Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte says statements of planned dismissals at WASA by two trade unions are premature at this time.

Since assuming office the Minister has given a mandate to all the respective Boards of the Utilities under his purview to explore ways of improving efficiencies, and reducing their dependence on the state.

In a media release the Minister noted that WASA has a revenue /expenditure imbalance, with expenditure amounting to three and a half times the revenue it generates.

He said given the country’s current financial position, it cannot be business as usual.

Minister Le Hunte noted that the conversation among all stakeholders, the unions included, has to focus on increasing the efficiencies at WASA and reducing expenses in order to correct the imbalance between revenue and expenditure.

The Ministry said WASA’s present labour force is 5,151 employees.

It added that Utility’s overtime costs amount to approximately 200 million dollars.

Staff benefits also amount to another $200 million dollars, with a similar amount being spent on contract labour.

The Public Utilities Minister re-iterated his commitment to dialogue with all stakeholders, and welcomed the opportunity to meet with the unions, as he has done with the OWTU in the case of T&TEC, with a view to exploring options for increasing efficiencies.

Minister Le Hunte has also extended an invitation to the head of the PSA in this regard.