The Public Sector Transformation Unit (PSTU) is moving to put several measures in place to ensure that staff welfare issues are adequately dealt with during the public sector rationalisation process.
Human Resource Specialist on the PSTU team, Ward Mills, told a news briefing today (February 18) at Jamaica House that “we are very aware of the fact that whatever happens over the next year and a half or two, there is going to be uncertainty and there is gong to be change of one sort or another, and we know that in an atmosphere like this, we are going to have to treat very carefully with people and their sensibilities and their concerns”.
To facilitate the transition, the PSTU is making provisions for re-training of staff, redeployment, counselling, and assisting with small business loans.
Mr. Mills said the PSTU has been working with human resource directors in the various government organisations and has put together a team, which will look at issues relating to change management.
Financial Secretary, Dr. Wesley Hughes (second left), emphasises a point during a press briefing called by the Public Sector Transformation Unit, at Jamaica House, on February 18, to give an update on its progress in drafting a plan to transform the public sector. Listening (from left) are: President of the Jamaica Civil Service Association and General Secretary of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, Mr. Wayne Jones; Chief Executive Officer of the Public Sector Transformation Unit, Mrs. Patricia Sinclair McCalla; and Chairman of the Consultative Monitoring Group, Mr. Peter Moses.
“We are going to be developing templates for each Ministry and entity to use. We have sub-committees looking at possible redeployment of staff and how we set that up. We have a database that resides in the Ministry of Labour, which we can use to bring people together with jobs that exist in the public sector,” he informed.
The HR specialist said that formulation of the template should be completed by the beginning of March.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the PSTU, Patricia Sinclair McCalla, added that the PSTU is already in discussions with the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) for small business loans to be made available to workers, who might transition out of the public sector as a result of the restructuring.
She said the PSTU would also be having discussions with some tertiary level institutions as well as the HEART Trust/NTA regarding the development of a curriculum to retrain and retool public sector workers.
In addition, the PSTU is seeking to establish linkages with the human resource managers within the private sector, to see if some workers who lose their jobs can be absorbed by private companies.
The PSTU was set up in November last year to restructure the public sector for greater efficiency and accountability.