Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 30, 2018 (SKNIS): Representatives from the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SKNCIC) and the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union (SKNTLU) were invited to have an active part in the process to resolve air quality issues at the Department of Labour.

At the most recent meeting of the Tripartite Committee, which comprises SKNCIC, SKNTLU and government officials, the matter was raised and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Ron Dublin-Collins, gave a comprehensive breakdown of the situation. He referred to a Report from the Bureau of Standards, which said there was “no indication of obnoxious odours” nor visible “sign of water damage” that would negatively impact the indoor air quality within the department. The report did express concerns that the air conditioning system did not ventilate the carbon dioxide efficiently at peak occupancy, and Mr. Dublin-Collins candidly shared what was being done to address that particular issue.

Brenda John, the Executive Director of the SKNCIC, was complimentary of the frank and honest discussions about the matter. In a letter to the Commissioner of Labour Shernel James, Mrs. John wrote: “the Chamber of Industry and Commerce wishes to commend the Department of Labour for the steps outlined yesterday (at the January 25 meeting). Your efforts to resolve the matter, follow a logical approach to problem-solving albeit at an increased operational cost in the short term.”

The letter continued: “the Chamber also noted the openness of the Department of Labour to engage the social partners in the resolution. The Chamber sees this action [as] an indication of your commitment to the tripartite mechanism in its effort to build a better world of work.”

Permanent Secretary Dublin-Collins said that adjustments were made to the air conditioning system and tests will be made this week by officials from the Bureau of Standards to ascertain the indoor air quality. Representatives from the SKNCIC and the SKNTLU are invited to attend the session. A full copy of the completed report from the test will also be sent to the tripartite partners in keeping with the set practices of transparency and accountability.