Chester Humphrey: Everything is not smooth sailing

The planned transition of the state-run Grenada Board of Tourism (GBT) to the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is likely to hit rough waters.

December 10 is the time set for the dissolution of GBT to make way for the more independent GTA one day later, December 11.

The man charged with the responsibility of undertaking the transition process, Barbadian Noel Lynch told stakeholders last week that it is the intention of the New National Party (NNP) Government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to severe all the staff members of the GBT.

He said, however, that a core of the existing group of workers would be retained as part of the new entity.

According to Lynch, a former Minister of Tourism in his homeland, every other worker will then have the opportunity to apply for a job with the new authority.

“It doesn’t guarantee them a job, what it does guarantee them is that they’re going to see the advertisements before anybody else. They’re going to have first options in terms of applying. They’re going to have a guaranteed interview but it doesn’t necessarily mean that will guarantee you a job,” the Consultant said.

Lynch also disclosed that advertisements for the top three positions in the GTA – Chief Executive Officer, Director of Marketing, and Manager of Human Resources – have been sent out to media houses in the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica and locally.

He spoke of the transition team meeting for five hours with the President General of the Grenada Technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU), Chester Humphrey on the issue and that “they made a lot of headway.”

“We’re pretty much closer to ensuring that everybody gets a fair deal out of the GTA, and we get the right people for the job,” he said.

However, shortly after the Barbadian Consultant’s presentation was aired on the weekly programme, “Sundays With George Grant”, the TAWU boss called into the programme and declared, “there are some issues which are not yet resolved.”

Humphrey disclosed that a substantial part of the unresolved issues relates to the successor employer in relation to the law.

He said TAWU holds the view that the person who holds the job of the Marketing Manager of the GBT does not have to apply for that position.

This is one of the three positions that are currently being advertised with the local and overseas media.

Humphrey said the TAWU negotiators advised the transitional team that it would be a breach and was bad taste for the discussions to be taking place and the position at loggerheads was being advertised.

“Because we have fundamentally opposing views on the successorship in respect of Grenada Tourism Authority and from that will flow whether or not workers will have an automatic go over to those jobs, we thought it was really imprudent, totally out of taste and inappropriate to have proceeded to announce and advertise positions which came directly under the dispute that we have,” he added.

Humphrey is not optimistic that the December 10 timetable that is set for the GBT’s dissolution is realistic.

“Everything is not smooth sailing. We are in some very intensive talks with the transitional team,” he remarked.

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