BRADES, Montserrat -- More than 100 members of public service unions around the Caribbean are in Montserrat for the 42nd annual Public Services Association conference.
Following a flag ceremony and procession, all of the heads of delegations were able to greet those in attendance at Sunday’s opening held at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. Barbados has the largest contingent with 32 members of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) present. There are 18 unions present including the Anguilla Civil Service Association, The Bahamas Public Services Union, and the Jamaica Civil Service Association.
Host and outgoing president of the CPSA, Montserrat Union head Paul Lewis said in his remarks that they expect leaders to make sacrifices in the same way that public servants are being asked to in a time with serious financial challenges. He called on the leaders of the public service unions to work on changing behaviours and attitudes in order to impact those they are asked to serve effectively.
Minister of Labour Easton Taylor-Farrell, who is also acting premier, greeted the participants and wished them a successful week of deliberations. He was especially glad that many of the union representatives commented on how the island was developing and that their misconceptions were being changed about living conditions and life here.
Musical entertainment at the opening ceremony was provided by calypsonian Anderson Kirnon, songstress Arketa Duberry, reigning Calypso Monarch Garnette ‘Sylk” Thompson and Emerald Community Singers.
A full schedule of meetings and social activities are planned for the week. These include a women’s forum, men’s caucus and young workers forum on Monday and Tuesday, the business forum on Wednesday and Thursday. Each evening includes social events including bingo, karaoke and string band music in various villages on Montserrat.