NUPW responds to Chief Personnel Officer

The National Union of Public Workers has written to the Chief Personnel Officer Gail Atkins asking that union president Akanni McDowall be reinstated to the post of Health Planning Officer 1, in which he had recently acted.

The union met with Atkins on November 3 to discuss the matter, following threats of protest action by the union.

Last month McDowall was removed from the senior position and returning to his substantive post of Environmental Health Assistant 1.

But in a statement issued earlier this week, Atkins denied that the Public Administration Department (PAD) had victimized McDowall, or that there were ulterior motives for removing him from the acting position.

The Chief Personnel Officer said that after the Public Service Commission accepted the recommendation for McDowall to act in the post, the Ministry of Health advised that it had requested an officer with a background in economics and not public health.  McDowall therefore had to be replaced.

Gail Atkins
Gail Atkins

However, in a letter to Atkins, dated November 4, 2016 and obtained by Barbados TODAY, the NUPW’s acting deputy general secretary Delcia Burke pointed to the Civil Establishment (Qualifications) Order 2001 requirements for the post of Health Planning Officer I as:

“(a) A postgraduate qualification in Economics, in Health Planning or in a related discipline.  No less than one year’s relevant experience is required; or (b) a degree in Economics, in Health Planning or in a related discipline and not less than two years’ relevant experience.”

The qualification requirement for Health Planning Officer II is “A degree in Economics, in Health Planning or in a related discipline.”

The letter charged that the Ministry of Health “has no authority to make recommendations based on preferences and the Personnel Administration Division has no authority to accept these recommendations”.

Akanni McDowall
Akanni McDowall

Burke quoted the Service Commission (Public Services) Regulations 1978 Section 13 (2) which states that ‘Where an acting appointment is to be made otherwise than as a prelude to a substantive appointment, the officer shall as a general rule be the senior officer in the Ministry or Department eligible for such acting appointment.’

She further pointed out that “by your own admission” the current holder of the post does not possess a degree in Economics, and that the union is aware that the officer who replaced McDowall in the post of Health Planner is junior to McDowall.

The PAD earlier stated that McDowall’s qualifications of a Master in Public Health do not meet the qualification requirements for the post of Health Planner.

However the union disagreed.

“Having read the course outline for Mr McDowall’s area of study and having taken into account the two years he spent performing the role of Health Promotion Officer, the NUPW is convinced that he is equipped to function as Health Planning Officer 1,” the letter said.

22 Responses to NUPW responds to Chief Personnel Officer

  1. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan November 13, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Wade Gibbons let me help you here. I think we have to spell it slowly for the union. A C T I N G!!

    I appeal to the union to read this comment slowly in the hope that it will sink in

    • Jai Khan
      Jai Khan November 13, 2016 at 7:30 am

      I guess you didn’t read the statement. ..he did not have the required qualification

    • Richelle Bourne
      Richelle Bourne November 13, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      Julianna Trotman-Griffith who said the person in the post is not qualified.

  2. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole November 13, 2016 at 1:28 am

    With you 100% NUPW keep pushing. Some here will never understand the struggle for employee rights and why the Trade Union in Barbados must survive.

  3. Henderson Yarde
    Henderson Yarde November 13, 2016 at 3:00 am

    wasn’t going to used the idiot part but was about to ask the same question.

  4. James Austin Bynoe
    James Austin Bynoe November 13, 2016 at 3:08 am

    @Jai – That’s a bs comment that attempts to oversimplify the issue … try again – he was clearly victimized due to his role in the NUPW

    Let me say this slowly for you – goooooo selllllll stupidddddd somewhere else”

    ps: love the fake fb profile but you need to add a bit more to it as it still looks fake – also tell the others 🙂 (we see you and know what you did last summer the movie)

    • Jai Khan
      Jai Khan November 13, 2016 at 7:33 am

      A profile is what you want to declare..that is for facebook stalkers like you!!

  5. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce November 13, 2016 at 4:06 am


  6. Sunshine Sunny Shine November 13, 2016 at 5:49 am

    You people who over simplified this issue are mere jokers. The PAD must get their house in order. Stanton Alleyne from the Sanitation Service Authority Acted as General Manager for a very long time. The reason was that he did not possess the prerequisite qualifications for the post but he was good enough to act in it for several years providing a level of management that was respected by his subordinates and welcomed by the system. They finally found someone who had the qualifications, and he lasted only a few months due to whatever unforeseen circumstances led him to resign from the post. Alleyne was back in the acting General Manager position again. My take on the matter if a person does not have the qualifications but has performed admirably in the position under an acting appointment that that person should be allowed to continue in that post and subject to an appointment base on his or her experience. Two years Mcdowall acted but yet he is not qualified for the post. What the heck was he acting in it for so long if he was not equipped to handle. Bare BS

  7. seagul November 13, 2016 at 6:40 am

    We must and will stand up for our human rights. In the name of our common values we never accept hate and subjugation on the basis of religious or spiritual reason. Let us unite and campaign for a social change towards brotherhood not disunity. People have died and given their blood in the past to form unions. We need to know our history, without it we fall.

  8. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd November 13, 2016 at 7:33 am


  9. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd November 13, 2016 at 7:38 am


  10. Sue Donym November 13, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Doesn’t take much to see that he was hoping to become qualified by virtue of the time spent acting… ‘related’ discipline plus experience. Time for Plan B.

  11. Hal Austin November 13, 2016 at 8:27 am


    This is nothing to do with trade union rights. Until my retirement I was a very active member of the National Union of Journalists. This is about arrogance and an entitlement. Qualifications are irrelevant, he acted in the position and there should have been performance reports. Can he do the job or not? If so, was he interviewed for the permanent position? If so, who got the job, was that person better qualified and gave a better interview?
    The nonsense of being a qualified economist is Bajan illogic. That is part of our culture.

  12. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor November 13, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I was saying d same thing….

  13. Phil November 13, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Fact! Everything in Barbados revolves around which political side one supports. Other than that, comes family and relatives. after that comes connectivity through friendship and organizations and clubs. I have a few questions. Who exactly recommended and who appointed Mr. McDowall? There MUST be a paper trail. If not, then corrupt methods were used. No records, no transparency. Did ,or was Mr. McDowall stepping on some political corn? Was Mr. McDowall successful in this acting post? Point is, there are a lot of qualified idiots about the place looking for unqualified experienced and hands on unqualified laymen – women included – to advise and do their jobs for them. I am NOT a party supporter and never will be, But I have “friends” who are.

  14. deborah hill November 13, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    It doesn’t matter what we perceive the situation to be the fact of the matter is that he was acting if this was in the private sector it won’t even be mention in any newspaper neither will any union be demanding reinstatement.

  15. Sheron Inniss November 13, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Mr McDowall if you believe you were wronged fight for you rights. I see the word sinister creeping into Bim via the government. Hate it.

  16. Ziggy Blessed
    Ziggy Blessed November 13, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Boss man u is king Solomon brother??

  17. Ziggy Blessed
    Ziggy Blessed November 13, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Wha bout the other wronged public servants that the union disappointed… .. I beg wunna dont frig up my 50th anniversary celebrations that the central back allegedly done print money to pay for….deal with this in January

  18. jrsmith November 14, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    This is real management in Barbados , this is the games which is played out in Barbados everyday at all levels in government and public services, see the issue of the senior police thats a big joke….
    This matter can easily be resolve, advertise the job vacancy all applicants must submit CVs, lets see the qualifications.


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