Government of Barbados: Push Me, Pull You? Labour & Education Ministries poles apart on Alexandra Secondary debacle – why?

After close to three weeks, there finally appears to be light at the end of the tunnel with the Jeff Broomes Vs. Teachers of Alexandra Secondary fracas… Prime Minister Freundel Stuart eventually deigned to step in long after the Education Ministry should have intervened, which has many Bajans wondering – could it have been handled differently?

Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo; The Labour Minister addressing participants on the border of Hastings and Rockley

Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo believes so, when the Bajan Reporter saw her as the Keynote for the launch of NISE’s “100 Improvements in 100 Days” and while initially the Minister of Labour was reluctant to comment, nevertheless her concerns as a parent came forward and she suggested what could have been done via her jurisprudence {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

Her main duty she sees it, is to get the instructors back in the classrooms. Minister Suckoo says how her children are preparing for CAPE and she wouldn’t want any disruption at such a critical moment in their development. So her priority is to see functionality at the institute.

Clearly this shows how Education Minister Ronald Jones should concentrate on real issues rather than waste time on matters like Wadadah… Dr Suckoo was all part of a special Countdown of 100 days for 100 improvements an initiative meant to pull in both Public & Private Sector where they’re hoping to answer a troubling statistic from the recent NISE Employee Engagement Index (NEEX) survey: only three (3) out of ten (10) Barbadian employees are working at their fullest potential.

The event was a simulcast on CBC's 94.7 FM (no groans hopefully, unlike their weather the other night)

While the Bajan Reporter posed questions to NISE, since the event was held at Scotiabank in Hastings, we decided to query a situation which annoying to not just me but many Bajans… Why when a line has 20 or more customers, are there 3 tellers or less to handle the backlog? Chefette while with small rotis and huge costs, nevertheless has Supervisors and managers willing to work as either cashiers or serve food – why cannot the same pertain to banks?

When Scotia was posed the query over long lines and fewer tellers, even the Cabinet Minister cheered on Bajan Reporter - here's Jennifer Murray seeking to address a major bugbear from many customers not just Scotia but ALL banks in Barbados!

Scotia’s Jennifer Murray, Asst Mgr of Retail Banking (Eastern Caribbean) reminded everyone how ATM cards are convenient – this is all well and good for younger users what about older customers (whether themself) or their proxy who have to secure a receipt as proof of transaction? The official was clearly not ready for the query which is always at the back of everyone’s mind yet (most) dare not ask – here is how she chose to view the way to achieve Customer Satisfaction {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

She was quick to pint out they have Officers follows a queue and asks customers what hey need and if it is a brief service they draw them off the line and process their requests as improving service is an ongoing process (but the long lines persist, people are told use the ATM yet are charged for automated banking – now tellers have a fee to so what do you do?) the manager asserted.

Through this employee-driven education and recognition programme, NISE seeks to empower public sector and private sector employees and managers to work together to identify, and implement creative ways to better their organization through improvement in the areas of Innovation, Creativity, Customer Satisfaction, Work Relationships, Punctuality & Timeliness, Waste Reduction & Efficiency, Personal Development, and Working Conditions & Atmosphere.

CEO of NISE, Kim Tudor who was amazed that only Bajan Reporter had questions and the rest of the local media was so reticent?

NISE’s intended outcome: To ignite the spark of continuous improvement across Barbados, driving internal customer service and ultimately enhancing external customer service experiences across all economic sectors, as well as encourage a more productive start to the New Year for Barbados’ work force.

NISE's Chair Sir Kenneth Hunte was part of the team unveiling the Countdown Clock, which hopefully won't be a waste of time like the Central Bank's Y2K clock when they should have paid the Anchors to recite the time each night, but did not and left a bitter taste in many voiceover artistes' mouths...

Now this may be good in theory but what happens once the 100 days pass? You know most folks, when they’re aware they’re no longer under a microscope they then drop back into standard patterns which are not necessarily superior yet comfortable. So when Bajan Reporter posed this to Kim Tudor, the CEO of NISE was very emphatic there’ll be significant Follow Up {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

Ms Tudor says similar to ISO 9000 they plan to have a National Improvement framework by the middle of 2012, she says it is up to employer and staff themselves to keep the service shining.

So has Polite Percy made a difference or is he just a piece of wasted ham better off made into crackling for Easter or Christmas? Again Ms Tudor states Percy and his menagerie have a bearing on the next generation of workers {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

Mannerly Munchkins is a kids’ version of NISE, the CEO says most children successfully identified the pig as being on signs across Barbados and realise what kind of lesson he is teaching – so hopefully when I am a Sr Citizen I will meet a teenager who will give his seat to me in a crowded bus because of NISE?

The employee driven creativity, innovation and engagement challenge started January 23rd – May 1st 2012 (Companies can join on as late as Feb. 15th but have to do more in less duration). NISE will present 100 Improvements awards to outstanding participants at a special ceremony on June 16th after evaluating the improvements and reports submitted by each organization. Major categories include: Most Improved Organisation, Smallest Organisation with 100 Improvements, Innovation, Customer Satisfaction, Creativity, and The MVI (Most Valuable Improver) Award for the Employee with the Most Improvements.

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