10 May Trib
EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd said on Monday 7 May that he used a “very poor choice of words” when previously telling the press he was “happy to report” dozens of contract workers had been disciplined and terminated for non-performance. Speaking on KISS FM “Ed Fields Live”.
“It was not my intention to say ‘I am happy to report that persons were being disciplined’ and so forth and I regret having said that it in that fashion,.
“When I came to office, one of the very first things that met me was this issue of contract workers. Their contracts were coming to an end on June 30. Our teams huddled together. I requested a human audit. I said ‘Mrs. Knowles, deputy permanent secretary, let’s organise a training programme. Everybody in the ministry on contract, we’re gonna train them and those who pass the training let’s try to retain them.’ Training is extremely expensive. We were already facing a bare cupboard.
“Anyhow, we have the training session. About 300 to 410 show up; about 200 didn’t show up. The contracts then end so it’s no obligation for us to keep you but no, the economy is bad, it’s tough out there and I understood that and we’re sympathetic. I say ‘Mrs Knowles, call those people and say look here man, you were supposed to show up to the training, what happened?’ (There were) all kinds of excuses. In the process we found out some have jobs at this place, some got jobs at the next place. They are employed by the government of The Bahamas, but they may show up or may not show up and they go to their what you might call other jobs. We just made some decisions and began the process of disciplining. Nobody wants to put anyone out on the streets.”