Promise that CARICOM staff won't be cut

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, Monday February 28, 2011 – Amidst speculation and worry about job losses at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat because of a reduced budget there has come an assurance that there will be no layoffs.

It came over the weekend from Acting Secretary-General Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite at the 22nd Inter-sessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in Grenada.

She admitted that the prevailing economic circumstances in CARICOM Member States had necessitated that the Secretariat tightens its belt, but that would not result in the laying off of staff. 

“The Secretariat, in presenting its reduced budget to the Community Council took account of the conditions in our Member States and their ability to contribute to the Secretariat’s budget among so many other competing calls on their slim resources,” Ambassador Applewhaite said.

“The reduced budget will not mean a cutting of staff but it will mean managing what we do better by using even more innovative methods. It will mean continuing to do more with less. It will mean not filling some positions as they become vacant. But it will not mean the laying off of staff.”

Her promise came just days after Dr. Roger Luncheon, Head of the Presidential Secretariat in Guyana where the CARICOM Secretariat is based, said retrenchment may be unavoidable. He said that budget cuts usually lead to the abandonment of programmes and, therefore, a reduced staff complement in the execution of those programmes. 

CARICOM’s budget has been frozen for the past three years and a reduced budget is being considered by the Community Council.

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