Public sector employees on the permanent staff in Grenada have been assured by Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell that their jobs will not be terminated but that in some cases can expect a change in portfolio.
The Prime Minister was addressing the issue at a press conference against the backdrop of claims in some quarters that a number of persons who worked under the former Tillman Thomas-led congress government have been put on the breadline.
According to Dr. Mitchell who is also the island’s Minister for Finance, terminating permanent employees from the service will require a quantity in monetary payments that government is not in a position to pay.
“Sending permanent employees home is not on the cards, lets accept that. What is on the cards is simply this, if you had contracts with the previous government and you are not performing well and you are just providing … political service or lip service at the personal level for the politician of the day, I mean, thank you for the service you provided to your political directorate.
“…But clearly if your contract has ended, don’t expect me to renew it and leave people who are out there, much more productive than you are, and who in fact have not had an opportunity in fact for five years to earn a livelihood.
Prime Minister Mitchell did not rule out the possibility of discarding that group of workers from the government payroll.
“I am not going to tell you that, I would not do this to tell you otherwise in fact I told you previously that those who have contracts particularly the big pay boys and girls, some of them should not be asking to renew, they should not give us the discomfort to have to tell them thank you,” he said.
The Prime Minister disclosed that his five-month old administration has retained some people who were employed by the previous Congress (NDC) government, on state-owned boards, because they have been doing a very good job.
“…We did not do anything to interfere with those”, said Mitchell whose regime has given dismissal letters to several workers on the sister isle of Carriacou.
“You will not see us sending permanent workers home just like that, you might see us moving that person,” he said, adding that, “if the person is not doing a good job and is causing us problems, then you may have to make some movement within the service”.
Regarding allegations that government has been re-employing retirees, Dr. Mitchell said that the only way a retiree would be re-hired by the government into a position is if government could not find what they perceive to be a better person to take care of that responsibility.
“While I am not saying government many not be entirely faulty in that decision-making respect, but that is our thinking process and that’s how we intend to proceed,” he remarked.
One of the more prominent retirees who have been brought back into the service is ex-Commissioner Winston James.