Civil teams battle to keep afloat
Two teams working at the Department of Civil Engineering were laid off in September, after their contracts expired. Concern has been raised that the absence of these teams hampers service delivery and contributes to the high volume of overtime claims, because the remaining teams have to work around the clock.
A motion in this regard, tabled by PBI Councillor Virgill Gericke, was unopposed at the council meeting last week. Gericke said when those teams were in place the response time was much quicker. "Sometimes its the sewage that overflows and children play in those areas," he said.
George Mayor Melvin Naik confirmed that it is a matter of concern. "For that very reason Human Resources is in the process of appointing officials," said Naik. "There is a process in place to reinstate them permanently." He pleaded with directorates to speed up the process. "Put in the requisitions so that we can get the people permanently employed. And that is all across the organisation." Gericke commended the mayor for taking leadership in this regard. Naik said he had a recent meeting with Samwu where this issue was also discussed.
"Of the 144 people (that had to be laid off because their contracts expired) there are about 40 people that just need to be placed in the organisation," said Naik. George Municipality was approached for comment on the current reaction time at the Department of Civil Engineering, and the situation with the workers that were laid off. No feedback has been received by the time of going to press.