Coordinator of the National Initiative to Create Employment ( NICE) Perry Thomas has denied having hired new or additional people under the project to fill in at the various government ministries and departments as a result of the current strike action being undertaken by the Civil Service Association (CSA).
CSA President Mary Isaac has suggested that NICE hired new people under the project to take up the roles of various CSA members made absent by the strike. This, she said, hold implications for the public service as there are rules and standing operating procedures that only experienced civil servants would know in order to keep the public service functioning properly.
Thomas points out that it would be virtually impossible to recruit and complete the hiring and contract process overnight to have persons fill positions.
NICE is a government initiative set up to generate employment opportunities for Saint Lucians.
To date, over 2,600 persons have found work under the project which is said to be well on its way to achieving its mandate of creating 5,000 jobs in three years.