#Providenciales, November 1, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – While there is no role for the elected Government in the management or oversight of the administrative arm of Government, it is still the role of the elected Government to look out for their well being and to update the public more on the workings within the Public Service.
On coming to Office, I arranged and met with members of the Executive within the first 100 days of my Administration as promised. Unfortunately I have not been able to meet with this Body since as it has become unoperational and I believe it to be a huge disservice. As an avid supporter of the CSA and former Trustee, the importance of this Body can not be underestimated. The role of the CSA to make recommendations and to advocate for better working conditions and benefits of the Public Service is a vital one. What has proven fatal for Bodies of this sort is when persons use this Body as a political platform. Nonetheless it is important that this Body is functioning and given the support to.
We have addressed the long standing issue of service charge/workers’ benefit for the largest worker base in the private sector and country and it will be hypocritical to ignore the large public service and its many pressing issues.
We were pleased as a Government to offer the first ever hurricane preparedness advance and the opportunity to pay back over a period of time. We believe that many were pleased. We wish to address longer benefits and are open to hearing representations.
I have recently requested a copy of the findings and recommendations of the Working Group appointed many years ago under the former Administration looking into the implementation of a gratuity scheme, among other benefits and I am advised that this work remains ongoing and has not yet been finalised. I urgently await those findings and recommendations and believe a vibrant CSA is necessary to take a collective approach on these matters. Persons will recall a Private Member’s Motion brought by me while serving as Leader of the Opposition which spoke to benefits inclusive of the Gratuity Scheme and its role in attracting and maintaining professionals. It is important that the work of this Committee concludes as we consider further the costs of recovery.
There are many hardworking public servants who truly put country first and who unfortunately feel under appreciated for a myriad of reasons. Whilst there are many ways to show appreciation, my Government and I do support a system that provides for financial incentives that is tied to performance and has supported staff increase to allow for a well oiled performance management system.
I have also sought the approval of the Head of the Public Service to meet with Civil Servants around the Turks and Caicos Islands. I hope to announce these dates soon. This is in an effort to hear directly from them on issues they hold as priority and to advance my Government’s views especially as we seek to move more strategically in planning.
My Government is committed to improving the lives of our public servants and by extension the services that we offer to the people of these Islands.
Hon Sharlene L Cartwright Robinson
Premier & Minister of Finance
The Turks and Caicos Islands