STATE Public Service Minister Pia Glover-Rolle.
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
STATE Public Service Minister Pia Glover-Rolle has urged private sector employers to consider engaging workers who are part of the government’s 52-week job programme.
Yesterday, Mrs Glover-Rolle reiterated her concerns about the large numbers of people being paid for work they have not done because her ministry simply has nowhere to place them.
Some, she said, remain unposted because, upon assuming office, the Davis administration placed “an immediate hold” on those hires pending a status review.
Meanwhile, others are not consistently showing up for work among other reasons.
The situation has resulted in a hiring freeze in the public service, which will remain in place until an audit of the service is completed in 2022.
“Since July, 233 people were engaged (by the previous administration),” she told reporters before going to Cabinet yesterday.
“We have 88 (workers) we would have placed on hold because we don’t have anywhere to place them and we have about 68 that are reporting but having some issues of attendance and then we have another ten to 12 that are signing and we don’t have anywhere to place them.”
Mrs Glover-Rolle conceded that it is unfair to waste the Bahamian taxpayers’ money like this and called on those in the private sector to reach out to her ministry if they’re interested in hiring some of those workers.
She said ministry officials will cross-check skill sets and find those most suitable to meet the needs of the respective employers.
“I think it’s important in responsible governance that there’s accountability and transparency. The taxpayer’s money is being used to fund the salaries of these workers and they’re not providing basically a decent day’s work for the pay that they are receiving.
“So, what I have sought to do, and what I’m seeking to do, is to engage some private sector employers (and) persons who may be interested in engaging our workers who are already on the government’s payroll in some decent work and I know this will fall well with businesses that are now trying to re-open and bounce back from what may have been extended periods of lockdowns or their businesses being shuttered, so, of course, I would extend to the private sector employers that we haven’t already reached out to reach out to the public service to see if we have employees where we can place them based on their skill sets or the needs of your businesses.”
Asked if this means those workers will be disengaged by the Davis administration, Mrs Glover-Rolle said this was not the case.
“No, the programme itself we have always invited private and public to engage the workers so it would mean that they would remain on the payroll but would’ve been engaged in decent work in the private sector. If the taxpayer’s money is being spent, we should ensure that decent work is engaged and that is the critical part of the process.”
According to the minister, the government’s 52-week employment programme is budgeted at some $11m.