Immigration Director Averts Go-Slow by Employees

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Updated: February 6, 2017

Last week, we reported that 20 Immigration Clerks had expressed discontent over the promotion of one specific clerk who they say did not deserve it. According to persons within the department, the individual who was promoted was given the post of Assistant Immigration Officer over several other persons who have been at the department for a longer period. Some say that the promotion was politically motivated and clerks at the Immigration Department threatened to go on a “go slow” today. Love News has confirmed that the management of the Immigration Department met to address the matter and other issues, preventing any “go slow” action.  Not only was a “go slow” averted, but the promotion of the immigration officer was rescinded.  After the meeting, Immigration Director, Diana Locke wrote to the staff of the department. In her letter, Locke writes quote, “The Department was in the process of preparing a comprehensive submission to address this matter with the aim of providing to the Ministry of Immigration a recommendation for promotion of all eligible officers.  Simultaneously, without the knowledge of the Department, the Public Service Commission was reviewing this matter and formulated a decision based on inaccurate information provided at the time of the submission in 2013.  In reviewing this matter the Ministry of Immigration made a decision to request the rescinding of this decision since the information provided to the Commission, on which the decision was made was erroneous.” End of quote. Locke tells the staff that in a “joint meeting with the President and Legal Advisor of the Public Service Union, CEO Public Service and Immigration Officers stationed in Belmopan,  management was advised by the Ministry of Public Service that in view of the inaccurate and incomplete information provided to the Commission through a series of errors, the Public Services Commission was to be asked at its next meeting to rescind this promotion until a comprehensive review and recommendation for promotion of all staff is submitted.   According to Locke, “the union supported the position of the Ministry of the Public Service and it was agreed that the letter sent to the Ministry of Immigration, which had not yet been provided to the Officer, would be retracted and a request made to the Commission to consider this promotion in the context of the long overdue promotions due to all eligible Immigration Officers.   Last week, we spoke to the Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Beverly Williams, about the matter.

BEVERLY WILLIAMS

“Remember there is a certain criteria within the public service for promotion. Sit in the public service and I am here for 10 years so I am deserving of a promotion, there is also the matter of seniority, qualification and performance; not necessarily in that order but those are some of the requirements for promotion and so all of that is taken into place and is being worked on. Some persons acquired qualification while in office and granted there are some persons in there who are in there with Associates and Bachelor’s degree and it is looking at the matter of fairness. We’ve been looking at this for the last two or three months and we will put it all together properly and then send those on to public service with the recommendations for those promotions. You could only be deserving of a promotion if a vacancy exists and there are seven vacancies those vacancies arise where people who have left the public service; some persons died, some persons were promoted and then the vacancies were created and so those are the provisions that we are looking at. Restructuring does not give you payment retroactively, restriction happened at the time and position place at the time of the restructuring is when you are remunerated for that, I don’t see how that would commence into play at all. If it is a provision of immigration clerk 2 then you go 2-1, the lower rank is one or two and the lower rank being two so if the person is currently immigration officer 2 they can be promoted to immigration officer 1. 1 then you go up to assistant which is the equivalent in the regular public service as an administrative assistant. I believe the union did meet with management to discuss varying issues including promotion, also discipline, also the behavior of public officers it was a holistic discussion with the union and I believe out of that discussion is where we continue to move forward with the process.”