Bahamas: Expired Contracts Caused NHI Layoffs

by Jones Bahamas
Englerston Member of Parliament (MP) Glenys Hanna-Martin, after asking for clarification regarding the dismissal of 21 customer service representatives by the National Insurance Board (NIB), was told in the House of Assembly yesterday that the decision was made to relieve the persons from their duty because their contracts had expired.
“I’m wondering whether they are able to verify that and if so they could tell us the circumstances,” Mrs. Hanna-Martin said.
“The concern is there is a lot of apprehension about what would happen with change of government and we are now hearing that 21 people will be let go at the National Insurance Board and we want to get clarity on that because everybody has a family and it mushrooms out into the wider community.”
The workers had been hired on a six-month contract to carry out recruiting and enrollment for National Health Insurance (NHI).
State Minister for Public Service and National Insurance Brensil Rolle stood and gave the following response.
“Persons presently at NIB were issued contracts that have expired and as a consequence of the contracts that were issued by the former government, the NIB board is abiding by the contracts issued by them,” he said.
It was after this that Mr. Rolle accused the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) of hiring only PLPs, something he said the Minnis led administration had no part in.
“The FNM, this government, does not operate in that fashion. We are fully aware that many families are hurting and we have a commitment to the Bahamian people that we will not victimize them, “he said.
“Neither would we replace 21 PLPs like they did, with 21 FNMs.”
Mrs. Hanna Martin did not receive the comment favorably.
“I’m quite shocked at what the member said and I’m wondering whether he ascertained the political antecedence of these Bahamians and he’s concluded that we put in place 21 PLPs,” she said.
“Is it confirmed? I hope the Bahamian people are listening.”
The speaker of the House of Assembly ruled that the state minister was exercising his discretion and therefore would not entertain further rebuttal.
The House of Assembly has been adjourned until September 13, 2017.

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