The Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) will seek to reduce its staff by way of voluntary separation packages (VSEP) in the next few months in an effort to boost efficiency and streamline operations, WSC Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson said yesterday.
Gibson made the announcement during a press conference at the corporation’s headquarters on University Drive.
While he would not say how many people the board hopes would accept the packages, Gibson said the corporation could do with a voluntary staff reduction of 80 to 100 people.
WSC employs 420 people.
“As it stands, Water and Sewerage must rightsize,” Gibson said.
“Some areas are not functional. The average age is 50. We must upgrade and improve, via recruitment, qualified personnel [and] we must better our efficiency and streamline operations.
“We must improve our operational capacity. We want a more efficient, optimal operation at WSC. We are grabbing the bull by the horns and doing what must be done.”
Gibson said he would meet with Bahamas Utilities Service and Allied Workers Union (BUSAWU) President Dwayne Woods.
Asked when the VSEPs would be offered, Gibson said, “We anticipate that happening in a few months.
“Obviously, we have been looking at possible packages. Once we put the packages together we will speak to the minister and follow the process. So we anticipate that happening as soon as possible.”
When asked how many people the board is seeking to rightsize, Gibson said, “The board has a figure in mind. What we will do is review all of the applications, just like BPL (Bahamas Power and Light), some we will accept and some we won’t.
“Because of our efforts to rightsize I will tell you this, the corporation right now could do with perhaps a staff reduction of, let’s say, voluntarily of course, 80 to 100 plus people.
“We won’t force anyone out the door. It will be a totally voluntary process.
“We are not firing more people, simple as that.
“We are not firing anyone. If there is anyone who is terminated from WSC it is for just cause.”
Earlier this year BPL announced that it would conduct a VSEP exercise as well.
The announcement was made by BPL Deputy Chairman Patrick Rollins and sparked a fierce rebuttal from BPL union leaders who threatened a long hot summer.
About 300 BPL employees were approved for the VSEPs.