The island’s largest bargaining unit for public officers in Grenada, the Public Workers Union (PWU) is annoyed with the Keith Mitchell-led government in St. George’s over the treatment meted out to some civilians.
The PWU, headed by Adrian Francis, is peeved at the policy of the 20-month old ruling New National Party (NNP) admnistration to remove a number of government employees from their substantive posts and send them on special assignment.
The most significant is Cabinet Secretary, Gemma Bain-Thomas who was forced to take government to court in the face of statements made to her by PM Mitchell that she was leaking information.
Since then, a number of other civil servants have been transferred by the regime to other positions within the service.
Following is the full text of the PWU statement:
The Public Workers’ Union is deeply concerned with the apparent indiscriminate assignment of a number of our members. In a number of cases these members hold senior and very important positions within the Public Service.
We are extremely disturbed about this practice that has begun to sneak into the Public Service and be the norm. This action is inflating and bloating the Public Service because in many instances it appears that officers are appointed to act in the substantive positions of these officers.
Such action is putting added pressure on and inflating the wage bill in this time of Structural Adjustment. A period when the Government claims it must seek to reduce the wage bill. Is that an appropriate measure? Is it a measure of fiscal prudence and responsibility?
Moreover the Union is displeased with the negative impact that this arbitrary assignment is having and would have on our membership. We fear workers are becoming more and more demotivated.
In this era when the performance of the Public Service is extremely critical it appears that arbitrary assignment is being undertaken to disenfranchise and frustrate our membership.
Our hardworking Public Officers are committed to the performance of their duties and are only interested in making a valuable contribution to nation building.
PWU is calling on the government to stop the arbitrary assignment and disenfranchisement of our membership and return the Public Service to its glory days when officers felt that their employer was interested in their well-being and they were valued and cared for.
It is our belief that the uneasy environment created by this new mode of operation is a hindrance to productivity.