KINGSTOWN, SVG (BreadFruit News) – The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Public Service Union (PSU) is calling on workers across the government service to be forthcoming with their complaints about their working environment.
The Union which is the representative body for public sector employees in recent times has been making a concerted effort to speedily address complaints and concerns of its membership.
When contacted recently with regards to complaints to our News desk about working conditions at the Administrative Building/Financial Complex, Public Relations Officer Prudence Jeffery reiterated that the “Union continues to work assiduously in defense of workers’ rights and seeks to attain justice for all through its Executive and legal counsels.”
Up to press time, the body had not received any official complaints from workers at the Financial Complex. However, we have been reliably informed that several workers have been complaining about their ‘terrible working conditions.’
Further, the Union has written several permanent secretaries requesting permission “to visit workplaces to ensure that their [workers] places of employment meet minimum acceptable standards.”
Some workers are fearful of speaking out but say none of the promises made to assuage their concerns have materialised after several years.
“For the longest while we’ve been hearing Finance ordered the part or would order the part needed to fix the AC and up to present moment, nothing,” said one worker speaking on condition of anonymity.
When contacted, another government worker in a separate department told us that “the heat is killing us, some departments and floors have AC that’s not working, we don’t even have one.”
The same worker said that the trouble is that the building was not constructed with natural air and ventilation in mind. “It was built for AC…it wasn’t affecting us as much before because the place wasn’t as heated as it is now” said the young man who has been a government employee for over 5 years.
While fans have been provided in some instances, the workers say that they are only circulating hot air making ‘the situation more intolerable and exacerbates the health issues of staff especially those suffering from sinuses.’
“I don’t know how much longer we’re supposed to perform in those conditions. So we think maybe if its known then something would be done sooner than later.”
For its part, the PSU says it is guided always by its motto: the cause of one is the cause of all.