Bahamas Utilities Services and Allied Workers Union (BUSAWU) President Dwayne Woods said yesterday that his members are ready to “break down the door, including the frame” for voluntary separation packages (VSEPs) from the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC).
But Woods warned that the corporation will be understaffed once the process is complete.
WSC Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson announced last July that WSC will seek to reduce its staff in an effort to boost efficiency and streamline operations.
Woods said, “…I’ve had members, who are also employees of the corporation, come to the union seeking a voluntary separation package.
“We’ve written the corporation on about 15 persons and to be honest with you, based on the morale of the corporation, the way it’s heading and what seems to be happening, the members themselves are probably dying to get out of here.
“So if the corporation has a package to offer, we gratefully await the arrival of that package, and I’m quite sure that my members will possibly break down the door, including the frame, to get out of here with that package.
“So we look forward to the package coming.”
Almost nine months after Gibson announced that the company would be carrying out the exercise, there has still been no visible movement on the matter.
Woods said, “Officially we haven’t communicated anything with management on the voluntary separation package.
“We are just like the general public, hearing the chairman and the executives of the corporation come to the public and saying Water and Sewerage will be doing a voluntary separation package.”
Woods noted that under the former general manager of the corporation, it was established that the company would rightsize itself within five years through natural attrition.
“We went as high as 340 persons in the bargaining unit and I think its 440 persons in total in the corporation throughout the entire Bahamas,” he explained.
“What we attempted to do was to establish a size of the corporation that will take us forward in the future.
“…We had determined that over a period of five years the corporation would downsize and possibly rightsize itself because 100 persons would have retired within five years.
“Out of that five years we are now into the third year, so we should be right on stream in terms of rightsizing this organization.”
Last July, Gibson said that the corporation could do with a voluntary staff reduction of up to 100 people.
However, Woods said yesterday it takes at least 400 employees to run the organization throughout the country.
WSC employs 420 people.