SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – With COVID-19 cases on the rise in St. Maarten, National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament (MP) Solange Ludmila Duncan has sent questions to the Minister of VSA regarding the human resource capacity of the Ministry. “For departments like Collective Preventive Services (CPS) and the Department of Social Services which deliver pertinent health and aid services to the general public, I believe that it is absolutely critical that staff are not unreasonably overwhelmed and overworked,” stated the Member of Parliament.
With the onset of what may be a precursor to the so-called second wave, there is likely to be an increased strain on front line and essential workers throughout the island and within Government in particular. MP Duncan has sent questions to the Minister of VSA on the critical vacancies that exist and more importantly the need for a retraining program across Government. “A lack of personnel will negatively impact Government’s ability to perform the tasks necessary to assist our people in these dire times; whether that is in the form of testing, welfare applications or food deliveries,” noted Duncan.
MP Duncan has suggested that an internal retraining or upskilling program be established so that civil servants may have the opportunity to move fluidly from one department to another, one ministry to another, in order to provide urgent capacity and support to those essential departments that may be lacking in manpower.
“I know that there are civil servants that are ready to switch sectors and be retrained in order to serve in areas that may be more crucial during this time. Recruitment of critical staff is key however employee rotation or transfer policies should also be implemented if this is not yet the case,” concluded Duncan.