Not all Town Planning staff moving
While some staff at the Town and Country Planning Department will be moving into the Warrens Office Complex from Monday, others will remain at the problem-plagued building at the Garrison, St Michael.
However, this decision is not going down well with staff.
Town Planning offices have been closed since last week after staff walked off the job, citing a long list of environmental issues that were impacting their health and ability to work.
Government, at the time, revealed that it might have to find alternative accommodation.
It is understood that yesterday, during a meeting with staff, Acting Chief Town Planner George Browne and information technology technician Kurtis Best said that the clerical staff, the accounts department and duty officers would be occupying the bottom floor of the Warrens Complex, which was previously used by Republic Bank.
On the other hand, the technical staff, the typist and management would remain at the Garrison on the top floor.
Staff were told that there was too much rehabilitative work to be undertaken at the Garrison offices and it could not be done in two weeks. As a result, the entire bottom floor would be out of use.
Some employees said they were concerned about continuing to work in a building that had so many issues.
“When we arrived this morning, the carpet had been removed and the place was in a mess. Dust was all over the place, on the files and the computers. A lot of us have fallen sick with respiratory illnesses and we do not believe that we can still work comfortably in that building,” one worker said.
“In addition, we were informed that if duct replacement has to take place on the bottom floor the entire building would have to be closed.”
Staff said they were also told that Government would be starting its retrenchment exercise at the end of this month.
“We felt as though they were telling us to comply with what is happening or go home. It seems like we are being forced to work under unfit conditions,” a concerned employee said.
The Weekend Nation was unable to reach Browne. However, a release from the Government Information Service yesterday evening said that the department would remain closed until Tuesday and would reopen on Wednesday at the Warrens Office Complex. It added that the department was closed as a result of environmental issues.