Not qualified


The man at the centre of the latest industrial relations row between the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the Freundel Stuart administration is not qualified for the position in which he was acting before he was sent back to his substantive post, Barbados TODAY was told.

An official source today revealed that NUPW President Akanni McDowall’s credentials fell short of what is required for the post.

Although it has suspended planned industrial action after meeting today with the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) at the Public Administration Department’s Culloden Road, St Michael office, the union has threatened to turn up the heat on the administration in an effort to force a reversal of the decision.

General Secretary Roslyn Smith would not reveal the rationale put forward by the CPO for McDowall’s reversion to his substantive entry-level position of environmental assistant.

However, the source told Barbados TODAY the issue was one of proper qualification.

According to the source, who is close to the discussions, the post of Health Officer 1 requires someone with a postgraduate degree in economics, health planning or a related discipline, and not less than one year’s relevant experience. Otherwise, the holder of the post must have a degree in economics, health planning or a related discipline, and no less than two years’ relevant experience.

McDowall, the official said, possesses a master’s degree in public health, but none of the stipulated requirements.

The NUPW president confirmed to Barbados TODAY that he held a postgraduate degree in public health. However, while protesting that some of the information provided by the source was incorrect, he declined to provide details, arguing it would pervert the talks which began today.   

“I cannot comment on this matter as it is now before the Public Service Commission. However, there are aspects of the account which are not true, but I will not go into which aspects as this will compromise the process,” McDowall said.

In a statement released late yesterday evening announcing the meeting between the CPO and the union, the Barbados Government Information Service said McDowall had only acted in the senior position from June 8 through to October 16 this year. This information was confirmed by the source.

Other sources also told Barbados TODAY all officers in McDowall’s department have the same qualification as him, therefore, an equivalency measuring stick had to be devised to find a suitable candidate.

The two sides met for close to two hours today, and Smith later told journalists the union had made its position clear to the CPO, who is expected to relay the message to Public Service Commission.

“We put our position to the CPO and we have asked her to take that back to the Public Service Commission, hopefully by Monday, and we would await the response to our position. I am confident enough that errors were made and they have to be corrected. So going forward we would continue to engage our membership pending the outcome next week,” Smith said.

The NUPW has stated in recent days that it would settle for no less that a reversal of the decision to revert McDowall to his substantive post and the subsequent appointment of someone it described as a junior officer, to the position.

Still holding the threat of a possible strike over Government’s head, the general secretary made it clear the union was not prepared to wait forever for a response to its demands.

In fact, the veteran trade unionist said the NUPW was ready to take action from as early as Tuesday, if a favourable reply was not forthcoming.

“We continue to meet with our members and if the response is not what we are anticipating then we will continue with our action. We are strategizing as we go ahead,” Smith stressed.

8 Responses to Not qualified

  1. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce November 4, 2016 at 3:26 am
  2. Hal Austin November 4, 2016 at 3:27 am

    Barbadian public administrators are the most confusing in the world. Pray, what does a post-graduate qualification in economics got to do with public health?
    In every civilised society job requirements are entry qualification or experience. Mr McDowall was chosen to act in the position, an indication that his line manager thought he was capable; he acted in the position for a length of time, which means he was undertaking the required tasks.
    The basic point is simpler than that: he was acting in the position and there was no guarantee of being offered the substantive position.
    In fact, in a transparent administration, the higher position should have been publicly advertised when the government wanted to make it a permanent position.
    Dodgy practices only create envy and bitterness. I know of a young lady who was offered a government job while still a student in London; she was later sacked and replaced with another woman while she was a student in the US. This is Barbadian corruption.
    The fundamental point is that Mr McDowall did not get the job. Let’s move on. If the union is concerned about his loss of pay, then let them make it up.

    • miche November 4, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      The Union continue to prove to the young people in this country,that Bullying,is the way to get what you want…….The shout Unity is strength,but I want to remind them,that their kind of unity,,was displayed at the arrest,trial,and crucifixion of Jesus Christ; That their method of unity was the same that spearheaded the stoning of stephen,,,, and it was their kind of unite that was there all during the persecution of the early Christians,,,,,,,, ,,,

  3. junior lucas November 4, 2016 at 12:18 pm


  4. kathy-Ann Clarke November 4, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Oh boy! SMH

  5. Tony Waterman November 4, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    @Hal Austin!!!! you are quite Right, but where i have a problem with this nonsense, in why did the question of his qualification NOT place him out of Contention for the Acting Appointment, if he is NOT Qualified NOW how couldhe have been Qualified then?? it is the Employer who Created the Problem in the first place.

    On the other hand the Union is acting like a jackass, they are trying to blackmail the their leader into the Job, and for that reason alone the Government should shove back. otherwise they will be opening a CAN of WORMS on themselves.

  6. Phil November 4, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    This is a straight case of partisan politics. The man is victimized for his freedom of speech. Is Richard Sealy a Qualified person in Tourism affairs? Is John Boyce a qualified doctor? or is he in any way qualified in health affairs? Is James Paul a qualified Agriculturist or Horticulturist? is Dr. Estwick a qualified hydrologist or hydro engineer? Is Chris Sinkler a qualified economist? This list goes on. Remove the boo boo from your own eyes first.

  7. Leroy Parris November 5, 2016 at 3:34 am

    Well said Phil. I myself have taken notice of the positions the afford mentioned have acquired. However, lets face the facts and remember that this has been the so-called motion of life in Barbados. Your face have to fit if you are to succeed. At the end of the day theres only one word that fits the present situation ” Victimisation “.


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