Government’s Works and Engineering Department (W&E) is having to outsource trucking chores to outside vendors due to a lack of vehicles in working condition.

The department is also struggling to effectively and efficiently carry out its mandate of providing essential services to Bermuda in the form of maintenance to the public infrastructure.

According to the W&E employees, the department is having to utilize a high-priced fleet of independent truckers to transport asphalt and other relevant materials for road maintenance and other projects within the department’s remit.

“There are four to five outside truckers being used every day and one of the truckers is the president of the Bermuda Truckers Association (BTA), said the W&E workers. “Government’s fleet of Works and Engineering, the mount of people needed to do all the jobs we’re supposed to do in-house is, like, 1250 people. And our current staffing level is down to 800, so we have two-thirds of what we’re supposed to have.

“It’s like that in every Government department. They’re all short of staff … Work’s and Engineering, the prisons, police, parks … everywhere is way under-staffed.

“But, instead of doing some true hiring, they’re outsourcing all the work.
“I’m sure it’s more expensive to outsource the jobs, than to bring in new employees, train and promote others within the department that have useful skills, to save money over the longer term. Why not spend less doing more?
“Our department is supposed to have between 12 to 15 truckers, and it’s down to just four now.”

It was added that the truckers were being paid an hourly rate of $65 for an average 8-1/2-hour work-day, with a stockpile of long-term, capital infrastructural projects to be pursued.
The workers spoke of there ability as being well above the grade-level of current posting at W&E, but there to be a, seeming, reluctance to advance from within.

“I, myself, have credentials to drive,” highlighted one of the worker. “I have licences for heavy trucks, minis-bus, limosines registered with the Ministry of Transport and I’m willing to drive, able to drive and I like to drive.

“They knew this from the moment they hired me. But, rather than use me, a person with the skill-set to do the job, they would rather bring in outside truckers.

“When I got hired they told me that there are avenues and opportunity for upward mobility, that I would not be stuck in the same, entry level position.

“The area I work in had a few staff membes, one leader and two helpers, now it’s down to one. And it’s no way one person can do the whole job properly.”

TNN sought a response from the Ministry of Works and Engineering, we await a reply stay tune.

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