The Minister of State for the Public Service the Hon. Pia Glover said in this administration’s first 20 months as a government, after re-opening the economy, it strengthened the country’s overburdened healthcare system by upgrading numerous clinics and hired dozens of doctors, nurses, and other support staff.
“We increased nurses’ salaries and benefits and improved several wards in the Princess Margaret Hospital,” she added during her contribution to the 2023/24 National Budget Debate in the House of Assembly, Monday, June 12, 2023.
The Minister of State explained that the government addressed challenges in education by hiring over 200 teachers while increasing salaries and benefits packages.
“We got those who dropped out of school during the pandemic back in the classroom by the hundreds and are now getting them caught up through our learning loss interventions, ably led by the honourable members for Englerston & Yamacraw.”
She said for those who would have graduated or were near graduation, the Smart Start Programme is providing them with support in entering the job market.
The State Minister said many people are receiving hands-on experience and training through the PS-PEP programme launched in this government administration’s first year – this included the first ever cohort of differently abled people who are currently working with private sector partners, receiving salaries, gaining experience, and being respected, included, and treated with the dignity they deserve.
The Minister of State explained that during the government’s first 20 months, the Labour Relations Unit of her ministry worked diligently from day one and as a result, the government signed 18 Union Agreements, after years of stagnancy and bad relations under the previous administration.
“That is about one new agreement per month. And in each one of those agreements, our people, the teachers, nurses, police officers, and clerical staff, all the people who make our country tick, received higher pay, better insurance packages, and improved benefits.”
She also noted that the government has decreased the promotions backlog and we initiated a digitization process for document management to speed up public service operations. “We increased public servant pensions and increased salaries for thousands of public servants.”
By LLONELLA GILBERT/Bahamas Information Services