From: Bahamas Information Services
Public servants who have been waiting to be confirmed will be, said Minister of State for the Public Service, the Hon. Pia Glover-Rolle on Friday. This will happen, she stressed, only if there are no adverse reports on file. Minister Glover-Rolle hosted department heads to a meeting which was held at the Harold DeGregory Building, which houses the Ministry for Grand Bahama. Supporting Minister Glover-Rolle were colleagues Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey; Minister of Housing and Transport, the Hon. JoBeth Coleby- Davis and Senator Kirkland Russell.
Minister Rolle noted that Grand Bahama is an island that needs hiring and residents wanting jobs, so it is important that she came to start the process as quickly as possible. She commented on the recent promotions that have happened in New Providence and said, “I don’t want you to think that we are not going to be Nassau-centric in any way.” The plans and projects, she continued, must reach all islands as will the promotions in the Public Service.
“We are making assessments, that’s why I’m here, as to persons who would have had long standing issues. Whether that is of promotions, reclassifications and in some instances confirmations.”
Acknowledging that by profession she is a Human Resource executive, Minister Glover-Rolle said many of the issues being faced are unacceptable. “The greatest asset to any operation is the human resources – the people. You can not expect productivity, performance, efficiency, integrity if you don’t value and reward your employees.”
Promotions, she added, should be based on performance and not tenure or social promotion. With both parents public servants, growing up she said, it was an area in which she wanted to be employed. Today, however, it is not the same because people look at it as a job and not a career. The goal is to change this. What is needed in the public, said the Minister, is that career paths are established early. “It’s now time for us to build. Its time for us to attract the best and the brightest. Many have left; there are many in the service, but many have left and it’s because we haven’t been paying them, we haven’t been promoting them, we haven’t been recognizing them.”
For too long, she continued, civil servants have not felt rewarded. For people to perform, said the Minister, they should also be a comfortable working environment, and this is also something they are looking into. There is currently a promotional exercise ongoing which is service-wide.
“We are going to look at a blanket Permanent and Pensionable exercise where we set a date, and in our heads we’re thinking 2016 backwards, that everybody will be made permanent and pensionable unless you have adverse reports. “We have to do that. We have to make sure that our human resources can survive and live.”
The issue has existed in the public service for decades and needs to be dealt with. When looking at new hires, the Minister said, a contributory pension is being explored as the pension plan with the government cannot take on more and survive. “We’re looking at confirming, and I’m going to stress this, anyone that needs confirming and does not have adverse reports. You can’t work in the private sector and you’re late, absent, showing up and performing at a low level and be engaged. This is not a dumping ground.” Systems will be put in place so that people know when they join the public service, they know the direction they will be moving. “It is no longer acceptable to come in at an entry level and stay there for 30 years.”