The Minister who just about two weeks ago became the new Minister of Health and also of Tourism, addressed the workers briefly during an introductory visit to their Charlestown office on February 06, 2013.
“Solid Waste is very important to us. As you all may know I am the new Minister responsible for Health and Tourism. I think both things go very well together. If you do what you are doing right, it helps us in our health care system; it helps us with our Tourism.
“I want you to know I would be coming around, I am going to be meeting with you I want to hear what your concerns are because we need Solid Waste to be on a proper footing insofar as Nevis is concerned. I see you as being on the front line in terms of the health care system. If what you are doing isn’t done properly the whole island is going to suffer and that for me is something that is very important,” he said.
Mr. Brantley told the Solid Management Authority workers, he was aware that the work of the Authority had been hampered by difficulties with maintenance, equipment and technical issues but at this point the Ministry was experiencing difficulty with its finances and certain demands would have to be put on hold.
“The Ministry is challenged in terms of money, things are tight everybody is telling you the same thing I know but it is the truth. We are having some serious cash problems, cash flow problems.
“So for those of you who may want a pay raise or something like that, I am asking you to hold that for the moment because there are lots of pressing matters that we need to deal with. There are some personal issues that we have to resolve but the bottom line is I want you all to have my assurance that we in the Ministry are going to do everything that we can to support the Solid Waste Authority,” he said.
Nonetheless, the Health Minister reminded the workers that what they did was critical to the health and wealth of Nevis and as such they needed to be treated properly.
“I say that because as I have entered Government many of you know that I have never been in government so this is all brand new to me but as I have entered Government, what I have found peculiar, is that some of the most critical services nurses, teachers, sanitation workers those are the people who are paid less and we find that a lot of other people getting big money and I cannot figure out what they do.
“This are some of the things I think we need to look at, we need to be realistic about but we need to start to ensure that the people who are on the frontlines, the people who we depend on for a healthy Nevis, the people that we depend on for a Nevis that looks attractive for the tourist and the visitors that come, that those people are properly taken care of and that you know you have a Ministry that is fully supportive of your efforts,” he said.