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First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union revamps civil service awards

Published:Friday | September 6, 2019 | 12:07 AM

Nominations are now being accepted for Civil Servants of the Year. The awards programme is presented by the Civil Service Week Committee in association with First Heritage Cooperative (FHC) Credit Union, which now has ownership of the event. This year, FHC has upped the ante for the programme to honour three civil servants versus one, which has been the case in the awards’ more than two-decade long history.

According to Roxann Linton, chief executive officer of FHC, three categories of public servants will be awarded cash prizes for excellence in performance and service. The awards to be presented are the FHC Civil Servant of the Year Award for Management, Middle Management, and Technical Services.

The new groupings are designed to spur inclusiveness in the nominations and to offer the opportunity for recognition to a broader cohort of government workers.

The FHC CEO noted that having improved its surplus, increased assets by 11.5 per cent and deposits by13.8 per cent, and erased the accumulated deficit of $189 million in the 2018 financial year, the credit union chose to find ways to ‘pay forward’ its gains to its membership.

Linton said that the FHC membership comprises largely civil servants as a result of the 2012 merger of the public sector credit union then known as GSB Co-operative Credit Union and then Churches Cooperative Credit Union. Having learned that no awards had been presented in the previous year, FHC partnered with the Government of Jamaica Civil Service Week Committee to host the awards.

“Civil servants are the largest segment of the local workforce and are “seldom seen or heard while they provide the necessary and sometimes thankless, important, and essential services for national life”, Linton said.

FHC has not only broadened the number of civil servants to be honoured, but has significantly increased the incentive for the award. Each of the three honourees will receive $200,000. As part of the credit union’s continued commitment to ­community and national development, the award winners will receive another $150,000, which will go towards a joint ­community venture of their choice.

The awards will be presented during Civil Service Week, November 12 through 23, for which the theme will be ‘Building and Sustaining A Culture of Excellence.’