Categorized | National News

Halkitis Denies Mass Firings

Charges by the Free National Movement (FNM) that the government fired more than 20 employees from the Ministry of Finance are inaccurate and misleading, State Minister for Finance Michael Halkitis told the Bahama Journal yesterday.

In a statement released Sunday, FNM Shadow Minister for Finance Peter Turnquest claimed the government terminated the workers last Friday. He went on to suggestthat this mass firing may be a part of the government’s “secret workforce reduction plan.”

“Months ago while in Trinidad at an international meeting, Minister of State for Finance, Michael Halkitis, gave a speech suggesting that the size of government needed to be reduced,” the statement read.

“On returning to The Bahamas, he never gave a satisfactory answer to the question as to whether there was in fact an undisclosed plan to reduce the size of government without any public declaration to that effect.”

Mr. Halkitis denied these assertions, but admitted that there were employees whose contracts with the government had expired.

“We had some individuals who were engaged on contract – some beginning in 2011…some beginning in 2012 – some got one-year contracts that expired in 2012 and some got two-year contracts that expired earlier this year,” Mr. Halkitis said.

“We decided to let those people work from month to month. It becomes administratively difficult to keep people on month to month in the absence of a new contract. So, for administrative purposes we decided to bring all the contracts to an end and reengage those persons who are performing at a high level those functions that are essential.

“There is no mischief here. I think the FNM is looking for mischief where there is none. They acknowledge in their statement that the contracts have come to an end yet they accuse the government of firing individuals. How can you fire someone whose contract has come to an end?
This is purely an administrative exercise to make sure we run the departments properly.”

Mr. Halkitis further denied ever giving an address in Trinidad about reducing the size of government and explained that the only comments he made related to the issue were during an interview where he expressed concern over the amount of money the government gives to public corporations.

“I said we would like to bring the figure down – the amount of money we transfer to the public corporations,” he said.

“I never gave any address nor did I say anything about reducing the size of the public service while in Trinidad. The FNM is not interested in the truth.”

Mr. Halkitis said new contracts are being drafted and some of the employees who performed at a high-level will be reengaged.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook