Up to news time tonight Dr Manzanero remains in limbo at his workplace. He has opted to not comment on the matter at this time, but according to Frazer of the APSSM, the post of Director of Health Services is a legally constituted position, and the holder can only be removed on specific grounds.
Sharon Frazer, President, Association of Public Service Senior Managers: “While we were expressing our concerns with what was happening with him a union would not be able to act unless it’s moved to act which means that the member would have had to reach out to us to be able to act or speak on his behalf. He has done so. He has just done so and so that we’re in the process of advising as to the way forward in relation to this matter. We have not as an association have not responded yet to his queries, his concerns, his complaint but for sure it is the position that APSSM will in fact be speaking on his behalf since he has so reached out. As to what position we’re going to take at this point I’m not able to say except that we know that what is happening to Dr.Manzanero is not right, it is not fair, it is not just, it is not equitable, it’s not any one of the terms you want to equate to fair. He held a legally constituted position as Director of Health Services and the only way that persons can be removed from these positions would be for misconduct or they would have resigned or retired from the position. I don’t know that there is anything on his record that would have shown that he conducted any misconduct to be removed from a position and I don’t know whether or not there is any position within the Ministry of Health that is equal to the Director of Health Services. So it was very concerning to the members of APSSM in relation to it. Now I want to tell you that why this was concerning to us, is because as a head of department similar to myself and others that are members why it concerned us was the fact that if it can happen to him it can happen to any one of us. Especially if it is that nothing is being said about it. He was unceremoniously removed in fact I believe that he was replaced even, maybe it is I’m not sure I think I would have had my timeline right he was in fact replaced even before he actually went on sick leave. Understanding that he was on sick leave it would have meant that yes you needed to put somebody to act in the position but one of the things that concerned me personally was the fact that who appointed any acting Director of Health Services ? So we’re not dealing with personalities. My question is who appointed this Acting Director especially when the Public Service Commission was not functioning at the time. There are processes and procedures in which public officers can be appointed. Is it that the move is being made to convert this particular position from a 106 to a 107 as well? And even if that is the case, even if that is the case there is a present holder of the position and nobody else can be given that position unless and until the position becomes vacant. He has not resigned.”
President Frazer goes on to note that the association is yet to decide the way forward, but she has confirmed that they will fight with Dr Manzanero for due process and justice.
Sharon Frazer, President, Association of Public Service Senior Managers: “I have given going on to thirty three years to the public service. It has gotten all my youth so that come at this particular point in time if it is that I would have been, if something like that was to happen to me I would find that very very offensive and unfair for somebody who would have put in all the time. I’m not saying that the present person who is acting is not hard working; I’m not saying any of that. I am simply saying you cannot fill a post that is already full and unless it is that they’re promoting him then fine and even then some discussions; they owed that to him, that should have taken place with him. Due process. It’s all about due process. In fact as you are telling me and I do note he reported back to work on Monday — nobody spoke to him and when in fact somebody did speak to him was in fact to tell him that maybe he needs to go back to the position in essence a demotion. It doesn’t matter that in fact they won’t change his salary. The point is to go back to where he started which is at HIV or something is a demotion it doesn’t matter how you look at it. Unless it can be shown to me or the members of APSSM where it is that he would have conducted some misconduct for him to be treated this way then it means that as a member we need to stand up, we need to give him support in relation to that otherwise tomorrow it could very well be me or somebody else who has been substantively placed in their position.”
Dr Marvin Manzanero, who functioned as the Director of Health Services up to early December, returned to work on Monday after having endured a severe case of Covid-19. Dr Manzanero had been out of office for about two months since testing positive for Covid-19 on December 7. He was hospitalized during his time of illness, and was later released with a prognosis for a long haul recovery. This is the second time that Dr Manzanero has returned to work since falling ill. In the first instance he stayed for about two days, and then applied for additional time. In a recent social media post, he reported that he has began jogging and exercising again, but that it remains challenging.