The Veterinary and Livestock Division is to be temporarily moved to a building in Paynters.
This is according to a well-placed source who told OBSERVER media, that after complaining about the poor condition of their Friars Hill Road office, they learnt the staff will be moved “for now” to another building that houses a government division.
However, yesterday, government’s Chief of Staff, Lionel Hurst said he was unaware the workers are to be relocated to a new building.
Two weeks ago, 15 employees of the Veterinary and Livestock Division walked off their jobs at the Friars Hill Road office to protest the conditions they have been working in for over four years. The workers complained that the building in which they usually work is infested with rats and termites, has a damaged toilet, no running water, and a huge hole in a part of the flooring. They also complained that the pathway to the Examination Room floods when it rains.
At that time, they met with the Permanent Secretary, Sharon Peters and Minister of Agriculture, Arthur Nibbs at the ministry and he told them that the ministry would look at their concerns and would give them an update in two weeks.
At that time OBSERVER media also contacted the minister, who also gave this newspaper a similar timeline in which the employees would be updated.
The source who did not wish to be named said about six of the staff staged sit-in action yesterday morning at the ministry’s Independence Drive office, claiming that the deadline for the update had expired on Wednesday (the previous day,) and they demanded a meeting with Director of Agriculture, Jedidiah Maxime.
According to the source, the workers succeeded in having a meeting yesterday with Maxime and were told that the ministry would need two weeks to retrofit the building for the transition. While the workers must wait on the transition, the source said they have vented their frustration over what they term “a disrespect” from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Our newsroom tried unsuccessfully to reach both the permanent secretary and the agriculture minister by phone.
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