Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles, has called on employees of the Ministry to take the lead in increasing productivity in the country.
Commending the workers for helping the Ministry save $6 million in energy costs for 2009/10, he urged them to use that achievement as an impetus to go even further.
“Yes, we have been able to save energy, yes, we have saved millions of dollars, but today, I want to challenge you that saving energy alone is not the total way forward..let us now pledge that we are going to improve productivity,” the Minister said.
Employees from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security perform a song during the Ministry’s Energy Conservation Awards ceremony, held yesterday (June 30) at its North Street office. The Ministry has saved over $6 million since July last year, as a result of its energy conservation initiative.
He was addressing the Ministry’s Energy Conservation Award Ceremony held recently at the Ministry’s North Street office, where individuals and departments were recognised for their contribution to lowering the Ministry’s energy bill.
According to Minister Charles, the Labour Ministry must take the lead in improving productivity, given its integral work with employers and employees, as well as the fact that the Jamaica Productivity Centre falls under its ambit.
State Minister, Hon. Andrew Gallimore, in endorsing the Minister’s comments, said that it is not only important to save money but to boost productivity.
“In moving forward I want to congratulate you.but the fact is that on a national scale it is our ability as a country to compete effectively, to gain market share, to be able to create products and export products and to deal with the services that we provide, effectively, that will, in the long run, be the determining factor as to whether or not we win economically in the worldwide market place,” he stated.
The Ministry’s energy conservation programme followed a directive by Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, last year, for all ministries to devise ways to cut costs.
Workers at the Ministry’s North Street and National Heroes Circle offices, took a number of steps to conserve, including turning off lights and computers when not in use, remove unnecessary lighting, keeping the air conditioning at 24 degrees Celsius, as well as using the stairs rather than the elevator, when necessary.
Employees decided to engage in friendly competition, to see which floor, at each location, could save the most energy, and a logo competition implemented, with the winning design to be used as a brand for the competition.
Celia Williams was awarded first place in the logo competition, while the third floor at North Street and the second floor at Heroes Circle office were named the most energy conscious areas. The top energy monitor was Leroy Anderson of the North Street office.