Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 25, 2019 (S.T.E.P.) — Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) Mr Osbert DeSuza, while stressing the importance of observing the stipulated work hours, has said that STEP Community Enhancement Workers will have the hours of work extended in line with what other similar groups are doing.
“There has been an attempt by us on the STEP to have a conversation with you, in relation to extending work hours up to 1:00 pm,” said Mr DeSuza on Thursday March 21 when he addressed STEP Community Enhancement Workers at the opening session of a Soft Skills training programme at the Edgar Gilbert Sporting Complex in Molineux for STEP workers from Bourryeau, Lodge, Ottley’s, Phillips, and Molineux.
“That came about essentially because we have had some intervention from people who work on the Parks and Beaches (of the Ministry of Health), who complain that they are basically in the field up to that time (1:00 pm) and they are not working for any significant amount of money more than what the STEP workers work for. As such we have been encouraged to have a conversation with you so that you can be on the job a little bit longer.”
According to Mr DeSuza, just as the Government has responsibility to the STEP workers, they too have responsibility to the STEP and the Government and that they are expected to be out in the field producing. Giving the example of the people working at the Industrial Site who work from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm for basically the same wage as the STEP workers, he said they have to move away from the mentality of reporting at 7:00 am and by 9:00 am they are back in the house.
“The state is paying – we have the responsibility to pay you and as such you also have the responsibility to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay,” said Mr DeSuza. “I want you to be mindful of that.”
Mr DeSuza reminded the workers that Director Mr Wendell Wattley had informed them that they will be referred to as Community Enhancement Workers “and we want you to be proud of what you are doing because the environment must be clean, not only for people who are visiting us, like the Prince (of Wales) today, but it must also be clean for us and you need to take pride in cleaning your environment – you need to take pride in doing that. This country is ours, we need to look at it the best we can – we need to keep it in the best condition that we can.”
Facilitating the Soft Skills training session on Conflict Resolution was Dr Neals Chitan, who is an International Social Skills Consultant and Crime Reduction Specialist, and President of Motiv-8 For Change International. He noted that the session was on conflict management where they looked at the positive conflict, and negative conflict.
“Some of the topics we are trying to do the Soft Skills Training in are Conflict Resolution, and Money Management which we started,” said Mr DeSuza. “We also want to do sessions of Group Dynamics and Budgeting, and Civic Responsibilities and so forth, because we feel that by introducing the STEP workers to these areas we can build a better set of responsive workers to the programme.”
The session was chaired by STEP Director Mr Wendell Wattley who said the Soft Skills Training Programme is providing persons with life skills for them to be able to become better persons within themselves, and also better citizens, better parents and better persons generally across the board.
Present at the opening ceremony were Mr William Phillip, STEP Field Coordinator; Mr Clive Nias, STEP Accountant; STEP Field Officers Mr Jason McKoy, and Mr Leslie Connor; and the Motiv-8 For Change International Administrative Assistant Mrs Patsy Chitan. The next Soft Skills Training session organised for STEP Community Enhancement Workers will be held on Thursday March 28 at the Sandy Point Community Centre.