Friday 27 November, 2020

PM: Public sector hiring freeze can be eased in special circumstances

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has said that the hiring freeze imposed on the public sector as of today could be revisited for emergent circumstances. 

Speaking at the opening of the Diego Martin Health Centre, Dr Rowley said he knows that there are certain vacancies that will arise which will require a fast response. 

“You would have heard the minister of finance say yesterday that because of the strained circumstances, one of the decisions that we’ve taken is that we will freeze vacant posts in the system. 

“As prime minister, I have no doubt that the next cabinet note I will see is one that will be a pleading with the cabinet to vary that position so that we can hire this very important person in the health system because we don’t make these decisions capriciously,” he said. 

Explaining that the COVID-19 pandemic has bolstered Trinidad and Tobago’s needs in the health care sector, the prime minister said it’s understandable that emergent situations can’t be left untended. 

“While we have said that we have frozen all the posts, and I want permanent secretaries to understand that and believe that, there may be emergency situations where specialist skills might be required. 

“In that case the cabinet will then have to say that we exhale and so on, but we still maintain a freeze for the year,” he added.

In yesterday’s yearly budget presentation, Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced that an immediate freeze on hiring in the public sector would be implemented to curb expenditure. The freeze is expected to last one year.

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