Workers Need Not Fear Loss Of Benefits
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
February 17, 2009 (CUOPM)
Plans for the corporatization of the electricity services in St. Kitts will include protection of the benefits of the employees.
Minister of Public Utilities, Transport and Post, Dr. the Hon. Earl Asim Martin in updating Cabinet Monday on the continuing efforts to improve the management and operational efficiency of the electricity service noted that there are still a few communities that are affected from time to time.
He rationalised that as the economy continues to grow and as consumers, both domestic and business, continue to expect a higher quality of service, drastic improvements must be contemplated, and such improvements can be more expeditiously achieved if the Electricity Department were made into a public corporation.
According to the Post Cabinet Briefing, Dr. Martin explained that the new electricity corporation would have the latitude and independence to make the necessary investment decisions to radically improve the quality of electricity services in St. Kitts.
Dr. Martin emphasised that once the Department becomes a corporation, the necessary pension plans would have to be put in place to secure the benefits of all the workers, and the Minister recommended the St. Kitts-Nevis Anguilla National Bank’s pension fund as a model to be researched.
He added that the benefits of the civil servants who opt to transfer to the corporation will be guaranteed by the state.
The Minister concluded by assuring the Cabinet that his ministry was working with the necessary government agencies to properly establish a compensation package for the relevant staff transferring to the new corporation, whenever this materialises.
Other ancillary matters, such as the relationship of the new corporation with the Water Department, and the treatment of accounts receivable, were also discussed.