The board of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation met with the management and staff of the corporation Wednesday to discuss the imminent impact on CBC of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation or BERT, programme which the government of Barbados has embarked on as part of its arrangements with the International Monetary Fund.
Board chairman, Mrs. Melba Smith, told staff everyone is aware CBC is one of the state-owned enterprises or SOE's, which is to be restructured in Phase 1 of the BERT programme.
She added that as Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley stated in her recent broadcast to the nation, restructuring in phase 1 must be completed by the end of the year.
Mrs. Smith acknowledged restructuring will result in a decrease in the staff complement at the Corporation, and that the board is mindful any restructuring exercise must be done in compliance with the Employment Rights Act.
As a consequence, the board will be holding discussions with the union representing the bargaining unit at CBC - the Barbados Workers Union.
While those discussions have not yet started, the CBC chairman told the staff the board was of the view that they needed to let staff know what was imminent.
She emphasised that staff who are not part of the bargaining unit will be treated no less favourably than those persons represented by the BWU.
She explained because the discussions with the union must take place first, in keeping with proper industrial relations protocols, there was not much more that she could add at this time.
However, she gave the commitment there would be further communication with staff at appropriate points during the negotiations with the union.
Mrs. Smith said that all the members of the board recognise that this is a stressful time, and stress will take its toll.
She stated, "I have asked the HR manager to make sure that Network Services (counselling services) will be available to staff who need it."
The chairman gave the assurance all staff who are to be severed will be treated fairly, and in accordance with the terms outlined by Prime Minister Mottley when she addressed the nation on October 14