While the Employment Rights Tribunal met today to determine the status of close to 200 workers severed by the National Conservation Commission (NCC), Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe revealed that dozens more had since left the employ of the state corporation.
The workers were sent home in 2014 as part of Government’s retrenchment programme, which saw 3,000 employees losing their jobs.
However, during debate in Parliament today, Lowe revealed that the organization charged with maintaining the country’s historic buildings and recreational areas had lost a further 61 employees.
“Let’s face the hard facts. The NCC would have experienced a significant cut in their work population and therefore a number of workers were retrenched and the numbers available to do a lot of the work that would normally be done was reduced by 200 workers.
“Since the retrenchment, another 61 workers have gone home as a result of retirement or medically unfit. So what we are doing there really is exactly what the Ministry of Finance had intended and that is that once you consolidate your numbers you manage the numbers of the institution by ensuring that those areas that are not necessary to be replenished are not replenished and that we continue to shave our numbers down as a result of attrition by retirement, or by any other reason,” he disclosed.
Lowe defended the statutory agency, saying it had spent thousands of dollars to remove the Sargassum seaweed from beaches across the island.
“The NCC really expended money not only in terms of equipment but it expended money in additional hands to get the work completed,” he said.
He said the state corporation had invested $600,000 to purchase two pieces of equipment to clear the beaches.