Prime Minister Initiates Meeting Between Government And Public Workers union To Discuss Matters Affecting Public Officers

PR The Government of Grenada and the Public Workers Union (PWU)  are moving to enhance the working relationship between the two. 

Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Public Administration, Dr. the Right  Honourable Keith Mitchell, this week presided over a meeting that brought together  representatives of the Department of Public Administration and senior officials of the  PWU. 

The meeting stems from a commitment given by the Prime Minister during a recent  meeting of social partners, in which the PWU President, Brian Grimes, raised concerns  about contract workers and the regularisation of public officers. 

At Tuesday’s meeting, there was mutual agreement on regular interface between the  PWU and the DPA as part of efforts to thrash out issues of concern to public officers.  

One of the primary discussion points was that of contract work, with the union expressing  a desire to regularise the employment status of all employees. However, the Government  team explained that the public service comprises mixed modalities of employment, with  contractual labour being one of such. 

The Government has assured the union that it has started the very tedious process of  normalising various matters pertaining to terms and conditions of work, including  standardised contracts and job letters; salary adjustment upon contract renewal; the  definitive appointment of persons holding acting and temporary appointments; identifying  undocumented workers. 

While the details of many of the issues must be worked out, there is a general commitment  by both Government and union to work together in the interest of workers and increasing  the productivity of the public service. 

The Prime Minister acknowledged that parts of the system are broken, but he voiced a  firm commitment for working together to fix it.

Dr. Mitchell said, “I think union leaders, just like leaders in Government, have to ask  themselves, what will be my legacy? In this case, recognising that the system is bad, we  have to work together to fix it and to secure the future of our youth. I take this opportunity  to call on the union to also help us with the issue of performance appraisal and getting  managers, their members, to understand the importance of it as we try to build a better  public service.” 

The PWU President echoed the Prime Minister’s sentiments about working together  saying, “We would like to see the Grenada Public Service as the number one in the  Caribbean. Traditionally, trade unions don’t talk about productivity but we would like to  see regular evaluation of our people so that the Grenada Public service will be the most  outstanding in the region.”  

Other attendees at Tuesday’s meeting were Permanent Secretary with responsibility for  the Department of Public Administration, Rhonda Jones, Alisha Durrant, Human  Resource Management Officer and also representing the PWU were Public relations  Officer, Daisy Hazzard and Susan Donald, Executive Assistant to the President.