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Fear, anxiety and panic have overtaken the lives of several temporary clerical officers in the Civil Service.

And that’s because after serving in these temporary posts for as many as eight years in some cases, they were now being asked to go before an interview panel for confirmation as permanent clerical officers in the Civil Service.

In a statement issued by the National Union of Public Workers today, officials of that union confirmed that they had been receiving several anxious calls from temporary clerical officers expressing concern over a recent circular issued by the Personnel Administration Division inviting suitably qualified persons to apply for temporary and permanent appointments for the vacant posts of clerical officers.

Explaining the development to Barbados TODAY, Senior Industrial Relations Officer of the NUPW, Wayne Waldrond, said previously the division did not rigidly apply the Recruitment and Employment Code of the Public Service to the lower grades of positions.

Waldrond further explained that the appointments were based on being suitably qualified, seniority and having the appropriate recommendation made on the officers’ behalf.

“There is a fear that despite years of service, having the required qualifications and a favourable staff appraisal, they may be terminated based on the interview process,” Waldrond explained.

Waldrond pointed out that if the provisions of the Public Service Act of 2007 had taken effect, the clerical officers would have been appointed after serving a short probationary period in the temporary position.

The senior industrial relations officer pointed out that workers were arguing that they have a legitimate expectation to be confirmed in their positions based on it being vacant and their meeting the requirements for permanent appointment.

Waldrond said that based on the length of service in their temporary positions, several of the workers had entered into financial agreements with lending agencies and had begun to construct their homes. He argued that the uncertainty over the outcome of the interview has aroused fear and uncertainty among the public servants.

Meanwhile, Waldrond disclosed that the NUPW met jointly with the Ministry of the Civil Service and the Personnel Administration Division regarding the officers’ concerns.

As a result, he added, all temporary clerical officers had been invited to an emergency general meeting tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. at NUPW headquarters where they will be given an update on the meeting with the ministry and the division, as well as the union’s position on the matter.†(NC)†

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