On Tuesday 14th October, 2013 a meeting was held at the Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce, Couva with the daily paid Forestry Staff on the transformation of the Forestry Division to the Forest and Protected Management Authority (FPAMA) from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The purpose of this consultation was to sensitise staff members about the FPAMA and the potential of benefits this transition. Most importantly, it was to give daily paid establishment of the Forestry Division a forum to voice their concerns and comments regarding the establishment of the new Authority.
Mr. Carlton Roberts, Director of the Forestry Information Unit and Forest Resource Inventory and Management (FRIM); Forestry Division opened the meeting with a prayer and welcoming remarks. He was then followed by a presentation by Dr. David Persaud, Environmental Manager of the Environmental Policy and Planning Division; Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.
Dr. Persaud updated staff on the status of the transformation process of the Forestry Division to the FPAMA. Daily paid staff of Forestry was also given an overview of the proposed institutional arrangement and potential benefits of the FPAMA by Dr. Floyd Homer, Biodiversity Specialist, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. After the presentations, there was an open discussion facilitated by Mr. Roberts. During this session, staff had the opportunity to raise concerns and pose questions to members of the head table.
|View of the facilitator and members of the head table. From L-R: Mr. Roberts, Mr. Byer, Mr. Rattansingh, Ms. Bartlett Alleyne, Dr. Ramlogan, Mr. Seepersad, Mr. Simpson, Dr. Persaud and Dr. Homer|
The head table included Mr. Jonny Seepersad, Conservator of Forests, Mr. Clifton Simpson, Second Deputy President General, National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW), Ms. Jillian Joy Bartlett-Alleyne, General Secretary, NUGFW, Mr. Ajodia Rattansingh, Human Resource Manager, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Reginald Byer, Industrial Relations Specialist, Dr. Rajendra Ramlogan, Legal Drafting Consultant for the Draft Forestry, Protected Areas and Wildlife Conservation Bill, Dr. Persaud, and Dr. Homer.
|Daily Paid Staff of the Forestry Division in attendance|
Many issues were raised and suggestions made about the transformation of the Forestry Division to the FPAMA. These concerns included, among other things, transition of related current posts into the Authority, inconsistences in the operations of Forestry Division being transferred in the new Authority, and the status of outstanding matters at the CPO’s office and pending compensation, re-visiting of the proposed Bill.
Concerns about job security especially for persons that have been working at the Division for a short period of timeopportunities for younger employees in the Authority pensions and other employment benefits/ flexibility especially for single parents, the time-frame for the realisation of the Authority, safety on the job, and fear of victimisation and favouritism were also raised. At the end of the session, Mr. Roberts thanked the staff for their time and airing their views.
>> For further updates on the status of the transition to the FPAMA and/or to give comments, stay tuned to the Green Days by EPPD blog. Presentations and written comments from this meeting can be accessed below: