It’s ignorance, UWU head says of announcement of appointments
One trade union leader is suggesting that Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler did workers no favours when he announced last evening that temporary public officers with more than three years’ continuous service would get long awaited appointments.
General Secretary of the Unity Workers Union (UWU) Caswell Franklyn said provisions for appointments had long been made under the Public Service Act, but the Democratic Labour Party administration had just not implemented the law.
He said there were about 200 public servants who should have received appointments after the legislation was enacted nine years ago, but t were still waiting.
Following Sinckler’s announcement during the presentation of the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, an elated President of the National Union of Public Workers Akanni McDowall praised the Freundel Stuart administration for taking the step.
But Franklyn said both the minister and McDowall had demonstrated their ignorance of the Public Service Act that was passed on December 31, 2007, empowering the then Barbados Labour Party administration to automatically appoint all persons who were in the public service for three years.
“Sinckler has not done anything beneficial to the workers. In fact, he has disadvantaged them. I am amazed that union leaders would stand and say they are elated at Sinckler’s announcement,” Franklyn told Barbados TODAY.
The Minister of Finance told legislators during his presentation that Cabinet had given its approval to a recommendation put forward by a committee led by the Ministry of the Civil Service to rectify a problem that had emerged from the Public Service Act 2007-41, in order to make the appointments possible.
But Franklyn was adamant that Sinckler was misinformed.
“Some bureaucrats are not properly advising their ministers; some ministers, not knowing what is already in place, just run off and mouth what they are told. It is a false promise being made to public servants,” he said, adding that Section 13 (11) of the Act stated that no established post shall remain vacant for more than a year, unless the vacancy is approved by the Governor General, or the minister freezes the post.
“The law says a post should be filled within a year but Sinckler is going to do it for people who were holding temporary positions for three years . . . The Government and the Personnel Administration Division are breaking the law and rather than fix it in accordance with the Public Service Act they are blaming the Act for not doing the job that that they are supposed to do.”
The outspoken trade unionist also argued that all temporary posts in existence for three years prior to December 31, 2007 were also established.