Maid Highest Paid ‘Employee’ at Barbados New York Consulate

The following was sent to BU’s inbox to create awareness about the plight of admin staff working at Barbados Consulates – Barbados Underground

Kerri Symmonds, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Government opening consulates all over the place but the established ones haven’t had increases since 2010, everyone making the government mandated minimum wage from 2022 with the maid in New York being the highest paid employee since she is also the night cleaner making $4,000 monthly as night cleaner. 

So her monthly pay is over $5,000. She has been night cleaner about 10 years. And the office supplies the cleaning supplies, she employs 2 people to work with her.

People in Canada, USA and London haven’t had salary increases since 2010 which were backdated to 2008, because government didn’t have money to cover the entire period 2000 to 2010. Staff turnover in Canada is very high because of the low wages and in New York the monthly salary is $2700 USD since 2008 and rents increasing annually and government opening missions and consulates all over the world.

The office maid in New York who doubles as a night cleaner and employs 2 staff members is paid $5,000 monthly for the night job and making the same salary as the admin assistants making her as she says the highest paid employee there. Also when there are any functions she and her staff attend like invited guests and are paid additional to clean up after. The office also provides the cleaning supplies which they use.

Her business is a domestic one yet she is doing commercial work also when they want the carpet shampooed and place cleaned they hire industrial cleaners to do that. The contract doesn’t get put out for annual bidding, management says they are the cheapest out there. She tells whoever comes up here that her daughter is a widow with 7 children and she has to help her with them. The daughter’s husband had a job and they were getting food stamps and assistance which was increased after his death

Last July when staff were given the state mandated hourly rate, it was realized that everyone including the maid would be making the same hourly wage and they said it would be rectified ASAP however to date nothing has been done.

Everyone is an Admin Assistant except the drivers and everyone is making the same money no matter how long you have been there. The people who were there over 20 years making the same money as the ones who started last August.

And out of our money we have to pay self employed taxes and social security as the job has no benefits. They provide mandatory health insurance. So they make $16.10 an hour.

Invest Barbados just hired an additional 2 consultants and the locally recruited staff in the jurisdictions can’t get raises! and saying that the maids and housekeepers making the same as the office staff is an anomaly that has to be looked at but it’s been 6 months since everyone making the same pay and 8 months since it was realized and nothing has been done.  INVEST Barbados has an office here NYC but the consultants were hired in Barbados and the staff there complaining too.

Both governments have failed us.

28 thoughts on “Maid Highest Paid ‘Employee’ at Barbados New York Consulate

  1. So what are these….CON-SU-LATES.

    definitely know something is off about the ones in Africa…said so from the very beginning.

    …. as i was telling an African brother recently….if there are no African consulates in Barbados and the Caribbean, specifically to make African passport acquisitions and travel easier for those who want to take a look at ancestral lands…any consulates outside of that are for CONS, scams, thefts, heists…UP TO NO GOOD….all redflags.

  2. On the other hand…

    What the donkey does the Consulate ACTUALLY do – besides host the occasional party? What trade do they facilitate? deportees?

    Why can there not be a JOINT CARICOM consulate for the region? With decent salaries? or at LEAST shared resources with other little mock countries from the Caribbean?

    How many employees does the German / Brazilian Consulate in NY have? …and they each represent more people that the whole Caribbean – and speak a different language.

    damn mauby pockets and champagne eyes…

    • @Bush Tea

      Agreed but until Barbados or Caricom for that matter rationalize how business is promoted in overseas missions those employed should be paid a fair wage AND employment practices should be fair.

  3. Boss
    Until the matter is rationalized how business is to be promoted in overseas missions NO ONE should be paid to do shiite…
    Instead, someone with intelligence and a track record of performance SUCCESS should be employed to conceptualize how business is to be promoted in overseas missions …..

    • @Bush Tea

      The missions serve other purpose as well? Looking after the interests of Barbadians in the foreign country as one example?

    • Always an interesting discussion about individuals who do not have a satisfactory record of managing their domestic affairs are elevated to perform roles at a higher level which demand the same or higher level of acumen/intelligence.

  4. “New York the monthly salary is $2700 USD since 2008 and rents increasing annually and government opening missions and consulates all over the world.”

    It bothers me that someone would choose to work in NYC for $2700.00/month. I would wonder where and how they are living and how they are eating and clothing myself. If you are in a position for 20 years and making the same money as the person who started yesterday, then you should consider leaving. What are you waiting on? Is there a big payout at the end? Is the pension worth the pain?

    It appears that the maid is the only one with “immigrant drive”. Those with a few GCE/CXC papers or political connections prefer to sit back and suck the dried teats.

    Forgive me, but I have little or no sympathy for the complainants.

    • Your suggestion about complainants leaving for greener pastures and the government of Barbados not grading and paying a fair market wage are two different issues.

    • It doesn’t matter if they do. The question on the table is if admin employees at the Barbados Consulates are paying fair market wage.

  5. If they are not satisfied with the pay, after 20 years and they can do better, TheOGazerts asks “why don’t they leave?” maybe return to Barbados? Very interesting question!..

  6. Is the article about low paying wages for Barbados Consulate employees or to bash a maid that realize she cannot live off $2700 alone and decided to get a second income to provide for her family. The title of the article doesn’t match the grievance If this is a valid complaint . If the person who sent this article was concern about wages why post all of the maid’s business and personal info? Why not address the main problem which is how the consulate pays their employees. What any employee does off the clock should not matter even if it is a cleaning service that is their 2nd job. As TheOGazerts ask “why don’t they leave”, or my question why not do what the maid did and get a part time job to bring in extra income? If you are unhappy about your wages, you are in control of your life. If you choose to stay with this employer for 20 yrs with the same pay then their is something wrong with you either way address your issue and don’t bash someone trying to provide a way for their family.

    • Why have the Barbados consulates in NY, London and elsewhere not had an increase since 2010? Employees can leave but they also have the right to engage management on the matter.

    • Sir, employees can engage with management about this issue, however this entire article is focus heavily on the maid and her business and even included personal information about her daughter. Sorry you lost me with your statement, if this was addressing world wide issues regarding low wages then that should of been the focus instead of the maid.

    • It is focused on many things. Let us accept that this is the case, employees will express a grievance by any means necessary if they are being ignored.

  7. You are dealing with the nonprogressive Slave mind…they do not see things in commonsense terms. It’s always about tearing down or trying to stop each other from moving forward…the blighted damaged minds of Slaves..they can never see how to work together for a common good ..only how to create divisions and malicious mischief…that’s the only thing they are always in agreement with.

    Plenty julia clarice browns to go around…the dangerous malicious slave that can get ya killed or imprisoned…or make your life very unpleasant anx uncomfortable.

    Something is very wrong. Had an experience yesterday at an establishment that reinforced this. This Afrikan woman had an english accent. She did not want to enter the business until there were less people, so i asked her how many people are there..oh, she did not count them, so i naturally went to see for myself, there were only 2 people in the place, so i said, am looking around, then she claims, but i was ahead of you, am like so, that does not mean i have to stand in a line you unnecessarily created, behind you outside in the heat, i can look around and when the attendant says next…you can go do your business but i dont have to follow your script..and that is exactly what happened….am convinced that something is drastically wrong with people’s minds…they do not think, no critical thinking skills and everything is helter skelter…disorganized minds, mindless drones of a dirty corrupt system.

  8. These persons do not have representation by a union. That makes a big difference. They are far away and not in the publics eyes in Barbados and being forgotten. They have put up with this for too long and everyone presumed that they were being paid fairly.
    The salaries should be in line with the cost of living.
    These folk should be treated no differently than public servants in Barbados. Everyone should not have or be paid under the same job title/salary scale. This matter needs to be addressed. One wonders what the salaries are like for the Consulate in the Middle East.

  9. @ David
    ‘Senior’ ministers apart, when last did public workers in Barbados get a decent raise…?
    Asking for a friend in case he missed his….

  10. ” They have put up with this for too long and everyone presumed that they were being paid fairly.”

    I mentioned this over the years. Many still have not received their outstanding salaries from over the last 20 years or more. I sat and listened to a former employee complain bitterly about that fraud against them and all the alleged scams run in the various consulates. We all remember the 2 million dollar Forest Hills residence and the subsequent fire…scam-a-lot.

    “One wonders what the salaries are like for the Consulate in the Middle East.”

    Presuming they get one.

  11. Even if their salaries were not increased, they should have gotten a cost of living increase, or an annual increment.

  12. Guys and gals, I do not often give you home work but please read and provide an essaying supporting the argument that these politicians are looking after the interest of the people and not themselves.

    Some notes for you work with
    From BT (*** are my notes)
    In stark contrast, he said, MPs in Trinidad and Tobago are provided with TT$50 000 (BDS$14 883) monthly – spending for which they must give account – to fund projects and employ people in their constituencies.
    “If Members of Parliament are given money, as in other countries, you won’t have to be begging about welfare and ministries to the extent that we have to be doing.”
    **** note the call for his own supply of scratch grain)

    From BT
    “MPs don’t get any health insurance, unlike in Trinidad where the Members of Parliament get up to TT$200 000 (BDS$59 533) a year in health insurance paid for by Parliament.
    **** Is this health insurance for life after you become an MP or just for the five-year term?

    From BT
    “Ministers don’t have any drivers… whereas that is standard in many Caribbean countries – Trinidad, Guyana, Jamaica. In Jamaica, Ministers of Government have maids, gardeners, butlers, all of that.”
    **** drivers, maid, butlers, gardeners and all of that? Thank God he did not ask for a castle, a throne and a crown?

    From BT
    “In Trinidad, you bring in duty-free cars…every three, four years…. We don’t have any of those terms and conditions, not one of them.”
    *** in a five year term, two duty free cars?

    “Even support staff…. Unless you are a Minister of Government . . . you don’t have a personal assistant. In Trinidad, you have about four employees, there are offices in the Trinidad Parliament for Members of Parliament. Here, you have to be scotching up somewhere and if a minister has a meeting you have to leave,” Hinkson said.
    *** four employees — not just scratch grain, a special supply of pollard or growena for four people? (relatives?)

    ***It is wrong of me to beg for money or set up a go fund me page… But I am setting up a go-fund-me page for this MP and purchasing a one-way ticket to Trinidad for him.

    **He should have been embarrassed to make this ask.

      Workers at Barbados’ missions in ‘dire need’ of pay hike
      By Maria Bradshaw
      Staff at Barbados’ various overseas missions said they have not received a pay raise for almost 15 years.
      They are now hoping they can benefit from any salary increases coming out of the present public sector wages and salaries negotiations.
      A staff member who is based in the United States told the Sunday Sun that this was “12 to 15 years” that administrative staff who work at the various consulate offices across the globe had not received any increases. A large number of that staff – receptionists, secretaries, drivers, maids and other office staff – are usually Barbadians who reside in the various countries.
      The spokesperson said while Barbados had been opening new overseas missions, staff who had been flying the Barbados Flag for years were suffering.
      “We have not had any salary increases since 2010 and despite the fact that increases happen in Barbados, it does not come to its overseas offices. You would hear some staff say it has been 13 years, others say 15 years. In between there, increases have been given in Barbados
      but nothing for the outer offices.”
      Consuls general
      The staff member said they had spoken to the various consuls general over the years and all staff kept hearing was they would speak to the minister, who then had to take it to Cabinet.
      “We’ve been talking all the time and all you are hearing is that it is being looked at but nothing is happening. Right now rents go up every year or two depending on where you live. So you have a situation where your rent is US$1 600 to US$1 800 and we are getting US$1 285 every two weeks. Out of that you have to pay your rent, transit increases . . . food prices have gone through the roof. You have to pay utility, gas, heating in the winter. It is a real challenge.
      “This is happening across the consulates – New York, Miami, London, Canada – we all have the same problem. The locally recruited staff are suffering. All of us are paid the same hourly rate whether you are an admin assistant, driver, maid, housekeeper. Right now there is a situation at one of the consulates where the maid is making more money than all of the other staff because she is also contracted to clean on evenings.”
      Another staff member who has worked in the mission for close to two decades said they felt like “voices crying in the wilderness”.
      ‘No trade unions’
      “We have no trade unions to fight on our behalf.
      We have no social partnership to bring up our cause. We are depending solely on the consuls general to fight for us but many of us are beginning to feel despondent because this has been so for many years. We are all Barbadians and we deserve to be treated like the staff back home. If they get increases in salaries it should automatically be applied to the staff working in the missions.”
      When contacted, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kerrie Symmonds confirmed that salary increases had been outstanding as he pointed out that a re-evaluation of all the terms and conditions of the overseas staff was being reviewed.
      “While that has been a problem for ten to 12 years I have been a minister for ten to 12 weeks,” he said.
      “I have done an assessment of the external service orders which govern these matters and a revaluation of all of the terms and conditions are in the process of being completed. So that the matter is under immediate review. It is beyond me now. There must be the question of the Ministry of Finance’s input,” he pointed out.
      He further admitted that it “was a problem across all of the consulates – all of the missions abroad,” adding: “It has been over a decade. In some cases it may be longer than that. It is not only the salaries but the terms and conditions are under review.”

      Source: Nation

  13. Among major markets in Canada with populations over one million, average rents for purpose-built and condominium apartments increased fastest for the most expensive cities, with Vancouver and Toronto rents up 24.3% and 23.7% [compared to last year], respectively,”

    One-bedroom rents averaged $2,661 in Vancouver and $2,551 in Toronto, while two-bedroom rents averaged $3,707 in Vancouver and $3,363 in Toronto.”

  14. There is a report in today’s press that government will be moving to increase the pay of employees working at overseas missions soon. The promise was made by Minister Kerri Symmonds.

    Here is the report.

    Missions’ staff to get pay increase
    EMPLOYEES AT BARBADOS’ diplomatic missions are set to receive salary increases to bring them in line with the hikes granted after negotiations with the National Union of Public Workers that were conducted more than 14 years ago.
    This was revealed in the House of Assembly last night by Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kerrie Symmonds during debate on a supplementary for around $2.1 million.
    Symmonds said it was important to bring parity to those workers based at embassies and consulates in conjunction with members of the Public Service working on home soil.
    The senior minister noted that though public workers had been granted increases twice in the last five years, payments from the
    first wage increase agreed to in 2008 had not been passed on to those employees overseas.
    “We are in the unhappy situation where we have to correct a problem that is longstanding, from as far back as 2008. Public servants would have received salary increases and again in 2012 but those increases were not paid in commensurate manner across the external missions that Barbados has overseas,” the minister informed the Lower House.
    “The locally recruited staff at those missions have been placed in a set of circumstances where there is no parity with what was happening here. That is a most undesirable state of affairs, and it has to be corrected,” Symmonds added.
    He noted that in some instances, the workers had even fallen below making minimum wage.
    “People representing Barbados must not be disadvantaged or in a situation where
    their livelihood overseas is imperiled by inflationary trends,” he concluded.

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