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Ministry of Border Control and Employment Introduces Shift System at Providenciales International Airport



#TurksandCaicos, March 10, 2018 – Providenciales – The Department of Immigration in the Ministry of Border Control and Employment, on March 4th, introduced a shift system of work for its employees that are designated to the Providenciales International Airport, in response to historical anomalies in staff earnings, inefficiencies in operations and expenditure and as mandated by an Internal Audit Report’s findings on overtime paid to airport staff and its recommendations.

While the system is newly introduced, the move to such has been discussed with staff over the years and in March of 2017 the Internal Audit Department released a report on its findings and key among the recommendations was the implementation of the long talked about shift system.

The shift system seeks to normalize the pay rates for overtime, regularize the long work periods that staff are currently exposed to and improve the overall efficiency of the operations of the Department and particularly at the airport.

The shift system has major benefits to both the Government as well as employees: improved efficiencies and better utilization of human resource, justifiable and more controlled incurred overtime cost; regularization of hours worked to eliminate fatigue and excessively long work periods; more opportunity for personal/family time and periods for rejuvenation. Shift systems are not new to TCIG as well as the Prison, Police and other agencies currently operate on shift systems

The Department recognized the efficiency of schedules of staff being aligned to flight arrivals, as the audit found that whilst TCIG was contracting hours of employment from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, there were very few arrivals before 12 pm and peak capacity between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm.

Management however further recognized that in order that a shift system be effective, it required additional human resources and budget appropriation for the payment of overtime, as the other recommendation by the Audit Committee was that the rates in the Public Service Handbook be used instead of the flat rates of $10 per hour that were historically paid.

The report further identified that staff previously worked excessive hours without days off and that this was impacting the work of the organization. This move presented an increase of 100% of the current overtime payments, funding which the department could not sustain. However, the staff push for payments of the Public Service Handbook rates, which is due them, compelled management’s move to implement the system.

It is unfortunate that on implementation, shortfalls on human resource resulted in excessively long lines and unduly long waits in the entry process for visitors and other travelers arriving on Sunday and Wednesday, March 4th and 7th, respectively.

The Ministry and Department appreciates and recognize the value of tourism to the TCI economy and the critical role that Immigration Officers play in welcoming our visitors, and on receipt of these reports, management immediately consulted and further met with the Deputy Governor and Minister of Border Control and Employment to address concerns, with a view of implementing mitigating measures.

Management’s commitment to the ongoing and continuous improvements in the Ministry of Border Control is evident in the recent promotion of 7 Assistant Immigration Officers to Immigration Officers, the provision of necessary and critical tools and other resources and the regularization of their work hours and overtime rates and payments.  The department has also recruited 3 additional new candidates and with an additional recruiting exercise to shortly get underway.

We apologize to all persons and businesses affected over the past few days and assure you that we are taking all necessary steps to ensure that we meet our visitor’s expectation and experience.

We take this opportunity to thank staff for their hard work and to congratulate those who received promotions this week.

Release: TCIG



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Caribbean News




The fastest internet just got even faster…for the same great price


Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – 1st, December 2021 –  Digicel+ is gifting The Turks and Caicos Islands faster home fibre speeds for Christmas, and beyond. Fulfilling the brand promise of Simply More (more power, more speed and more reliability), customers will now benefit from up to 2x faster download speeds on broadband and bundle plans.

This is all about a better experience for customers, and not about the cost. This free upgrade gives Digicel+ customers an even better home fibre internet experience, for anyone, on any device. And as part and parcel of the digital lifestyle, Digicel+ is the gateway to a Smart Life, which means that state-of-the-art Smart Solutions like Smart Homes and Smart Security are no longer just concepts, but a powerful reality.

Addison Stoddard CEO of Digicel TCI said, “This Christmas, we’re excited to reward customers with a super slick, superfast, super reliable home fibre experience, underpinned by service delivery that is, of course, second to none. Our entry-level plans are the fastest on the island and this puts us head and shoulders above any other internet offering in the country.”

The upgraded packages now start with download speeds of 50Mbps, and go up to 300Mbps for the speed demons and heavy gamers out there. This allows the Turks and Caicos Islands to connect to the global knowledge economy, have amazing entertainment options, and power their personal and professional experiences, thanks to these new superfast internet speeds.

Addison Stoddard continued, “It’s more of what our customers expect; more of what they want and it’s another way that we can be a part of our customers’ digital lives – at home, on the go, anywhere and everywhere. Simply put, Digicel+ is simply more.”

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has solidified the importance of having a steady, powerful and reliable home internet connection, mainly due to many schools going online and parents working remotely. Now, with even faster internet speeds, customers get the best home fibre experience every time. This provides opportunities for MORE working, MORE schooling, MORE gaming, and MORE streaming with Digicel+.

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Bahamas News

Guys, Have 2 Minutes? Here’s How to Check Yourself for Testicular Cancer



Testicular cancer is a rare form of cancer for men in The Bahamas.  It is highly curable — if you know it’s there!


November 30, 2021 – Men…how often do you perform a self-exam to check yourselves for testicular cancer?

While it’s a relatively rare form of cancer, young men aren’t exempt – in fact, testicular cancer occurs most often in young and middle-aged men. The good news is, it can usually be treated successfully.

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a lump on your testicle. But that’s not the only sign of this disease.

Men who have testicular cancer may experience several different kinds of symptoms, says oncologist Timothy Gilligan, MD, a Medical Oncologist at Cleveland Clinic who specializes in treating testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer most frequently strikes men younger than age 44, and is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men ages 15 to 34. It is almost always curable if found early, Dr. Gilligan says, and it is usually curable even when at a later stage. So it’s important to know signs and symptoms.

Here, Dr. Gilligan says, are five possible signs of testicular cancer you might not know about:

5 Testicular Cancer Symptoms That Aren’t a Lump  – Know what to look for and catch it early

  1. A feeling of heaviness or pressure in your scrotum.
  2. Change in testicle size or firmness.Certain types of testicular tumors can reduce testosterone or increase estrogen in the body, which can result in a change in testicle size or firmness.
  3. Swollen legs.When a tumor spreads to the lymph node, it can constrict blood flow in the veins and result in a blood clot. The clots often occur in the legs, which causes them to swell. You might even experience blood clot symptoms such as pain and difficulty breathing.
  4. Lower back pain and shortness of breath.These are symptoms of advanced testicular cancer, meaning the cancer has spread to lymph nodes behind your stomach. Shortness of breath also may signal that the cancer has spread to your lungs, which may make it harder for air to move in and out.
  5. Breast growth or tenderness.In rare cases, hormone changes also can cause breast tenderness or growth of breast tissue. Some tumors can secrete high levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which stimulates breast development.

If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor right away, Dr. Gilligan says. If your physician diagnoses you with epididymitis or orchitis and the symptoms do not resolve quickly with antibiotics, request an ultrasound to evaluate for a testicular tumor.

“While up to 95 percent of men with testicular cancer are cured, it’s important to get care quickly if you’re experiencing symptoms because testicular cancers usually grow fast,” Dr. Gilligan says. “If there is disease, the earlier it is treated, the greater than chance for success.”


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PDM Deputy Leader lends to Beach Vending Bill debate from outside Parliament



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, November 30, 2021 – The Opposition party says the new Beach and Coastal Vending bill does not provide adequate protection for TCI vendors.

This came from Deputy Leader of the PDM Robert Been, in an open letter to the Speaker of the House of Assembly earlier today.

The Deputy Leader who claimed to be in direct contact with vendors in Sapodilla say while there are several provisions for penalties against the vendors in the bill it does not ‘adequately address the protection of vendors rights.’

The PDM referenced incidents of abuse from homeowners against vendors and said, “These homeowners, very often, insult and threaten vendors which is humiliating…There needs to be, in the law, something that clearly penalizes any overreaching harassment by property owners…situated near vendors.”

The Opposition deputy leader also said the Premier’s claim that the reshuffle of vendors will not affect their earnings was ‘misleading’ and ‘held no truth.’ They added that the section of roadway cited for the relocation was a known hazard and tourists would likely not frequent the area.

The PDM had several other requests to make the bill a more viable one for vendors. Been insisted that the government produce a timeline for the temporary relocation and allocate funds for a stimulus in case of loss of earnings on the vendors’ part. They also requested to see compulsory marketing for the vendor markets and questioned the lack of any clear avenue for redress should the government default on its promises.

Finally the PDM Deputy Leader called for CCTV cameras to be installed at every vendor site for both the protection of vendors and their wares and objectivity in conflict resolution.

The office of the Premier has not yet responded to the letter. The bill will be debated in the House today (November 30).


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