Employees at several public institutions are tired of the ‘run around and promises to have their working conditions improved’ according to several government employees who have spoken to us over the past few days.
There is a growing disquiet within the public service that consideration is not being paid to their daily plight which has not escaped the attention of the Public Service Union (PSU).
In an invited comment, Public Relations Officer of the workers’ organisation Mr Prudence Jeffery said:
“It is important to note that the Union received complaints from workers at the Registry, Public Library and Government Printery. Letters were sent to the management of the abovementioned departments requesting permission to meet with our members to address issues affecting them.”
“The Printery was the only institution which acknowledged receipt of our letter and granted permission for holding the requested meeting.”
Another Union representative told us it is a bad practice across most of the government departments to ignore requests by the organisation to meet with workers and to help address their concerns.
The Union veteran said, “I would tell you this, you have Permanent Secretaries who believe they own the government, they do as they like and to hell with workers and their rights. The same workers who show up morning, noon and night, they treat so badly. All they do is make the government look bad and uncaring.”
“When things boil over or we go to court, then they want to dialogue when problems can be fixed if they have some humility and some basic people management skills.”
The PSU is warning government departments who seem unwilling to accommodate their requests that they “will not tolerate any violation of worker’s rights especially those related to occupational health and safety.”
The Public Relations Officer also made it clear that in the absence of responses from the Public Library and Registry, “the Union will have no other option than to visit these departments with or without permission.”
The organisation is reminding other workers to be forthcoming with their complaints and concerns, so that issues affecting them can be speedily addressed.
In a related matter, several workers have been complaining about their ‘terrible working conditions’ at the government main administrative building in Kingstown. The Administrative Centre commonly referred to as the ‘Financial Complex’ is said to be a furnace with no working AC across several government departments.
With the country experiencing extremely hot and humid conditions, workers have told us ‘that the administrative centre was poorly designed as there is little ventilation. Fans provided have not ameliorated the situation as it is only hot air circulating’.