THE Water and Sewerage Corporation is embarking on a process of staff transfers to “right-size” departments and ensure better efficiency.
In a statement released yesterday, WSC officials said: “As we move to realign the corporation to heighten its efficiency, we are commencing various institutional strengthening and other initiatives to undergird (our) thrust for greater employee productivity, to support staff morale, to better measure output and underscore institutional reform.
“Given the above, the corporation has determined to—pursuant to, and in line with, our organisational interests and mandate—commence a few institutional improvements and changes that also include transfers of both managers and non-managers in an effort to right-size departments and to ensure greater efficiency in essential areas.
“In recent days, WSC determined to transfer 11 of our 70-plus managers into departments where we believe their expertise and/or experience can add value, improvement and greater efficiency to those areas. There are a few other departments where the corporation will be looking to make shifts/transfers at both the management and non-management levels in an effort to strengthen our organisational standing, particularly as WSC evaluates the restructuring and re-alignment of departments.
“All managers were given the customary two weeks’ notice before taking up their new assignments.”
WSC will also engage a local human resources consultant to assist with its employee effectiveness programme, review of the role profiles of employees (particularly for non-managerial staff) and various other HR matters.
The announcement came as WSC workers were ordered to back off on their two day strike and return to work, after Minister of Labour referred their trade dispute to the Industrial Tribunal. WSC said of its 420-member staff, including 75 managers, only 35 to 40 persons participated in yesterday’s strike.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the government has assigned RBDF officers to assist with guarding our major installations and ensuring that our loyal customers are not impacted by any act of sabotage,” WSC said. “The defence force is actively engaged. Since yesterday evening, they have been moving around with our teams. These officers are ensuring that all of the critical meters and valves, 14 critical sewer stations and plants are all safeguarded.
“A year ago, following union action, the water supply was sabotaged and disrupted with further sabotage to our sewer stations and other facilities. The police are also actively patrolling key sites. Sites such as the Blue Hills Hydro Tower and the Windsor and Winton Stations are being monitored 24/7 by the control room via CCTV.”
WSC also said it wants to resolve the outstanding Industrial Agreement with its management union. Due to a dispute over the union’s duly elected president, WSC said this has caused issues.
“We are desirous of arriving at an amicable Industrial Agreement with our managers. Our managers are very important to us and we want to resolve all such issues. That said, the management union is at a cross roads and, as such, WSC has been unable to recognise either of the two persons asserting their right to the presidency.”
Both Ednel Rolle and Montgomery Ferguson-Miller have asserted their claims to the presidency, “with both individuals writing under the letter head of the WSMU and both signing off as president,” WSC said. The matter is now before court for a decision.
“Given the above, and the extant court matter, the corporation is unable to recognise the presidency of Mr Miller and awaits the ruling of the court. Moreover, the corporation is also constrained from recognising the presidency of Mr Rolle. Unfortunately, the dilemma the corporation faces is one where WSC is unable to determine which persons claiming the presidency and the executive team has the capacity to bind the union. As it stands, the union appears to have two presidents and the matter is subject to a decision of the court.”