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Plp Casual Hires Cost Extra $10m

State Minister for Public Service and National Insurance Brensil Rolle speaks in the House of Assembly earlier this year.

State Minister for Public Service and National Insurance Brensil Rolle speaks in the House of Assembly earlier this year.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

BRENSIL Rolle, Minister of State for the Public Service and National Insurance, said between December 2016 and May 2017, the public purse ballooned by $16,532,738 because of the Christie administration’s hiring of new public service workers during that period.

In June, he told Parliament the cost to Bahamians of such increases was $10,149,738.

The revision comes after he included more than 1,700 workers that were not in his original count.

Amid the Progressive Liberal Party’s criticism of the Minnis administration because of its firings of public service workers, Mr Rolle painted a picture yesterday of a public service where longstanding hiring rules were ignored or abused, especially in the lead-up to the general election.

People who thought they were hired never received formal indications of this, he said, causing them to suffer the humiliation of not knowing the status of their employment.

Mr Rolle said he missed the extra 1,700 people in his original count because “these are people who were sent to work but were not given a letter, were not told where they ought to go or what they ought to do.

“When the (member for Englerston) asked earlier whether we had terminated these contracts, as I said to her in a previous meeting, when you issue a contract for three months and it’s May, April, June, at the end of June there is a legitimate expectation that those contracts would’ve come to an end.

“If you have the power to issue contracts and you only issued them for three months and you realised how important those three months are to your personal existence in the political arena it lays the impression that you are only issuing contracts to secure votes and after the votes you go about your way, you are gone. These individuals sat around the Cabinet table. They could’ve confirmed these individuals, could’ve given them a one year contract. They chose to give them a three-months contract and now they come here and are pretending they don’t’ know what happened to these individuals. That is disgraceful; that is dishonest.”

When he talked in June about the increase in public service workers over the past five years, Mr Rolle did not, he said, include many immigration and customs officers.

He said yesterday that the former administration was not rigorous in choosing who could join these sensitive agencies.

“I did not include the 151 immigration workers in that account, neither did I include the 123 customs officers that were hired,” he said. “A responsible government would not take individuals off the street and place them in a space that is extremely sensitive as customs and immigration is, without having regard for a check, a simple vetting. I am told by the professionals in the service that they advised the government not to take this course but the class started for customs the Monday morning and persons were advised up to Sunday night, you are in that class, go in that class. The result of that was that some of the individuals who were placed in that programme, even though they had successfully completed the course, could not be recognized as customs or immigration officers; they’re called casual workers.”

Mr Rolle said the Christie administration’s actions lead him to believe that it “embarked on a mission to perhaps destroy the public service by creating a parallel public service.”

“This parallel system was created through the widespread use of hiring persons on contract at all levels notwithstanding the policy that people are hired on contract where their skills and experience cannot be found in the service,” he said. “This includes but certainly is not limited to the return of public officers who are paid their salaries which were more than their retiring salaries, plus a pension and a gratuity at the end of their pension. Imagine a retired permanent secretary who retired from the service making $70,000 a year. If they served for 30 years their pension would be $70k and they receive for example a two-year contract from the government. At the end of the contract they must receive a gratuity of 15 per cent. When I see members coming here jumping up saying we don’t care about the civil service, I just remind them that in 2008 the government of the Bahamas decided that you just cannot have both; you either had pension or gratuity, but you can’ have both.”

Comments

sealice 2 years, 12 months ago

once again the PLP proves in bloody big frucking buckets full of it....that they clearly didn't and do not care about the people of the Bahamas - it's all for dem and dey cronies an das it ....

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realfreethinker 2 years, 12 months ago

I find it laughable these clowns blaming the FNM for "firing" these people,when in reality they were fired the day they were hired. It just took three months to happen. What did they expect to happen if the gov gave you a job just before election but for only three months. The plp leadership race is between Glenys or Brave two persons directly responsible for the state the country today. Like Tal does say " you can't make this stuff up"

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 12 months ago

Mr. Rolle needs to be reminded that talk is cheap if the Minnis-led FNM government does not intend to hold anyone responsible and accountable for the outrageous cost and burden wrongfully imposed on taxpayers by the so-called "casual hires." The people's patience is wearing thin listening to all of the bashing of the last government without any consequence for the alleged wrong doers. Minnis and his cabinet ministers need to get on with governing and creating an environment conducive to private sector jobs.....stop wasting time beating up on the last government (for political points that have no value to us) if no evidence of corruption is to be gathered and charges pressed against the individuals concerned. In other words, stop blowing hot air and do the job you were elected for!

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DDK 2 years, 12 months ago

It looks like you would have to hold everyone responsible from the head down and right on through the majority of the civil service. There needs to be more indication that regulations are put in place to prevent these things from happening again, even if it means constitutional amendments. I agree that far too much time has been spent pointing fingers and not enough on corrective measures. Still no word on numbers houses or a national lottery.

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TalRussell 2 years, 12 months ago

Comrades! What you the public is not being told is that this Red Shirts Cabinet still employs the more than 1,700 workers that were not in his original count at a cost to you the taxpayers purse that ballooned to in excess of $66 million because of the Minnis administration doesn't possess the political balls to fire and send the workers home.
Comrades, the $66 million doesn't even include the pre 2017 general election government workers hired and still on the public's payroll purse - over just at the ministries of education and tourism. I am told the total runs about $150 million still being paid out to workers hired by the PLP but STILL working for Red Shirts Crown Ministers?
What the red Shirts never talk about is what millions they have spent and committed to spend from the public's purse since assuming power on May 10, 2017? Its going to exceeds $2 BILLION.!

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Porcupine 2 years, 12 months ago

The National Hurricane Service has a policy for naming hurricanes. The names are rotated throughout the subsequent hurricane seasons. However, if a particularly nasty storm causes much damage and loss of life, it is retired out of respect for those who suffered from that named storm. Perhaps The Bahamas, out of respect for the vast majority of Bahamians who have suffered immeasurably, should adopt the same way of thinking for the naming of their political parties. The vast majority of Bahamians are now very much worse off due to the calamitous machinations of this century's worst storm to hit The Bahamas. named the PLP. Most Bahamians have had their lives turned inside out, watched as their children's future was squandered and unfathomable hardships placed upon the backs of the poor and working class by this so-called Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). We should all agree that the PLP will never be used again and that any mention of this horrible calamity on this nation be put in our past as quickly as possible. Any further use of the term PLP should be used to show how insensitive that individual is to the rest of our society. And Brave Davis is our first example..

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Reality_Check 2 years, 12 months ago

And for the same reason statues of slave owners and supporters of slavery during the confederate era in the U.S. are being torn down or relocated to less public places, we should be taking back and using the original name of our nation's main airport - Nassau International Airport. We don't need constant reminding of any corrupt PLP leader who played a major role in returning us to slavery - economic slavery!

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DDK 2 years, 12 months ago

You took the words right out of my mouth. Don't forget the House on the Hill!

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TalRussell 2 years, 12 months ago

Comrade DDK to Mount Fitzwilliam: "DAMMIT, this can't be a good news post for what was to have replaced Christopher Columbus's statue"
God's Red Shirts may have arrived just in the flick time to have come to the rescue of da Spaniard, "Pedro" Christopher, from extinction!

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watcher 2 years, 12 months ago

Alternatively, maybe we should keep the name PLP, just so that future voters never forget the horrors inflicted upon us in its name?

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 12 months ago

PLP ......... the Bahamian NAZI alter ego

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TheMadHatter 2 years, 12 months ago

Tired of hearing silly numbers from this new Govt who refuses to reveal the public finances. Not talking about a budget - but we need actual end of month figures of income by source and expenses by category and loans and other commitment amounts and for what purpose.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 12 months ago

We will see what the Public Service human resource audit reveals ........ it better separate those who are P&P from those who are weekly/month to month hires ..... and justify why every person who collects a salary from the Treasury has a viable job description, a job site and a supervisor who can account for these employees ........ When I hear that this was done from Brensil Rolle, then he will have my support that this audit was worthwhile.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 12 months ago

Is all of this hot air from Rolle intended to distract us from the 'Spy Bill' that was recently tabled in the HOA? See The Tribune's article recently posted on this most important subject.

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birdiestrachan 2 years, 12 months ago

They were Bahamians who were unemployed and need to work. Bensil Rolle should move on now and see if he can earn his pay.

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clawdad 2 years, 12 months ago

birdiestrachan that plp koolaid mussybe real good.

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