|Deadline extended for civil servants' voluntary severance||| Print ||
|Written by Richard Greenemail@example.com|
|Tuesday, 08 November 2011 10:12|
UPDATED Nov. 11: Civil servants can take cash to leave their jobs as of Jan. 31 in a new offer by government aimed at reducing the cost of the government workforce in the future.
Monthly paid employees have until Nov. 14 to apply, but weekly paid employees have until Nov. 17.
“The aim of this is to make the Turks and Caicos Islands civil service sustainable, efficient and right size for the population,” His Excellency the Gov. Ric Todd announced Nov. 4. “It fits in with all the changes we are making in the structure of ministries. … It is meant to be as generous and fair as we can afford.”
The government is looking to reduce staff by 200-300 employees from among the approximately 2,200 current employees, said government CEO Martin Stanley. It could cost government $4-6 million, but will save much more in the future.
If enough people do not accept the offer to reduce personnel costs, some civil servants will be forced off their jobs “via a subsequent compulsory scheme whose terms will be less favourable than the voluntary programme,” the government said in an explanation of the policy.
Individuals who apply for voluntary redundancy but who are not accepted will be protected from being forced off their jobs for 12 months.
The Management Council of the Civil Service Association (CSA) — which represents about one-third of all government employees — said it in a statement on its Facebook page that it “wishes to encourage ALL Civil Servants to express an interest in the Voluntary Severance Scheme. It is in your interest to know what your entitlements will be.
“Members of the Management Council will be meeting with (advisor) Mr. Catchpole, the CEO (Martin Stanley) and other members of their team in a last effort to encourage them to rethink the unfair policies being thrust upon civil servants.”
After hearing from a number of stakeholders, including the CSA, the governor announced Nov. 11 that the package has been revised to include:
“I understand that this is a difficult time for all public servants,” the governor said. “That is why I have listened to the feedback from several quarters and have introduced these improvements to ensure that we treat people as fairly and generously as we can through this turbulent time.”
Among those who can take the voluntary packages are the nine current permanent secretaries who have been forced to apply for new positions as heads of a reduced number of five ministries. The restructuring is aimed at improving efficiency with fewer, more powerful heads of ministries.
Although the government said the preferred candidates for the new positions would be Turks and Caicos Islanders or TCI British Overseas Territories passport holders, Todd said he has responded to objections and will instead limit it only to islanders initially.
While he reserved the right to look beyond islanders for the jobs, he said he was confident the positions could be filled by locals.
In April 2010, Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary Delton Jones said the interim government wanted to reduce spending on personnel to about 45 percent of available revenue.
In 2008-09 before the interim government took over, personnel spending accounted for 44 percent of revenue. But when revenue plummeted in 2009-10, personnel costs then consumed 63 percent of revenue.
Even though personnel costs have been cut from $88 million in 2008-09 to $70 million in 2009-10, government hopes to further reduce it to $66.5 million, or about 41 percent of projected revenues by March 2012.
The governor pointed out that the reductions will help achieve the milestones set by the U.K. for a return to elected government, which is expected to resume with elections toward the end of 2012.
The amount of money to be paid to those accepting voluntary redundancy is based on wages and years of service, similar to programmes offered recently to U.K. public servants. Members of statutory bodies are not eligible, and not all those who can apply will be accepted.
“This is to ensure that essential skills are retained in government and to ensure effective management of the scheme’s costs,” the government statement said.
While statutory bodies won’t be offered voluntary separation packages, they will be asked to reduce their expenditures by 10 percent, an amount similar to the 10-percent pay cut for public service employees in April 2010, the governor said.
Interested civil servants must submit an Expression of Interest form by 4 p.m. on Nov. 14 to the Office of Public Service Management (OPSM) Voluntary Severance Section. Then those who want to proceed must sign and return a forecast notification to OPSM by 4 p.m. on Dec. 9.
Government will make the final decisions based on the needs of the organization and cost, and those who are accepted will be terminated Jan. 31. Some people may be asked to work beyond this date to minimise disruption with salaries still drawn and compensation payments not affected.
A support package for staff will be available and will include counseling, developing a curriculum vitae (CV) and job interview skills, and financial advice from local banks as to how to make their redundancy payments work best for them.
Voluntary redundancy guidelines
Monthly paid staff (a) under 50 years of age, and (b) aged 50-54 years with post 1992 service only:
Monthly paid staff aged 50-54 years of age with pre-1992 service:
a. the normal maximum severance of up to two years salary (one month’s pay for every year of service plus three months in lieu of notice) and up to 30 days ac-cumulated annual leave: or
Monthly paid staff aged 55-59 years of age with post 1992 service:
Monthly paid staff aged 55-59 with pre 1992 service:
Persons aged 60 and over:
Weekly paid staff aged up to 59:
Persons who do not choose voluntary redundancy and are forced to take redundancy:
Entertainment: Your Island Guide
Top things to do in April
Top things to do in April 1. From Golfing to More...
Valentine’s Day Cup 2013 model sailboat races
The Middle Caicos Sailboat Association will once again present the annual model sailboat races at More...
Lime and Tourist Board announce weekly Fish Fry
The Turks & Caicos Tourist Board & LIME partner with Cultural Fish Fry The Turks & Caicos Tourist More...
Turks & Caicos Reef Fun to host dazzling evening
The Turks and Caicos Reef Fund will host its 2nd Annual Cocktail Party Reception on Jan. 26 at the More...
Fashion Glam at Regent Palms
The Regent Palms is inviting everyone to an evening of fashion and glamour at their event being More...
Latest Community News
Cholera Clinical Management Training Held in the TCI
Healthcare professionals from the TCI Health Services were trained in the Clinical Management of More...
Illegal Haitian immigrants Intercepted
Illegal Haitian Immigrants Intercepted, to the Repatriated According to the Ministry of Border More...
Ministry of Health Reminding public about sanitation
Health surveillance teams attached to the Ministry of Health and Human Services (MOHHS) have More...
Scholarship applications now being accepted
The Ministry of Education has announced that they are now accepting applications for scholarships More...
History and traditions stay alive at the 13th annual boat races in Middle Caicos
The 2013 Valentines Day Cup welcomed many fun loving residents and tourists to Middle Caicos’ More...