Contradictory Reports on Court Prosecutors’ Sick-Out Spark Government Denial
Contradictory reports have surfaced regarding a staged sick-out by court prosecutors. This morning, reports surfaced of multiple absences from work by court prosecutors as well as some employees within the Office of the Attorney General and the judiciary. A few hours later, the Government issued a release contradicting those reports, calling it irresponsible journalism. What we can tell you tonight, however, that our newsroom did speak with several prosecutors who confirmed the sick-out, saying that it was done because the government has refused to honor its agreement made in September for an increase in wages couple with a security allowance. According to reports, the terms of the agreement were to take effect this month, but up to now there has been no delivery. President of the Public Service Union (PSU), Dean Flowers, while he does not agree with the way the salary increases are being implemented, an agreement was made, and it needs to be honored.
Dean Flowers, President, Public Service Union: “The matter of whether or not there was a sick out today by the judicial and legal services officers is a matter that I honestly cannot confirm or deny because I’m unaware of such. What might have prompted such I am also unaware. I know that those officers are in discussions with the Financial Secretary, the Ministry of Finance for there to be consideration for some form of adjustments in their salaries. We’ve made it clear that the piecemeal approach is not something we support however we do recognize that there may be officers within that fraternity who may be deserving of a salary review and by that salary review will demonstrate whether or not those officers have not benefited from the salary adjustments that have been afforded to public officers. That salary review will also highlight those specific officers whose salary may be in need of adjustment. We don’t believe that there should be any blanket consideration given because we know for a fact that there were certain considerations already given to some members of that fraternity under the previous administration so there is a need for a review in salaries within that fraternity but not a blanket adjustment as is being requested or is being requested as far as I understand the situation may be. In terms what may have prompted them to take such action if it is that they took such action because I’m unaware that they’ve taken any action it may very well be that decision by the Financial Secretary and the Cabinet Secretary to award an increase in telephone allowance to CEOs who are already benefiting lucratively from the public purse in every way that you can possibly think of.”