Black Immigrant Daily News
Employees of the School Meals Department are hoping for a solution to their staff shortages by next Monday.
Staff at the Harbour Road, St Michael centre walked off the job early Friday morning, after expressing frustration with several issues surrounding defective equipment, staff shortages and inadequate vehicles.
After consulting with representatives from the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and officials with the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, the employees returned to work.
Deputy general secretary of the NUPW, Wayne Walrond informed Loop News that workers at the Harbour Road centre were working under stressful conditions. He shared that issues have persisted for a while and the staff were “burnout”.
“The burning issue relates to staff shortages which is putting pressure on the staff to get the assignments done in a timely manner,” Walrond said, adding that there was a shortage of kitchen staff and general workers.
In addition to the human resource challenges, workers were struggling with “obsolete equipment”, such as ovens and steamers, which were in dire need of replacing. The NUPW deputy general secretary also told Loop that the vehicles responsible for delivery urgently needed maintenance.
“There is a shortage of this equipment means there is additional pressure on staff to get the meals out on time….Upkeep of vehicles and having a proper complement of vehicles is a challenge and this challenges the delivery of meals also,” he stated.
Walrond said that officials from the Ministry of Education have committed to finding a solution to staff shortages at the Harbour Road centre.
“We know the test is to ensure the commitments are honoured as soon as possible.”
“The immediate thing you would want is that by next week they have a complement of staff increased so they can address that particular issue,” he noted.