TENSIONS are mounting between newly formed political party Together Gibraltar and the Gibraltar Government over the layoff of eight workers at the St Bernadette Resource Centre.
The progressive party claims that the government has laid off the workers at the special needs centre without any prior warning, leaving many of the vulnerable patients with great emotional distress.
Together claims that the government decision has caused possible irreversible emotional damage for occupants of the centre as they had created strong bonds with the laid off workers.
“The government’s actions have come at the worst possible time as they are already feeling extremely vulnerable from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” insisted Marlene Hassan Nahon, leader of Together Gibraltar.
The party demands immediate answers from the government as to their motives and their plans to minimise the trauma to the children at the centre.
However the government branded Nahon’s comments ‘reckless’ and said that they ‘prey on the emotions of parents of vulnerable children.’
“Marlene Hassan Nahon specifically asked the rationale behind the layoffs before parliament and received a direct answer to the question,” read a statement from the Gibraltar Government.
“It was made clear that the workers in question were frontier workers on short-term, temporary contracts and they were released once their contracts had expired,” it continued.
“The agreement was always to replace these workers with qualified Gibraltar residents who had carried out specific training and work placements.”
The government has also quashed rumours that the layoffs were made due to financial cuts, explaining that this was always the plan once the contracts had expired.
“We hope that the employment of local residents reduces the chances of high turnover of staff at the facility,” it said.