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PSU witnesses say they are demotivated and disheartened

PSU witnesses say they are demotivated and disheartened
Left to Right:KENROY BOUCHER , JOEL POYER & CELENA MACDONALD

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WITNESSES WHO testified on behalf of the Public Service Union (PSU) in its case against the Public Service Commission (the Commission) have described their experiences as demotivating and disheartening.

The PSU’s case, which concluded on December 19, 2018, sought to question the Commission’s fairness, transparency and objectivity when it came to making decisions on the promotion of some public servants. And the judgment, which Witnesses who testified on behalf of the Public Service Union (PSU) in its case against the Public Service Commission (the Commission) have described their experiences as demotivating and disheartening.

The PSU’s case, which concluded on December 19, 2018, sought to question the Commission’s fairness, transparency and objectivity when it came to making decisions on the promotion of some public servants. And the judgment, which was handed down by Justice Esco Henry declared that the Commission failed to comply with the Regulations in respect of the promotion of some public service officers.

Four of the seven persons who gave testimonies were present at a press conference this week and shared their experiences of working in the public service.

“To me, its demotivating,” Kenroy Boucher said, while noting that he has extensive training in his field. “I have an executive diploma in management…and almost every person who did my course have been promoted.”

D espite his feelings, the public officer said that he continues to do his work.

According to a table featured in the published judgment on eccourts.org, Boucher was appointed as a police officer in June, 1990. In 2006, he was transferred to the Immigration Department as a Senior Immigration Officer and then again in 2010 to the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO). In 2010, the vacancy for Assistant Chief Immigration Officer arose and was filled by Hermisteen Burke, the wife of the then Chief Personnel Officer, Tyrone Burke.

“It’s really sad and disheartening even after you might have gone and further your studies,” Celena Mac-Donald, another witness whose last promotion was in 2001, said.

She joined the service in 1994 and worked at the House of Assembly from 2001 to 2011. In May 2013, she was transferred to the Forestry Department.

“In 2011, through Open Campus, I got my first degree in Management Studies. In 2014, I got a scholarship and I did a Masters in Project Management. It’s really disheartening and discouraging. But one of the things I do, I take care of my mental health and one of the things that I know, is nothing really lasts forever,” she said.

Joel Poyer has never been promoted since he was formally appointed as Forestry Officer to the Forestry Department in 1991.

Poyer holds an Associate’s Degree as a Forestry Technician and a Diploma in Labour Regulations and Labour Negotiations. He also has certificates in forestry, trade union activities, credit union activities, leadership, personnel relations and other organisation skills.

At the press conference, the forestry officer said that he has trained numerous persons and implemented several initiatives within his department.

“And I still continue to implement numerous things at my department despite not being made a senior person because I do not work looking for praise and glory. I work for the development of my country and to engender other workers,” he said. “I put my trust in God. I work for the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines. I’m a citizen and since I am trained and qualified in what I’m doing, I will speak candid and openly.”

Elroy Boucher, the PSU president said that the union is being advised by its lawyers on the necessary steps to take in terms of seeking damages.

“It is expected that the persons who have come forward as witnesses; the judge has basically ruled that what has happened to them is unfair. That is a basic ruling so they have been wronged. Clearly if you have been wronged, there has to be some redress. So it is expected that there will be a redress. How that proceeds, I really don’t know. That is dependent on the advice of the lawyers,” he said.

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