(SKNIS): A 12-member National Tripartite Committee (NTC), which is comprised of representatives from government, employers and employees, were recipients of instruments of appointments, which formalized the committee. Two additional members, namely, a chairperson and a secretary were installed as ex officio to the committee as it is mandated by law.
The establishment of the committee is covered under an amendment to the Protection of Employment Act, No. 12 of 2013. The NTC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour will “ensure the development of a culture of innovation, the use of initiative enhancement of the level of productivity in all sectors and proper work ethics, and will also be responsible for the maintenance of industrial peace and harmony” nationwide.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Ron Dublin-Collins, outlined the importance of such a committee.
“The establishment of the National Tripartite Committee gives effect to government’s commitment and policies of the Ministry of Labour with regards to facilitating tripartite engagement, dialogue and consultation to promote consensus building and democratic involvement among key stakeholders on national development issues,” said the permanent secretary during a brief but important ceremony held at Government House on Thursday, September 14. “With the National Tripartite Committee at work, the problems, challenges and issues, we pray, that have existed for so long will be destined for reversal. The committee through its deliberations must ensure social justice. It is a fact that the well-being of all workers is a fundamental requisite of our national development.”
Senior Minister and Minister of Labour, the Honourable Vance Amory, echoed favourable sentiments of the establishment of the NTC, noting that its roles and responsibilities are paramount to the future development of the workforce in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“The tripartite committee… is therefore fundamental to the accomplishment of these goals, and our efforts to ensure that we have the mutual understanding, the good relations between the public authorities – government, employers and workers organizations – towards improving the conditions of work and raising the standard of living in St. Kitts and Nevis must not be taken and will not be taken lightly,” said the minister of labour. “The tripartite committee, you as members, will have a strategic and positive role to promote and sustain the development of our labour market. We are looking certainly at having a greater understanding among ourselves that the investment, which takes place to increase employment is considered.”
Minister Amory said that the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC) is expected to meet with the tripartite committee later this year to gather information on the committee’s current position with respect to its projections in respect of ongoing investment and plans for the increase in employment.
“Because it is important not just to react, but to have a positive approach towards future development and that future development to which the government commits itself to provide assistance and concessions to ensure that investments continue to be made, is critical to the goals which we have established as a government,” said the Honourable Vance Amory. “We intend once we have gotten the draft of the new Labour Code, which the tripartite committee is charged, to bring to a position so that we can go to the public for further consultation. I am looking forward to that before the end of this year.”
Members of the committee include Brenda John, Deon Webbe, Emile Ferdinand, Sydney Bridgewater, Batumba Tak, Joseph O’Flaherty, Rhonda Nisbett, Gary Liburd, Torfrida Rochester, Dale Phipps, Ornette Herbert; Labour Commissioner, Shernel James, as the Chairperson and Deniece Alleyne.