and agreed to as prescribed.

Most jurisdictions provide for a terminal payment to those employees in the private sector who are dismissed for redundancy to tide them over the immediate consequences of job loss. The workers’ organizations would also have had a role to play in this calculation in light of their statutory entitlement to be consulted on a purposive interpretation of “any measures that the employer may be able to take to find alternative employment for those who are to be dismissed and so mitigate for them the adverse effects of the dismissals”.

There may arguably be legitimate questions raised as to the inequality of the bargaining power of the respective parties to the process and as to whether the retrenchment solution was entirely voluntary or whether it was mandated by circumstance or conditionality. These go the issue of governance on both sides of the equation and it would certainly be in the public interest if these concerns were promptly and openly addressed.

80 comments

  • With all these lawyers in government, one would think they would at least get that layoff part right without being sued for breeches of the Employment Act…but then again, the last government was also infested with lawyers and they got sued for breeches to the Act.

    What is the use of bringing 3 more courts when the corruption continues..

    … lawyers on the island still sell out and rob their clients and everyone else..

    .. judges are still being accused of taking bribes not to finish people’s cases and for helping steal whole estates from the elderly..

    ….lawyers like Leslies Haynes still practice conflicts of interest with gay abandon, have no ethics and refuses to close personal injury cases because of the money he is getting not to finish these cases…which creates a permanent backlog of cases in the supreme court…when will Mia and Dale address and stop those crimes committed by Haynes against injured people.

    …it has been nearly 4 months since the Supreme Court was moved to Manor Lodge and Cane Garden….how many personal injury cases have been heard, how many resolved thriugh settlement or judgement and closed removing them from the system,.., how many of these cases involving CGI Insurance and Transport Board have been closed efficiently and to the satisfaction of the severely injured….when will the backlog of CGI/Transport Board cases be resolved and removed from backlogging and clogging up the court system unnecessarily.

    It’s been nearly 6 months the Whitepark coury location was closed and work on the roof has not even started yet…some greedy clown will now get the contract at taxpayer’s expense, so I must ask..which ministers will get the kickback….to drag thst renovation to the court’s roof…for another year or 2….also at taxpayers expense.

    “New courts coming, Supreme Court to be renovated to cut rent, backlog
    LOOP NEWS CREATED : 27 OCTOBER 2018 COMMUNITY

    Plans are afoot to bring three new courts to reduce the backlog of cases bogging down the local judicial system.

    The Supreme Court Complex at Whitepark Road, St. Michael, is also to be restored and operating within the first quarter of next year.

    Meanwhile, plans are in the pipeline for Barbados to have a dedicated family court and two commercial courts to assist with alleviating the backlog in the justice system.

    Attorney General, Dale Marshall, made these announcements during the admission of 48 new attorneys to the Bar during a Special Sitting of the Court at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre yesterday.

    Noting that Government faced a rental bill of $210,000 per month to facilitate the Court’s temporary location, Marshall said Cabinet will soon be asked to award the contract for the remediation of the roof of the Whitepark Road Complex and other remedial work to be done.

    “This is not only an imperative from the point of view of the full integration of the operations of the Supreme Court from a single place in purpose-built facilities; it is also a financial imperative,” he stated.

    He added that the monthly rental costs had nothing to do with the opportunity costs of locating the Criminal courts to the new complex at Cane Garden, St. Thomas, and the storage of files in a renovated vault at the old CXC headquarters at The Garrison.

    Meanwhile, the Attorney General told members of the Bench and the Bar that in addition to the provision of three temporary judges, Government would also be moving assiduously to set up a dedicated family court with at least two judges, and two commercial courts.

    “These measures will have the effect of increasing the size of the Bench and help to bring efficiency to those functions and to the dispensing of justice,” he noted.”

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  • According to press reports – it seems that the Government did not treat the redundant employees with any dignity or respect – and ignored “good HR practice”. “Good HR practice” would include undertaking genuine consultation with the employees – and exploring methods of minimising the redundancies (e.g. a pay cut). I’m getting the impression that the redundancy dismissals were carried out in a hurry.

    If any Government wants to fairly reduce its expenditure – it must start doing so by downsizing the Barbados Parliament, e.g. reduce the number of MPs; Senators; and their terms of employment (e.g. pensions).

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  • The retrenchment exercise carried out by Mia Mottley was not fair as many persons including Caswell pointed to the fact that it seemed to be targeting workers perceived to be DLP.

    Secondly it spoke to archaic positions being filtered out like Stenographer/Typists yet there were persons in other categories being selected THAT DID NOT FIT THE MOULD OF RE – FITTING FOR PURPOSE ARGUMENT..In addition,it showed the folly in the selection process when some of the very clerical persons chosen,as for example in the case of the police force – were persons needed for the smooth functioning of the administrative arm of the force – which freed up scarce resources in the form of trained policemen doing these clerical functions – this seemed not to have enter the Gurus operating BERT’s mind.

    We then have the totally untenable and blatantly unacceptable position of this government sending home these low level workers from the NIS, the School Meals, Security Guards, The Police Force, The Govt Printery, MTW Transport Board, the Court Processors workers etc – ALL WHILE A NUMBER OF POLITICIANS – SOME WHO COULD NOT HOLD DOWN FULL TIME WORK BEFORE THEY WERE ELECTED AS MPs – WERE NOW OCCUPYING HALF DAY JOBS AS MININISTERS IN A MINISTRY – WITH LITTLE TO DO.

    ADD TO THAT THE SIGHT OF OLD GERIATRICS LIKE BILLIE MILLER,CHELTENHAM,CAPPY GREEDNIDGE AND THE LOT SCRAMBLING AROUND FOR JOBS THAT YOUNGER PERSONS SHOULD BE GIVEN ESPECIALLY SINCE THESE PERSONS WERE ALREADY GETTING A PENSION FROM GOVERNMENT.

    WHAT CAN WE SAY ABOUT THE CONSULTANTS AND POLITICAL ADVISORS LIKE CHARLES JONG,PAT PARRIS,JESSICA ODLE,COMMISUNG,AND THOSE LIKE AVINASH PERSAUD (SNAKE OIL SALESMAN), CLYDE MASCOLL – WHITE OAKS (WHO OPERATES LIKE GHOSTS – NOT SEEN NOT HEARD) KEVIN GREENIDGE,ANALESE BABB AND ON AND ON.

    That is shameful behavior by Mia Mottley to target poor people at the bottom of the ladder while her friends and family enjoying big,big salaries along with entertainment allowance ,travel allowance, free food at parliament, per diem money when they travel overseas etc.

    Then in the midst of these firing – you have Mia’s female special friend being hired (Selma husbands) and being given the second highest position in the civil service – that of Deputy Permanent Secretary.

    We should also look at the absolute uncaring, insensitive and shameful way some of these workers were sent home – they being told ‘don’t come back’ – just as they were going home at the end of work.

    People should pay attention to the information given that by the end of September 2018 – we had already racked up $75 million dollars in debt – and we have nothing to show for it.

    BY THE TIME MIA MOTTLEY LEAVE OFFICE BARBADOS WOULD BE DROWNING IN DEBT – BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN WARNED OVER AND OVER AGAIN THAT THE BARBADOS LABOUR PARTY CANNOT GOVERN IN A RECESSION OR HARD TIMES BECAUSE THEY ONLY KNOW HOW TO BORROW AND BORROW AND SPEND AND SPEND.

    THAT IS WHEN IN 2008 WHEN THOMPSON CAME IN – DEBT FORM GEMS,THE HIGHWAY,GREENLAND,KENSINGTON OVAL,THE COAST GUARD BUILDING,CRAB HILL POLICE STATION,THE GOLDEN SHOWERS – SO MUCH TO REMEMBER – ALL LEFT HUGE DEBTS TO BE PAID.

    But we know some in the media mouths full and getting their rewards – so we will hear nothing about the goings – on of this government.

    Talk Show moderators will all be begging barbadians to hold hands now – because we all in this together – because as we know they have been rewarded with newly created positions – or being given private payments for jobs; Columnists will not be writing their poisioned attacks because their party is in power now and some of them are now on boards.

    BARE DOUBLE STANDARDS.

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  • What dispense what justice…yall only know how to dispense criminality and human rights abuses against the people and MUZZLE the population including the press..whose tax dollars built and maintains the court AND pays your salaries.

    …..from laid off workers ….right down to land issues…no justice has ever been adequately dispensed at that blighted supreme court…all of you poisoned the atmosphere at the court with ya practice of injustice and bribery/corruption…until it could no longer function.

    When you finally start to dispense justice TO THE PEOPLE..and not only to certain people…..I will immediately RECOGNIZE it ..because i know what justice looks and sounds like….and be sure to let you know….

    …until then…do not talk sbout justice, you do not know the definition of the word, …do not you dare insult our intelligence.

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  • @T.Inniss

    Here is what the DLP AND the trade unions need to do if privy to information that the system enunciated by the government is not being followed. Bring a case, put forward the names of public sector workers affected. Get the drift?

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  • @ Jeff
    This reads like a typical Judges summary – minus the actual verdict.
    We all know that our judges ALL have such a fancy summary ….and then go on to give predetermined verdicts.

    So what is YOUR verdict in this most recent case of terminations…?

    Furthermore, if redundancy is defined as ““where the requirements of the business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind…have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish”.
    …can you explain how the insolvency of the employer (the inability to meet the payroll) satisfies this condition – where the requirements of the business CONTINUES to require someone to carry out the work but the employer is unable to pay?

    That sounds more like bankruptcy than redundancy to Bushie yuh….

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  • @Tony Trotman

    This question was asked by the blogmaster on another blog- if the PAD and team are responsible for the execution and should have advised the PM (Cabinet) on the technical/practical execution of the retrenchment who should we blame? What if the retrenchment exercise has exposed the poor HR management skills within the public service for example? The blogmaster wants the debate expanded from just the political. What is the role of the civil service in executing the policies of the government given the rotten state of public finances.

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  • @Tony Trotman

    To continue with the point: all agree the government needs to engage in some kind of transformation, it cant be business as usual especially if the economy is shrinking . A reminder that the size of the public service SHOULD BE directly correlated with the size/services supplied by the government (economy).

    @Vincent

    Is the blogmaster on the right side of the argument here?

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  • David/ BU

    Not the trade unions like the BWU and the NUPWU EXECUTIVE – They are all up in this party so they are very much in favour with what Mia is doing.

    That leaves persons like Wayne Walrond- but he is only Acting Deputy General Secretary.

    Verla Depeiza has been making noises about the legal implications about some of the actions – so my advice to her would be to put your money where your mouth is.

    Bajans are mostly cowards – they like to hide behind their hand and speak.Or they will tell you – I agree with you and I support you – and when you go forward and look behind you for support – its a ghost town.Steupes.

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  • @T.Inniss

    Let us step back a second.

    The way the trade union decision making process works- the mandate is suppose to be determined by the members. If the executive/council i.e. the entity responsible for final decision is not aligned with the view of the general membership or floor who should we blame?

    Now extrapolate this position to the national level and see the predicament we find ourselves.

    The system is not some amorphous entity, it should be a reflection of the collective i.e. the citizenry. We abdicate our responsibility as individuals to play our civic role and then look to blame figureheads who should be functionaries of what WE the people want. Are you following T. Inniss?

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  • Agree the retrenchment is unfair, Wily does not see any middle or upper management positions being retrenched, HUMMMMMMM!

    When and if the government gets serious, we’ll know, as the excersise will include at least 50% middle and upper management positions.

    Present indications is that the present retrenchment exercise is governed by nepotism and IMF.

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  • TInniss
    The Employment Rights Act applies to civil servants? If the DLP pad over the last ten years, wouldn’t a LIFO principle affect mostly “DLP” people. Where were you when the last government decimated an entire department and then replaced them by changing the job titles? Peter Scott got his letter on the ABC highway, won a court judgement of $1.7m in 2014 and died without receiving a cent. Meanwhile DLP lawyers were receiving millions in legal fees for reading documents. Pass me with the RH bullshit!

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  • @David

    “Bring a case”

    Where would you suggest that these individuals bring a case, as we all know the Barbados Justice system is basically non functional due to inaction compounded by DELAYS AND GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE. Perhaps step outside of Barbados and go directly to UN humanitarian court of justice.

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  • And added to the above, without a Performance Management System place the easiest and fairestvway is LIFO, unless you want workers to pull straws. #rumshoplogic

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  • @Wily

    Reread the comment, you will see there is context provided. Let the political parties and trade unions represent the matter in the Court of public opinion to give lie to the prime minister’s assertions on the matter. Let is begin at this point. So far all we have is the customary airy fairy stuff begin spouted by the usual suspects.

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  • @David

    I don’t know if HR has any influence or power in the public sector. For example, senior management (SM) may have told HR “to get on with it” and dismiss the employees by a certain date – even though HR warned SM about the shortcomings of the redundancy dismissals.

    Does the organisational culture within the public sector encourage HR to highlight the pros and cons of an instruction from SM without any retribution?

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  • @Tony Trotman

    If what you speculated did occur then the trade unions, political parties and other NGOs should be able to show concrete examples.

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  • Enuff

    What happen – yuh eyes bad?

    Haven’t you read what Jeff Cumberbatch wrote?

    Haven’t you heard what Caswell Franklyn,Verla Depeiza and Hal Gollop stated?

    STEUPES

    The Employment Rights Acts in its present configuration does not bind Cental Government – BUT WHAT ABOUT BEST PRACTICE – WHAT ABOUT DOING THE RIGHT THING HUH ? –

    ANY CARING GOVERNMENT’ OR;

    ANY GOVERNMENT WHO WANTED TO DO WHAT IS JUST AND FAIR OR;

    ANY GOVT WHO CRITICISED THE LAST ADMINISTRATION FOR SOME OF THE VERY SAID THINGS THEY ARE NOW DOING – WILL AT LEAST SHOW SOME MORALITY AND SHAME AND OBSERVE THE MINIMUM NOTICE PERIOD REQUIRED BY THE LAW ;

    SO INSTEAD OF SENDING HOME WORKERS ON THE EVENING AT 4:00 O’CLOCK – THEY WOULD GIVE THE REQUIRED AMOUNT OF NOTICE (6 weeks) AND DISCUSS WITH THE EMPLOYEES’ REPRESENTATIVES AND THE WORKERS THEMSELVES HOW THE GOVERNEMENT INTENDED TO DEMONSTRATE FAIRNESS AND NOT VICTIMISATION – IN HOW THEY GOING ABOUT SELECTING WORKERS TO SEND HOME.

    I notice Enuff that you not touching the over -sized cabinet,and the hiring of geriatric former BLP MPs;

    OR the hiring of Mia’s good girl friend in a position she is unsuited for – AND AT A TIME WHEN LOW LEVEL WORKERS ARE BEING SENT HOME.

    Don’t ask for nobody to # rest yuh – DEAL WITH ALL THAT AND NOT PICK AND CHOOSE.

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  • @David

    It may have been poor HR management or HR hands may have been tied.

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  • @ T Inniss

    Your boy is a BLP stool pigeon.

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  • Many researchers equate job loss with PTSD? Welcome to the real world. First, this medicalisation of rejection is not only growing, driven by Big Pharma, but it is as bogus as the psychiatrists and ‘researchers’ who claim getting the sack is the same as risking your life in Afghanistan.
    The new global capitalism, rentier capitalism, is characterised by the deregulation of the labour market, what in the UK is called the zero contract economy. Just follow the debate about universal credit.
    Unlike the post-war years, when most workers (men) got jobs for life, the new ecology is one of a portfolio of jobs and periods of unemployment throughout a working life. If this is PTSD, then we are all in trouble.

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  • @Tony Trotman

    Let us assume that you are correct, what is wrong with the head of the civil service voicing what are the challenges? Woodruff is his name? Last week the prime minister put him on the spot to come public didn’t she? The hierarchy of the public service needs to be more proactive and shake off the supine/moribund posture it has become.

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  • So what is YOUR verdict in this most recent case of terminations…?

    My verdict is that the unions were in dereliction of their duty of representation of the workers.How much did they insist that the government listen to their proposals, if any?

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  • And added to the above, without a Performance Management System place the easiest and fairestvway is LIFO, unless you want workers to pull straws. #rumshoplogic

    @ Enuff, the absence of a performance appraisal system especially in the public sector may be considered a breach of the duty of mutual trust and confidence by the employe and a dereliction of responsibility. Too besides, the LIFO system is useless in the context of restructuring the workforce to ensure greater productivity,

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  • @Jeff

    An excellent last comment and it accords with a comment posted by the blogmaster on another blog that questioned how can culture change be achieved in the public sector IF a performance system is not used? The fact LIFO is being heralded by the social partnership actors exposes the obsolete models being used.

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  • Bushie just LOVES Jeff…
    What excellent summaries….

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David Bu at 8:20 AM

    The author, being a law professor, is seeing the issue through the lens of the law,specifically The Employment Act and other related legislation.
    You,on the other hand, having bought into the narrative for the reduction in the size of the public sector ,and the transformation to the digitalisation thereof,see it as another Hobson’s Choice.
    Some may even interpret it to mean satisfy the IMF conditionalities , get Balance of Payments support and do it in the shortest possible time,a.k.a. indecent haste.

    I ,being a Social Scientist (Economics subcategory) must be concerned about the workers,their welfare and the loss of their contribution to the GDP.

    In short let all perspectives be ventilated. We all have parts of the elephant not the whole.

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  • To become proficient at any task one must have done it a few times, would anyone here hire one of those 48 newly minted lawyers to represent them at anything? Even the WI cricketers who have years of experience fail at it 9 ½ times out of ten (maybe that should be 10 out of 10) but I digress. Gov’ts (particular Bajan Gov’ts) are not in the business of laying off people, it has no institutional knowledge, no departments tasked with this subject and hardly any written plans or procedures dealing with this topic.

    I queried whether the PM was reading from a prepared speech or if she was just flying from the seat of her pants when she said loud and clear that each person laid off would be leaving with a cheque in hand. That statement amounts to gross incompetence and is a disservice to those who were laid off, if she didn’t know it she shouldn’t have said it and the presence of her Atty Gen at the “News conference” lent nothing of value to the main purpose of the announcement.

    A prepared Gov’t would have gathered a group of senior bureaucrats to travel to the affected Depts. with individual letters explaining the reason for the layoff, the amount of severance and should be prepared to answer questions with empathy and understanding. This would have taken a few days but would have tempered some of the anger and resentment that resulted from the retrenchments.

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  • Jeff

    Yes it is a dereliction of duty.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Jeff

    Your subsequent interventions have disproved my thesis that you only wear the Legal lens. Please forgive me for the indecent haste in rushing to assist David BU.

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  • Jeff

    Only people devoid of faith are stressed when faced with the possible of being unemployed, but those with faith are confident and cognizant of the fact that God will make a way out of no way.

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  • And those whom are employed in the governmental sector ought, must and should be aware of the fact that with a changed in government, comes the possibility of being layoff.

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  • … a potential windfall if handled properly…

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  • And those whom are employed in the governmental sector ought, must and should be aware of the fact that with a changed in government, comes the possibility of being layoff

    @ Lexicon, This ought not to be the case…and GOVERNMENT does not change, except perhaps a consequence of revolution, although ADMINISTRATIONS do..

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  • We are conflating so many issues.

    There is the civil servant and there is the public servant we know to be employed by the SOEs.

    The issue of the size of the public service has been a perennial issue because of its size relative to many metrics used read other civil services in the region, the economic performance of the country and viability to carry the large public sector wage bill, the transformation required in processes to align with market realities to be competitive and relevant and there are others.

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  • Your subsequent interventions have disproved my thesis that you only wear the Legal lens. Please forgive me for the indecent haste in rushing to assist David BU

    @ Vincent, But of course!

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU

    From the Economic perspective there is no doubt that there has to be some radical repositioning of the Public Service. This cannot be done using LIFO nor FIFO. The Fit for Purpose methodology has to be employed. Ideally it should not be done in a recession. This leads to the confusion as to whether the job losses are a result of redundancy or retrenchment. Is there a legal difference?
    Economically redundancy relates to positions no longer necessary to produce the required output. Retrenchment relates to no market ,no revenue ,have to cut costs.
    For the Public Sector it is usually no revenue. Unfortunately both causes are being promoted and at the same time.

    Let me reiterate that, as an economist, governments’ role is to create jobs. They are the vehicles through which most citizens share in the material and psychological wealth of the country. Merely selling off SOES will not do it. Merely transferring the production of public goods to the private sectors through contracts will not do it. They are paid for by taxpayers at a higher costs which include profits to the contractors and other hidden costs.

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  • Thanks Vincent, create jobs or facilitate the environment this to occur? Do not mean to split hairs here.

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  • For obvious reasons, we may have to give this administration a second term. We must balance the power by limiting them to 16 seats. If they cannot understand that a cabinet as big as parliament is unacceptable, we have to help them. With that in mind, we urge all ministers to act in a way to earn his or her keep in 2023.

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  • The problem with laying off government workers is that very few of them will find jobs in the private sector.

    I hope the promise made to create jobs by “digitizing” government departments is kept.and some of those laid off will be re employed.

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  • @ Jeff
    if redundancy is defined as ““where the requirements of the business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind…have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish”.
    …can you explain how the insolvency of the employer (the inability to meet the payroll) satisfies this condition – where the requirements of the business CONTINUES to require someone to carry out the work but the employer is unable to pay?
    +++++++++++++++++
    No comment?
    That sounds more like bankruptcy than redundancy…
    Surely Bushie is misreading this technicality.

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  • Jeff

    When I speak of a changed in government … I am specifically referencing a changed in the political philosophy of the parties … now with that being said … we know for a fact that some parties favour a bigger government … while other favour a smaller government … so based on these two different philosophies … we ought to be mindful of the possibility of layoffs…

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  • @Hants

    This is a good intervention. The blogmaster is aware several companies are waiting for the opportunity to work with government to digitize because they have the equipment. Will these companies employ government retrenched workers or will the workload be absorbed.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 12 :08 PM

    So long as the employees are paid from revenues raised by taxes and the institutions are owned by the state they are public servants. They may get jobs through political interference in SOEs but the taxpayers pay; hence public servants.
    Do not compare Barbados with other regional countries. Without shouting it from the house tops, Barbados has always been a social welfare state even when the Plantocracy formed the GoB. Such a political arrangement requires a large Public Service. Do we really want to change that model? We have a tendency to mouth other people’s shibboleths without seeking to understand them. It certainly worked for us. Most of the economy and economic growth are GoB driven. The ministries drive them. So when the Public Sector managers fall asleep at the wheel, all of Barbados suffers. A timely management of developments in the off shore business would have lead to tweaking of that sector or an earlier search for its replacement. Holding on to a sugar industry long after its lost of exportable value should have been foreseen and abandoned by the public sector managers. I could go on and on for each ministry.
    So where are the real fault lines David?

    Performance appraisal systems? What targets are you appraising them against? Not fit for purpose. Outputs are hard to identify and even more difficult to measure.No wonder they were surreptitiously abandoned.

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  • @Vincent

    Understand your point, however, the renumeration is governed differently between the two central government and SOEs not so?

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  • @Vincent

    Are you saying a government job cannot be measured?

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  • Bushie, you hit the nail on the head. That is what I was thinking. It seems that the reason for retrenchment is inability to pay and not redundancy of roles. What needs to happen is a proper restructuring to fit with manpower (or woman power) needs with respect to efficiency. If there is work to be done there must be adequate personnel to do it. If not there will be bottlenecks where, for instance, a somebody can create a great document and have it sit for weeks for lack of a typist. Or take the case of the police force and the injustice system this could lead to further delays and the dismissal of cases etc. etc. etc. It should also be noted that a proper restructuring sometimes requires that persons be hired to fill roles that are not adequately staffed.

    After proper restructuring a serious performance appraisal system must be implemented across the board. A performance appraisal system should not be used in a threatening manner but as a process for bringing the staff member up to the standard required. At the end of the prescribed period, if it becomes obvious that the person is incapable of meeting the standard, then there should be separation in a HUMANE manner that tries to point the person in the right direction and give them an encouraging start.

    All these processes must of course be done in consultation with the unions. The unions have a responsibility not only to look after the short-term interest of the employee but also the long-term interest and that would include encouraging and enabling good job skills and work ethics.

    I think the old adage “Act in haste. Repent at leisure” applies to this botched job. What has happened here has only “REdemoralized” the country. And this, I’m afraid, is the worst thing that could have happened after the May 24th jubilation of seeing the back of “The Oppressors,.”

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  • Performance goals are to be agreed upon in joint sessions by the employees (who understand the tasks and how long they would normally take) and the supervisor/ manager (who understand what needs to be achieved and in what time frame). If there is an unforeseen circumstance that prohibits the achievement of the goals set then it must be promptly communicated in writing and discussed at the performance appraisal sessions. It is NOT an impossible task in any sector.

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  • T. Inniss, started on the BLP this morning at 7: 55AM, by 8:27 AM he was real confused with what the DLP did, and what the BLP is doing.The blog-master asked him to “get the drift ” at 8:10, and “step back a second” at 8:34 AM. at 9:49 AM T.Inniss send a parting shot, and gone for his medication, will he be back

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU

    Remuneration re SOEs and Central Governments.

    Very often to attract the right persons, salaries would be raised higher in the SOEs unless the person has a high sense of loyalty to the country. There are many who make these sacrifices i.e take salaries lower than market value in exchange for for job security. Job satisfaction is also another psychological income.

    Performance Measures

    David man can contrive spurious measurements for anything, even for the level of heat for bonny peppers. But they seldom achieve the objectives. Measures of performance in service industries will continue to be qualitative and subjective.

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  • “My verdict is that the unions were in dereliction of their duty of representation of the workers.”

    Unfortunately, that is the verdict.

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  • Watchman

    I will try to be civil to you this morning and respond.Look skipper – go and drink yuh big glass of BLP kool aid and leave out the serious discussion for thinking people.

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  • Watchman

    TInniss doan even know that the ERT does not apply to civil servants. Stupse, even the “constitutional expert” Hal Gollop sey so. Sent home people wrongfully and now this government owes them 10 years of interest and on the blog obfuscating, lying and pretending to care about principles. The unmitigated gall of some eh.

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  • @enuff

    Isn’t there an understanding that ERT guidelines will be observed for public workers as well? More about practice than what is legal?

    >

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  • Enuff

    Er I know you have first class honours in lying.But take my advice – don’t make yourself look so stupid – go and read my post @ 9:49 a.m.

    Unless when you read – you don’t understand what you read .That comprehension bug like it bite you too lol.

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  • TInniss – My apologies.

    David – I don’t know about what is intended to be the practice, I am just referring to the legal aspect.

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  • @Vincent. I thought the government economic lead role in the free market space, was to create, foster, and nuture an environment for private sector-led job creation. Well, unless you subscribed to the state model. However, the state model is only possible and sustainable if you have a relative small population and a large source of income. eg like those small petrodollar state.

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  • The blogmaster is aware several companies are waiting for the opportunity to work with government to digitize because they have the equipment. Will these companies employ government retrenched workers or will the workload be absorbed.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    You are sometimes amazing….
    Boss… what several companies are waiting on is for government to get away with this arbitrary disposal of selected manpower on the excuse that money is tight … so that they can do likewise.

    @ Donna
    The fact that Jeff hesitates to dismiss the suggestion that the particular Act may not be applicable …may suggest that we are on to something major (in legal terms…)

    @ Vincent who said….
    … man can contrive spurious measurements for anything, even for the level of heat for bonny peppers. But they seldom achieve the objectives.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    You are so wrong….
    You probably really mean that “economists (whatever THOSE are,) can contrive……and it seldom achieve….”
    BUT….
    REAL scientists (who operate on the LAWS of nature) REGULARLY and CONSISTENTLY contrive measurements – that MOSTLY are achieved with great accuracy…..’

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  • @ Jeff
    if redundancy is defined as ““where the requirements of the business for employees to carry out work of a particular kind…have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish”.
    …can you explain how the insolvency of the employer (the inability to meet the payroll) satisfies this condition – where the requirements of the business CONTINUES to require someone to carry out the work but the employer is unable to pay?

    @ Bushie, The two concepts, though distinct, are not that far apart really. Inability to pay will ultimately eventuate in restructuring by way of redundancies as is happening now. Government says, “We are unable to pay so we will cease operating in a way that necessitates the use of stenographer/clerks…and….?”

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jeff…
    So then the Law relating to Bankruptcy is redundant….?
    Pun intended….

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  • LOL!!!! No, I suppose that it is insoluble!

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  • @ Jeff
    Boss, you done know that BUshie LIKES the Bankruptcy approach….

    When an operation finds itself UNABLE to settle with its creditors, or to make satisfactory arrangements with them to so do….
    That operation is put into RECEIVERSHIP …and its management assigned to COMPETENT AUTHORITIES who are able to do so under the Court’s guidance. (of course this did not apply to CLICO…but….)

    Do you see where Bushie is heading….?

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  • I do, Bushie, but can that work in a populist democracy? Is judicial management of a state practicable in 2018 Barbados? Your grass with “plimplers” outcome is appearing inevitable!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ zion 1971 at 2 :52 PM

    I classified the existing Barbados economy as I perceived it and gave supporting reasons for my classification. This does not exclude other classifications from different perspectives but one would need to support this with factual evidence.

    Prior to Independence all GoB buildings and public roads were designed and built by the Ministry of Public Works. Today they are all contracted out to the Private sector. Do they cost the tax payer less? Are they any more durable? Except for the optics what are the advantages?

    Zion the large Public sector is building these enabling physical and intangible environments in which the Private sector operates.. And they do cost the taxpayers money .

    I am a supporter of the Mixed Economy and that is based on Barbados’ experience.

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  • Enuff

    At least yuh man enuff (ha ha) or woman enuff to apologise.

    Accepted.

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  • Georgie Porgie

    No one here has recommended pray as a solution to this retrenchment… no one here but GP remembers when the armies were surrounding Judah … and King Jehoshaphat assembled the people for pray
    … and God gave Judah the victory…

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Bushie at at 3:02 PM

    What real scientists are you talking about? And where are these laws of nature? Do you mean those collections of axioms that can neither be proved nor disproved? LOL!!!!

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  • Vincent Carrington

    Is gravity one of law of nature?

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  • T. Inniss

    The serious discussions in Barbados are attributed to how the DLP bandits raided Barbados, and the task of a BLP to restore. The 30-0 result for the MP and the now stranded Yard-fowls, like you, are only part punishment. USA will deal with An Inniss

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  • Watchman

    You cannot arbitrarily or unilaterally attribute culpability to the DLP totally … when the people elected the DLP a second time… the people obviously must bear some of the responsibility because of their naivety and gullibility…

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  • @ Lexicon

    Votes buying reelected the DLP in 2013

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  • @ Vincent
    Do you mean those collections of axioms that can neither be proved nor disproved?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    No – Bushie tries not to speak of Economics (whatever the hell THAT is…)

    But seriously, in REAL Science there is (for example) the acceleration due to gravity (G) as Lexicon pointed out…

    There are the Thermodynamics Laws, the Laws of Chemical combination – and MULTIPLE other consistent, repeatable, EXACT and unchanging laws of nature that drive Science.

    You will NEVER hear a Scientist start a design project by ‘assuming’ that G is 20 feet per second squared….or designing a bridge without SPECIFIC and EXACT provisions being made for that particular Law.

    More to the point however, there are also many SPIRITUAL LAWS that are EVEN more exacting and over-riding than the SPECIFIC physical laws we know of….
    -What a man sows, that also he will reap… (a people ALWAY get what they deserve)
    -The wages of sin is death (Brass bowlery ALWAYS ends in grass …with plimplers…)
    etc…

    Like Gravity, these work impeccably – whether the victims know and understand them…
    … or even if he is an economist (WTHTI)
    LOLOL

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  • fortyacresandamule

    @ Vincent. Come on bro. It’s not for nothing economics is called the dismal science. The axioms of the physical sciences though not perfect, are built on a more rigorous and solid first principle foundation than those used to build up Economics, especially Macro-economics. Economics is nothing more than a glorified behavioral science masking itself in abstract mathematics for respectability.

    It suffers from physic envy as one commentator noted.

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  • @ Jeff
    ….can that work in a populist democracy? Is judicial management of a state practicable in 2018 Barbados?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    A good teacher often makes strong statements by asking pointed questions….

    So Bushie will take these ‘questions’ to be TELLING us that populist democracies that are poorly managed should expect to come under independent judicial management….and we should think carefully about how this can happen in 2018….

    Barbados has been managed in dismal fashion … ‘idiotic’ is probably a better term… and even at this last stage, management decisions continue to defy logic…..but why…?

    Who are the ‘independent judicial managers’ of our world?
    ….Not the IMF…?

    Is such management practicable in 2018 in Barbados?
    …Is this not what we have ‘achieved in record time’ under the BLP?

    Do Judicial managers not make PRIMARILY economic decisions – designed to restore creditor asset values?
    …Is this not what the Job Cuts are all about? … (rather than what MAKES SENSE to Bajans?)
    It is only the BEGINNING….

    What is the history of such receivership?
    … Is it not callous disregard for the pain and suffering of the delinquent defaulter ..while all efforts are made to pay back the external creditors …. however long this may take… whatever pain it may cause…?

    Why is Jamaica STILL under IMF receivership after so many DECADES?
    Why have the French screwed Haiti for Centuries…?

    Because when brass bowls sell themselves into slavery over the kind of GREED that leads them to sell of their birthrights (the assets passed on by past generations – Like BET, BNB, BL&P, BS&T,Banks etc) ….. the enslavers ofter take their good time exploiting their brass bowl assets – without even wasting money on vaseline……
    Perhaps by 2080 we may see another emancipation period in Barbados…….

    ‘Grass’ rhymes with brass …. so perhaps we can turn to poetry in the meantime…

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Bush Tea at 7 :51 PM

    “acceleration due to gravity”? What Physics text book you found that assertion In,Boazee?

    @ Forty Acres at 7:09 AM

    I never claimed that Economics was other than a behavioural Science. In fact I always emphasized this.
    Can you tell me why after the NASA program was scaled back that the physicist flocked to Wall Street? Is this physic envy?
    Obviously they thought that Economics was a mechanical science. Mathematics is the economist’s tool not his master.

    @ Lexicon

    Please take your nose out of your Greek dictionary and read some books on the Philosophy and development of normal / natural science. You will find that it has advanced considerably since Newton and is coming around to the reality that there is an iterative process between what we think and what we see.

    As Miller pointed out to me a few blogs ago . Some stories are so well written that they take on the cloak of reality.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Bush Tea at 9 :33AM

    You are back on track. Writing like a properly trained economist. I am on the same wave length. Stick to the Dismal Science ,do.

    By populists democracies Jeff means governments that are elected by picking themes that resonate with a large marginalized section of the Electorate. Hitler was a populist leader. The real Mugabe was a populist leader. Mandela was a populist leader; but he never instituted populists programs.

    Did Brazil and Venezuela suffer because of populists policies?

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  • It is noted that not one of them ever address the mountain of backlogged CIVIL CASES in the Supreme Court going back DECADES or say what is going to be done about any of them….then they all expect us to take them seriously when we know they are all on shit and playing games with the people’s lives.

    http://www.loopnewsbarbados.com/content/chief-justice-more-criminal-lawyers-needed

    “There is a backlog of pending cases in the courts and one of the reasons for this, according Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson is the lack of lawyers practicing in the field of criminal law.”

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  • @Miller

    If the problem has been identified what can we do about it? We know that many studying law are not necessarily pursuing a LEC.

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  • Forgot to add that Justice Gibson should be ASHAMED to say this after being at the Supreme Court for at least 10 LONG YEARS…and STILL he speaks about a BACKLOG…this highlights his inability to reduce the backlog, which tells us he will be there another 10 years and will STILL be. talking about a backlog..at the Court…

    …I repeat…he could not be that ineffective a Judge in NYC and still have a job.

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  • Mr. Ellis, you should listen to the recording of the last Brasstacks Sunday program. OCM is a publicly traded company, not a privately held company, and its programs should always be conducted in a professional manner. It is inexcusable for one guest to be intentionally obnoxious to another when on any of OCM’s programs. If one desires to be intentionally obnoxious on air, one should create a privately held radio station.

    Like

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