Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 22, 2017 (SKNIS): Outstanding employees of the Department of Labour were among several persons who were recognized for their contributions to the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Ecclesiastical Affairs during an inaugural Staff Appreciation and Award Ceremony Luncheon on Friday, December 22, at the Ocean Terrace Inn.

Awards were presented to Desiree Taylor as the Most Outstanding Employee of the Employment and Statistics Unit; Shona Whyte as the Most Outstanding Employee of the Policy and Labour Relations Unit; Melissa Walters, the Most Outstanding Employee of the Social Protection Unit; and Junique Eddy, Most Outstanding Employee of the Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health Unit. The Most Outstanding Unit Head was identified as Mechelle Liburd, while the Most Improved Employee was Sharmain Dore.

A long service award was presented to Labour Commissioner Shernel James, while Minister of Labour, Honourable Vance Amory, was recognized for his sterling leadership in growing the department. Also recognized were retired staff members Franklin Stevens, Jacqueline Chiverton-Pemberton and Spencer Amory. The contributions of workers from the Human Resource Management Department and the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service to the work of the Department of Labour were also applauded.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Social Security, and Ecclesiastical Affairs, Ron Dublin-Collins, said the current staffers who were awarded were selected by their respective heads of unit who followed a criteria that factored in task assignments and completion, punctuality and attendance and the like. Recommendations were then made to the ministry which ultimately made the selection.

Senior Minister and Minister of Labour, Honourable Vance Amory, said that “he is a firm believer in the bonding of people” where “they live together in unity and friendship.”

“I want to commend you for the long hours which you have spent … to ensure that you equip yourselves effectively to accomplish the tasks that we have set you,” he stated. “Your dedication to the ministry and the public we serve is clearly recognized and appreciated. This award ceremony is one such effort to recognize your work and I want you to feel that you are truly appreciated.”

He expressed his belief that this initiative will help to motivate the staff as it prepares to deal with an increase in workload expected in 2018.

“The key factor for us in the ministry is productivity, it is performance, because we [as the Department of Labour] cannot speak to persons about productivity and performance if we are not being productive and we are not performing,” he added.

Senior Minister Amory stated that he was looking forward to working with the staff as they continue to carry out the mandate to enhance labour relations, improve workplace conditions and safety, and strengthen strategic relationships with local, regional and international agencies.