Leaked internal memo reveals Agriculture Ministry to send home workers

Sunday, May 15, 2016 - 20:00

The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries is set to become the first Ministry to terminate the employment of workers, amid the current economic climate.

Many of the workers to be sent home, do not as yet know, as letters are to be sent to them by Monday May 23rd giving either two days or five days notice.

CNC3 Digital has acquired a copy of a memorandum sent by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry to the Director of Surveys, labeled S:22/6/5 and dated May 4th, 2016, instructing that the employment of casual and regular daily paid workers be terminated because of redundancy.

Termination of Employment

It has as its subject, "Realignment of Portfolios - Termination of Employment".

The letter states:

"Pursuant to the assignment of responsibilities of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, the Land Administration Division and Surveys and Mapping Division now fall under the portfolio of this Ministry.

"Previously these portfolios were placed under the purview of the former Ministry of Land and Marine Resources.

"As a consequence of the realignment of portfolios in September 2015, certain duties, responsibilities and functions were rationalized resulting in excess staff in the daily rated cadre of workers.

Workers no longer required

"As such, please be advised that the casual/regular daily rated workers on the attached listing are no longer required as the functions previously performed became redundant and/or have been incorporated into other functional areas of the Ministry.

"In this regard the enclosed Lay-Off Notices are forwarded for delivery please, taking into cognisance Clause 19.6 of the Collective agreement:

19.6.1 "Regular Workers shall be given not less than five (5) working days notice prior to lay-off.

19.6.2 Workers other than those who are permanent or regular shall be given not less than two (2) working days notice prior to lay-off".

Letters to be sent by Monday 23rd May

"I shall therefore appreciate if the attached letters are delivered by Monday May 23, 2016.

Please note that pursuant to Clause 18 of the said Agreement, these workers will be entitled to severance benefits."

It is signed by Joy Persad-Myers, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries.

The memorandum has been copied to the Auditor II, Accounting Executive II, Commissioner of State Lands and Administrative Officer II (Surveys and Mapping).

CNC3 Digital did not acquire a copy of the attached listing showing the names or number of workers to be sent home.

Several calls to the Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat went unanswered.

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