The Importance of the Care Economy of St. Kitts and Nevis Highlights Possibilities for Further Growth Within the Sector
Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 29, 2022 (SKNIS): The recent edition of SKNIS’s “Working For You” on April 27 discussed the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees within the Federation’s workforce, paying particular attention to ways of improving existing structures.
First Vice-President of The St. Kitts and Nevis Trades and Labour Union, Ms. Micheleina Charles-Hazelle, highlighted the importance of the care economy as a means of improving the general workforce and providing alternative employment opportunities.
“Because the healthcare system and the formal structure of the economies of care are sometimes not enough, we now have an expanding private care economy. We have a lot of nursing homes and mobile care agents popping up and we need them for support, but is it possible that they are providing a standard of care that is adequate to the needs of their clients? Because again, you became the primary caregiver of my grandmother and I did not have the necessary skills and I had to search within my community to see who is offering these skills and found that the nursing section of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) led by Dr. Bradshaw has a wealth of information readily available,” said Ms. Charles-Hazelle.
The contributions of CFBC trainers such as Nurse Marsha and Nurse Mills were given special praise for their role in providing nursing education to developing individuals in the care sector allowing the redistribution of work labour to off-shed the burden many women experience in the workplace and in their homes.
“I think the women at work in terms of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and mental health in terms of the unfair work distribution from home, from professionalism, from society and from the church must also be addressed. Because what women are expected to do in our society is heavy but it is also invisible. We need to start having a social dialogue about that invisible workload, redistribute it and allow the society to take on some of the workload and protect women with families at work and reward women who are working professionals, yet caring for elders and children who are differently-abled at home,” said Ms. Charles-Hazelle.
The Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) and the Caribbean Confederation of Labour (CCL) are taking a collaborative approach to develop joint regional policies and advocacy strategies for the eradication of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) at the workplace level. The leading employer and labour bodies, supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) hosted a virtual launch of the Joint Regional Effort under the Spotlight Initiative on Wednesday, 6th April, 2022.