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City Hall, Local Government Commission discuss decision to layoff workers

Last Updated on Tuesday, 6 July 2021, 12:48 by Denis Chabrol

The cash-strapped Georgetown Municipality is set to shutdown a number of sections and the Day Care centres and lay off at least 50 workers , in a bid to reduce its wage and salary bill, City Mayor Ubraj Narine confirmed on Tuesday.

The decision, which was taken by the elected councillors, was Tuesday being discussed by the Local Government Commission (LGC) with top administrators of City Hall.

Mayor Narine told reporters, while leaving the LGC office, that City Hall could no longer pay workers to do nothing. “We are trying to make those sections redundant so that we can able to give them their full benefits, we can be able to pay them  off, give them gratuity, whatever they are entitled to and we proceed in a different direction with the Council business,” he said.

The City Mayor said that the administration had been trying for more than  one year now to retain the staff and pay them their salaries due to the harsh economic times.

“Council made a decision a few months ago… like the Day Care staff and so on; we don’t have work. We continue paying these workers to be at home over one year now and we are trying our very best to reach to that level to give  them their full salaries because we know the crisis at this time,” said Mr. Narine.

City Hall sources said workers slated to be sent home are road repairers, carpenters, charwomen, masons and tinsmiths. The source noted that Central Government has for years been repairing roads, and the others workers do not have any work to do. The source said  City Hall has reached a stage where it could outsource  a number of tasks , reduce its wage and benefits bills.

The source said that with the layoff the estimated 50 workers, the Municipality’s monthly wage bill is expected to reduce from GYD$115 million to just under GYD$100 million.

The source did not rule out more City Hall workers being sent home in the coming months. “We are redefining the work and reassigning the staff,” the source said.

The persons required to provide the commission with further information on the redundancy issue are Town Clerk Sherry Jerrick, Chairman of the Human Resource Management Committee Oscar Clarke, Human Resource Manager Michelle Smith and City Treasurer John Douglas.