Attorney General Believes Prosecutors Genuinely Ill Amidst Alleged Sick-Out
While the actions of the crown counsels have been perceived by many as industrial action, the Attorney General, Anthony Sylvestre, says he believes the counsels are genuinely ill. The alleged protest is believed to have stemmed from issues raised in a letter sent by eleven crown counsels to the AG on July 27. In the letter, the counsels had expressed upset at the hiring of a foreigner with a hefty salary package. Essentially, the eleven had then requested an increase in salaries. Fast forward to today, and that request is also for personal security or a security allowance. AG Sylvestre spoke with the media today, and stated that he genuinely believes the prosecutors are ill.
Anthony Sylvestre, Attorney General: “There are a couple of Crown Counsel who called in sick yesterday. Now speaking for myself.”
Reporter: Five. A couple is two.
Anthony Sylvestre, Attorney General: “Five. Thank you for that correction. I take that at face value and I believe that that is genuine. I mean, Crown Counsel as you know, they are officers of the Crown no less. They are ministers of justice and certainly I would not think that any of our Crowns would misrepresent the state of affairs with respect to their health and so I take at face value that those who called in sick are indeed sick. Secondly, I should point out that there are some inaccuracies with respect to what is ventilating in the media. Currently, there are, whilst you have persons who have called in sick, there are presently Crowns and there are presently other persons who are ensuring that the business of the court continues. And I should point out as well that we are in constant communication and actually we are in dialogue with the Crowns as we have a further meeting. So speaking for myself it being a matter of an employer and employee relationship, certainly it affects, there’s a public interest in it but it’s a continuing dialogue and we are in fact supposed to have a meeting on Friday. So as I indicated earlier, I don’t regard this as a sick out. I regard this as the Crowns legitimately calling in and indicating that they’re sick. As I indicated otherwise I cannot conceive of Crowns, Ministers of Justice misrepresenting the status of their health.”
According to Sylvestre, the matter for salary increases is being analyzed and negotiated. He also indicated that the matter of personal security has been addressed.
Anthony Sylvestre, Attorney General: “The issue with respect to security has been addressed. I have spoken to both the Commissioner of the Police and as well as the DPP and issues relating to security have been addressed. I am saying that we are still in dialogue and that I cannot speak to specific issues. The letter was leaked in the public domain and so there are specific issues that were raised. You will appreciate because of employer and employee relationship that it cannot speak to the specific issues of discussion that has been taking place. But what I can say confidently and with certainty is that the matters set out in the letter have been addressed and we continue the dialogue.”
Love News understands that Attorney Dickie Bradley is negotiating on behalf of the crown counsels. As for the Public Service Union (PSU) they are calling for salary revisions across the public service, and not for one particular group. We will keep following this story.