M.P. FOR ST. GEORGE SOUTH, MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SECURITY
Like an “outside child” ignored by its father, the constituency of St. George South was badly neglected before Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo became its representative. Just as the DLP has changed the law with respect to illegitimacy it has brought St. George South into the Democratic Labour Party family, protected by a caring, capable and competent mother.
Dr. the Hon. Esther Byer-Suckoo is a determined and loyal local girl who was born in Ellerton, attended the Ellerton Primary School, went away to study and came back to establish and serve at the Ellerton Medical Centre as a Medical Practitioner from January 1997. Then in January 2008 she was elected to represent St. George South at the highest level in Barbados. She is now widely considered to have done more for the St. George South constituency in the last five years than all her predecessors since 1976.
The fruits of her labour are highly visible throughout St. George. Her achievements include:
- The total rehabilitation of the Ellerton Day Nursery now renamed the Geoffrey Morris Day Nursery.
- The new building at the St. Luke’s Vocational Training Centre.
- The new Thelma Berry Day Nursery in St. David’s.
- The replacement of the old schools at South District and St. David’s Primary with the new Blackman Gollop Primary.
- The pavilion, resource centre and playing field at Greens.
- Affordable land and housing solutions at Greens, Todd’s and Brighton.
- The acquisition of land and planning approval to develop playing fields and/or other sporting facilities at Todds, Brighton, Workmans and Ellerton.
- Campaign Castle approved for development under the Housing Neighbourhood Upgrade Programme.
- The refurbishment of the District ‘B’ Police Station at Boarded Hall.
- More than twelve (12) roads repaired and other safety measures installed throughout the constituency.
- Major de-bushing projects and the clearing of several wells and drains.
In addition to this, Dr. Byer-Suckoo has maintained her annual fun day and Transitioning Seminar for over 160 students from five schools in the constituency who sat the Common Entrance Examination. She is also spearheading an agricultural project for young people who want to be self-employed. She has found time regularly in her busy schedule to meet with hundreds of constituents and help them to solve their problems.
As Minister of Family, Youth, Sports and Environment, and then Labour and Social Security, she has piloted a wide range of legislation through Parliament. It was she who initiated the formulation of the National Youth Policy in 2009.
As Minister of Labour and Social Security Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo has already established a legacy as the defender of the rights of workers; advocate for the creation of a safe, healthy, tolerant and supportive working environment; and as a tireless campaigner for minimum wages and other benefits for workers.
The passage of the Employment Rights Act will undoubtedly protect the rights of workers and improve the relationship between employers and employees. Among other things, the Act establishes the Employment Rights Tribunal to deal with issues stemming from the infringement of these rights. Similarly, the Safety and Health at Work Act, passed as long ago as 2005, will be proclaimed in January 2013. This Act will make it easier for Safety and Health Officers from the Labour Department to conduct inspections in any workplace and deal immediately with safety and health hazards.
Since 2010 Dr. Byer-Suckoo has been working with the Social Partnership to review and up-date the legislation on Sexual Harassment at work. At the same time she campaigned for a written policy towards victims of HIV/AIDS everywhere and a code of practice in the public sector. In 2011, this code of practice was endorsed by the Social Partnership through the signing of Protocol 6.
With reference to the minimum wage, Dr. Byer-Suckoo has campaigned for an increase from $200 to $250 weekly with a promise to review it regularly. Similarly she has succeeded in getting increases in maternity grants, old age pensions and funeral grants.
The Minister of Labour is committed to ensuring that workers derive maximum benefit from the government’s new Human Resource Development Strategy. This is a major step towards the expansion of quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), to equip Barbadians with the skills required for success in the highly competitive global market place. One of the first fruits of this Strategy was the opening of the Barbados Vocational Training Board’s Training Centre at Deacons Farm.
The Minister’s overarching goal is to improve productivity at work, create a tolerant, healthy and stimulating work environment and to protect the rights of workers up to retirement and beyond. All she needs is your support to complete the tasks she started in 2008.
Contact the Candidate
Constituency Office (246) 429-0175