|Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley (FP)|
"The Board of the Gymnasium has been actively at work putting a pension plan in place for its staff, but it cannot happen overnight."
This disclosure was made today by Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, who said the Board had already retained the services of a consultant who was working on the project since May. "He has already met with the staff and he is working to ensure that the plan is a reasonable one, that is acceptable to both sides," he declared.
Minister Lashley was at the time commenting on the recent calls by the Gymnasium staff for Government to move with alacrity to implement a pension plan.
Admitting that the staffers had been waiting for a pension plan for a long time, Mr. Lashley continued: "We understand the frustration of the staff, they have been waiting for a pension plan for 14 years and, therefore, within that context, one can understand their anxiety. But, it is important to note though that the current Board, which is a new Board, is very focused on ensuring that an acceptable plan is put in place."
The Minister stressed that it was important to afford the Board "a reasonable opportunity" to do its "due diligence" to ensure the plan "meets the requirements of the current legislation", is "one that is affordable to the Gymnasium, is well thought out and well executed".
He insisted it had to meet certain actuarial requirements to make certain that persons could get their pension over a specific period of time.
However, Mr. Lashley said it appeared to him that there was "a lack of flow of information to the staff. I’ve asked the Board of the Gymnasium to give the necessary instructions to management to meet as soon as possible with the staff, to bring them up-to-date on what is happening with the pension plan," he disclosed.