BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, July 21, 2020 (S.T.E.P.) — Director of the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP), Mr Emile Greene, last week at the STEP office on Bay Road in Basseterre met and held fruitful discussions with St. Kitts-based STEP Field Officers to update them on the on-going regularisation process of the STEP workers.
“The meeting with the Field Officers was organised to bring them up to date with the work that has taken place so far with respect to the regularisation of the STEP workers,” said Mr Greene. The ten St. Kitts-based Field Officers participated in the meeting that was held on Thursday July 16, and also in attendance were STEP Field Operations Manager Mr William Phillip, and STEP Payroll Officer Ms Marjorie Jordan.
According to Mr Greene, the meeting was held in the wake of the announcement by Prime Minister and Minister of Human Resource Management, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, at his press conference on Friday July 3 that all STEP workers would be regularised and their status changed to Government Auxiliary Employees (GAEs).
Field Officers play an important role in the day-to-day running of the STEP operations as they are the ones who deal directly with the supervisors, Community Enhancement Groups, and all the persons who are attached to private entities and Mr Greene felt it was an opportune time to bring the field side of the operations up to date with what is happening with the regularisation process.
“Also, going forward as we make concerted efforts to improve the field operations in terms of getting more output from our workers, we discussed a number of strategies – a number of ways that we can work together to bring about some meaningful changes,” observed Mr Greene. “The field operation right now is getting some work and so I feel that working as a team, not just from the office side but getting the input of the field officers it will be a better approach. We get more ideas – we can discuss different ways and means that we can bring about improvement.”
Another meeting with the STEP Field Officers will be held this week to finalise some of the matters that have been discussed by the STEP Regularisation and Pensions Reform Committee which was put in place to advance government’s policy regarding STEP workers and the Government Auxiliary Workers.
Mr Greene informed the Field Officers of three broad areas they stand to benefit directly. These were their being employees of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis which gives them job security; after working with Government for at least six months they will be covered by the Government Health Insurance Scheme; and being Government workers they will have the opportunity to benefit from participating in the contributory pension scheme.
“It was just an information session where they will be informed and I indicated to them that it is a work in process, and so as the committee meets and as we plan and we meet, and more recommendations to the Prime Minister, it will all be done in their best interest,” observed Director Greene. “The whole idea is that nobody will be disadvantaged, and that the position of the workers who transition over to Government they will be in a better position than they were on the STEP.”
The STEP Regularisation and Pensions Reform Committee is chaired by Mr Levi Bradshaw, the Account General, with Mrs Carla Pike, a forensic auditor and Director of Audit, Ms Sheridane Warner, the Chief Personnel Officer, and Permanent Secretaries Ms Sharon Rattan, Mr Ron Collins, and Mr Andrew Skerritt, as members.
Other members of the Committee are Mrs Versilie Francis, representative of the Ministry Finance; Mrs Nisharma Rattan-Mack, Representative of the Legal Department; and Mr Emile Greene, Director of the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP).