Mrs. Jennifer Baptiste Primus entered the Parliament as a People’s National Movement Senator and was appointed the first, female Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development on Friday, September 11, 2015.
Mrs. Baptiste Primus brings to the Office of the Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development a wealth of experience in industrial relations and labour related issues. As a retired President of the Public Services Association of Trinidad and Tobago (PSA), she was the longest serving elected officer (1985-2009) in the PSA, since the introduction of the one man one vote system in 1981. To her credit, she was the first and only female Executive President of the PSA when she was elected to the post in November 1999 and remains the only female to have occupied such a position within the Trade Union Movement. Her assumption of the role of President of the PSA was at a crucial time for the Union as she worked assiduously with her Executive to bring the PSA to a place where it was debt free and strategically sound.
Whilst at the PSA, Mrs. Baptiste Primus played a pivotal role in fostering change in the local, industrial relations climate. Notably, Mrs. Baptiste-Primus is recognized for her roles in lobbying the Government to retain Clause 4 in the Sexual Offences Bill, which addressed the taboo issue of rape in marriage; for the implementation of programmes for training members within the Union; for the creation of the Dr. Kenrick Rennie Bursary, which was available to students both at the University of the West Indies or other tertiary level institutions and the representation of many Public Officers before the disciplinary tribunals of the Public Service Commission.
With her training from the Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies in Labour Studies and the George Meany College (USA) in Industrial Relations, Leadership in Trade Unions, Trade Unions Organizing, Train the Trainers Programmes and Succession Planning, Mrs. Baptiste-Primus is excited to execute the Government’s policies and plans, in consultation with all stakeholders, to ensure a consistent and peaceful industrial relations climate.