Saint Lucia
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Public Service Minister Provides Update On Passport Office Relocation – St. Lucia Times

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The Minister for the Public Service, Home Affairs, Labour and Gender Affairs   Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte last week Friday, (May 5, 2023 ) convened  a high-level  meeting in  an effort to expedite the  retrofitting works related to the relocation of the Passport Office to a new site.

The Minister pointed out that she was satisfied that a new chapter lay ahead for the staff who have been airing grievances for some time now.

“I was very pleased that we were able to cover a wide-range of issues, as we looked at the problems faced by the Immigration Department. In the Meeting we had representatives from the Police Welfare Association, the Permanent Secretary –Public Service, the legal officer and facilities management officer. We had the Deputy Permanent Secretary from the Department of Home Affairs, and we also had representatives from Immigration. I was the one who convened that meeting to look at   the issues affecting the Immigration Department at this time.”

Minister Albert- Poyotte has paid the Immigration Department many in-person visits in the recent past; including a visit that was totally unannounced.

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The Minister says she believes in ensuring the staff is constantly updated, so that they do not conclude that nothing is being done to address their concerns.

The Minister says accommodation, is just one serious concern but there are the staffing   issues within the Immigration Department, which is another priority issue that is currently receiving attention.

“We concluded that meeting by agreeing that the Immigration Department will be located to a new site.  However, we are in the process of doing the retrofitting work so that they can move there at the earliest possible time. We also looked at the issue of staffing, at Immigration.”

The issue of adequate staffing, Minister Albert-Poyotte explained, will be addressed in collaboration with the Commissioner of Police Mrs. Crusita Descartes Pelius.

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Minister Albert-Poyotte says in the  meantime, the officers at the  Immigration Department are encouraged to take every safety precaution from an Occupational Safety and Health stand-point, since some officers have medical complaints.

She also encouraged the staff  to use this time to prepare  for the upcoming move, and to patiently look forward to a more conducive work environment in the near future.

SOURCE: Department of the Public Service

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