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BTC’s CEO touts benefits of VSEPs

There could absolutely be more voluntary separation packages (VSEPs) coming for employees at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), according to the company’s Chief Executive Office Garfield Sinclair, who added that VSEPs help to draw out the best talent available in the company and are therefore necessary to improve the culture of a business.

Sinclair, when asked if there could be more VSEPs coming, said to Guardian Business on Friday, “Is there a likelihood we engage in one again? Absolutely.”

Sinclair contended VSEPs are not to be “feared”, and recounted examples of several former BTC employees who thrived from the packages they chose to accept.

Sinclair said there are “fantastic” and “energetic” employees at BTC who are ready to “get on” with business, and he said VSEPs can extract those who are not interested in continuing with the company.

“When you reinvigorate your business with colleagues who want to shine you’re able to compete more effectively,” he said.

While Sinclair would not say exactly how many BTC employees the company would ideally need to let go of in order to streamline the operation, he said the idea of the VSEP would be to readjust the culture of the company and not simply staffing levels.

During the discussion, he explained that BTC currently operates at an operational expense ratio of 52 cents to the dollar, which he said needs to be reduced in order for the company to continue to compete in the telecoms market.

According to Sinclair, the company hopes to get that figure down to 49 cents by the end of the year, and will “steadily chop away and get to where we want to get in a systematic way”.

Sinclair insisted that BTC will not carry out any involuntary separation of staff, and explained that its executive management recently signed a union agreement with the Bahamas Communications and Public Managers Union (BCPMU). He said he was instrumental at striking a deal with the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union after an industrial agreement had not been negotiated for two years.

The entity hardest hit by the VSEP process is the government, which is solely responsible for BTC’s employees’ pension liability.

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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