BVI News

Water & Sewerage workers ‘underpaid and overworked’

Director of Water & Sewerage, Pearline Scatliffe-Leonard.

The Director of Water & Sewerage Department, Pearline Scatliffe-Leonard is calling for a salary increase for the workers in her department because she believes they are being underpaid and overworked.

Scatliffe-Leonard made the statement during a recent interview on the Honestly Speaking radio programme where she announced a number of the issues that her department has been facing, including the need for more staff.

She said that the duties for a number of her staff have gradually increased over the years, which is linked to the growing number of customers her department continues to record annually.

“Personally, I think the field workers are underpaid and overworked and let me just explain that because persons may say, ‘well, you always have leaks and so forth’, and may not understand where we are going,” she said.

“We are adding new customers every year, we are adding new customers both on the sewerage side and the water side every year. — 2,000-plus; probably sometimes and that’s how we grow. And the same workers are expanding in responsibility but we’re not expanding in staff. You expect the same staff to deal with all this expansion, bearing the same salaries. That’s an issue,” Scatliffe-Leonard explained.

A 24/7 department

The director added that due to the services being offered by her department, it automatically puts her workers in a unique category as they must be on call to provide a service at any given time of the day.

She said: “Water & Sewerage Department is also not like any other department because you must have 24/7 service. You’re talking about a service where you must have water. It’s not a Monday-to-Friday job. It’s a Sunday -to-Saturday job. We must have people and to have people you have to ensure that they are properly compensated and that’s an issue for us at the Water & Sewerage Department.”

Employee morale important

She also spoke to the importance of employee morale. She said she believes once an employee feels appreciated, it helps to motivate them in executing their duty.

“We are in a structure with the entire service and as a former HR Manager I understand that. But it’s certainly time that we review that whole salary structure and having that for the water guys. I think once they are compensated appropriately, I mean, if I send them somewhere and ask them to do something, they’ll do it but not happily do it. If they’re feeling valued, then we won’t have a problem,” Scattlife-Leonard stated.

The director said that both the Water & Sewerage Minister and his Permanent Secretary are aware of these issues and are on board to having them rectified.

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13 Comments

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  1. water and shit says:

    yes you know that we are under paid but you in the mix and not giving people their incrument and you taking long to recommend raises for workers, You giving some raise if they carry n….to you and they are the ones who t……. the m fron customerrs whwb a transcation is being done look in side and stop killing people if they owe a bill and stop cutting people water you all too wotyhlist Head you need to get proper staff you have some good staff and you donot know but some of those ha ha, Check your inside and help people

  2. Please Be Thankful says:

    Not the time right now for this kind of talk – there are millions around the globe without a job and there a many within the BVI without jobs.

    There is a time and place for everything! In the interim, just please be thankful.

    Want all gets nothing … where is the revenue going to come from? Why not talk about the lack of incoming government revenue & find ways to bridge the decrease (esp. since COVID) and/or stop the decrease gap from widening

    Like 14
    Dislike 6
    • 007 says:

      Your comment is highly ignorant. There are millions around the globe that are hungry and poor but that dont stop you from dumping food and throwing away clothes that are too small, dumping usable furniture and other goods because Christmas coming and you want new stuff to nice up the place etc. In response to your question about where is the revenue is going to come from, If they are gaining 2000 new customers annually and each pay $50.00 a month that is $1.2 million in revenue per annum that can go towards a raise. Any reasonable person would expect some kind of compensation if their workload increases significantly or expect that their employer hires additional staff to deal with the increased workload. Keeping the status quo is unacceptable and will result in poor or poorer service to their customers.

  3. Too much waste says:

    Ayo need to fix that broken pipe up Sage Mountain. Every time they turn on water up there the placed flooded with wasted water. Come on fix it numerous reports have been made

  4. E. Leonard says:

    Water services or water utilities, ie, water, wastewater, and stormwater, are essential and critical services in any community, ie, residential, commercial, industrial and institutions , as well as in advanced, emerging and developing countries. As such, the Water and Sewage Department(WSD) must set a fair, reasonable and competitive compensation (pay), training and education and retirement package to recruit and retain qualified workers.

    Water system workers must be properly supervised, trained, and equipped to deliver a high quality, safe and reliable potable water supply from the production plant to the tap. Similarly, wastewater system workers must also deliver quality, safe and reliable services from the flush to collection, to transmission to treatment to discharge into the sea. The WSD is obligated to meet its contractual responsibilities by effective and efficient leadership/ management operations and adequate investment and so too are the workers.

    Workers must be committed to delivering a high level of service. Some workers in both Water and Wastewater personnel should be incentivize to attain licensing, ie, a bonus for attaining a basic water and wastewater license. Further, WSD should be self-supporting by charging reasonable fees; fees should include sum for recapitalization of systems.

    Moreover, all government workers, including statutory bodies, should get cost of living adjustments (COLA) and performance-based raises. Government must avoid creating frictions among ministries, departments, division…….etc workers. This will occur by some workers getting performance-based raises while other qualified workers don’t. COLA raises apply to all workers and should be a line item in Operations and Maintenance Budget. Performance-based raises should be a part of fair and well-administered appraisal system.

    Finally, strong, stable and effectively functional water systems are essential to providing a high quality of life and standard of living in developing countries. They are essential for domestic and external investment. And is a precursor for preparing for independence.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
    • La Familia says:

      Unc strengthening the positioning of niece. It is all good though. WSD needs some improvement, including organization, resourcing…..etc.

      • BVIslander Abroad says:

        @La Famalia, tell me again what is the issue with E. Leonard lending support to Ms. Scatliffe-Leonard, if it is so. Stop raising a storm in a tea cup. He was just staying a point of view with a plan of action that seems to be a reasoned assessment and approach. Truth be told water and sewage and other infrastructure needs a shot in the arm improvement. They all sound and practical master plans. The BVI to train and educate its local people and put the right people in the right spots to do the right things. Stop trying to force square pegs in round holes. Match the person to job, not job to person.

  5. Big says:

    She need to go. Them to l** and t***f…..I have a bill big and they even give me account of it

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  6. Bviec says:

    What about bviec pock wood pond workers who striving on the same salary for 15 plus years.time for a raise.

  7. Vi says:

    Bvi is the best
    The only island that raising government workers salary during a pandemic lol
    Where as ppl out there without a job since March
    Some ppl can hardly get food to eat
    Oh wait I forgot this vip government don’t care about the ppl

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  8. This woman should be the first fired for gross in********ce! says:

    This woman should be the first fired for gross in********ce!

    This department is ro****g from that particular head down!

  9. Really says:

    So how come it still have so many pipes leaking in the street and roads of the BVI

  10. Vancy says:

    Lots of things are overlooked at the water and sewerage department. there are workers working for over 10 years are still not permanent and pensionable. that is so unfair especially to one guy I know because he is a serious and hard worker.

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