The 90% attrition policy

The Keith Mitchell led administration has approved an attrition policy which sees vacancies in the public service being cut by 90%.

Minister with responsibility for Economic, Trade, Planning and Co-operatives, Oliver Joseph, said that the Cabinet decision would see only 10% of vacancies within the service being filled by government.

The Mitchell regime’s attempt to decrease the wage bill was first disclosed during the delivery of the 2013 Budget of Revenue and Expenditure when it was disclosed that 70% of the jobs will not be refilled.

Prime Minister Mitchell said then that “for every 100 persons who retire from or exit the Public Service, no more than 30 such persons will be replaced”.

He also said back then that his administration plans to abolish at least 100 vacant posts in 2014.

Addressing the media during last week’s Post-Cabinet Briefing, Minister Joseph said that government’s attrition policy falls under its Structural Adjustment Programme (Homegrown Programme) signed two
weeks ago with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with support from other development partners such as the World Bank, European Union, Caribbean Development Bank, and the Department for International Development, Canada and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

According to the senior government minister, the attrition policy gives officers within the pubic service the choice of retirement or resignation.

He said the vacancies created will not be replaced at the same level.

“So in other words, for every 10 persons that resign or retire you would only fill three posts, and that’s where you will get a reduction (in staff levels), he remarked.

“So that policy was approved by Cabinet because under the Structural Adjustment Programme, we have committed to reducing the numbers in the service by attrition. Also under the attrition policy you would see the giving up of 90% of vacant positions,” Joseph told the media.

The senior government minister said that a number of vacancies presently exist within various government ministries and that 90% of them would be eliminated.

He said that the Department of Public Administration would carry out an analysis to determine which 10% of the available vacancies would be kept.

Government has been complaining about a high monthly wage bill with 70 cents of every dollar collected in taxes going toward wages and pensions.

Public sector union officials do not anticipate any significant reduction in the monthly wage bill through the attrition policy.

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