SSB Inspectors Stage ‘Sick Out’ in Protest
As many as fifteen inspectors from the Social Security Board’s Belmopan office called in sick today. Love News understands that the inspectors are all members of the Christian Workers Union (CWU). The apparent sick-out comes after the SSB issued letters indicating disciplinary action to inspectors who participated in a protest on January 2. President of the CWU, Leonora Flowers, says that the union has written to the SSB on behalf of the members who got letters. Responding to the assertion that CWU members were non-compliant with SSB’s policies, Flowers says that the SSB should be looking at its own actions first.
Leonora Flowers, President, CWU: “We’ve been made aware here at CWU that there has been a number of letters sent to our inspectors at the SSB those who participated in the action of meeting with the CEO on the 2nd of January. We believe it is intimidation for such a letter. It was instead of the SSB dealing with the matter within the ten days allotted for it to be dealt with they have taken this matter way beyond time and the CBA is there to guide us how we do that. We know that they’ve written to several members but in the grand scheme of things they’re entitled to provide their letters and we’re entitled to respond and we’ll be responding for our members. In fact we have responded in respect to those letters that were sent out. There’s a little thing that’s called take the spec out of your own eye before you look at your neighbor’s own. Who is non compliant more than the SSB ? Who is more compliant at the moment ? Who has refused to act on it’s policy of transfer even after so many months ? Even after nine years of keeping one member, a non union member in one place and all the other members of staff, members of the union, have been subjected to transfer after transfer after transfer ? Show me where the most non compliance rests today. With the SSB of course.”
The main issue behind the January 2 protest and the subsequent letters of discipline, is a situation where an SSB inspector remained at the same post for nine years. Flowers stressed that the SSB’s policy indicates that transfers should be done after three years. She says that the SSB has not been responding favorably to resolving the matter, thus far, but there is a meeting scheduled for this week with the SSB Board of Directors.
Leonora Flowers, President, CWU: “We are going this week we are going to the board for a meeting presenting to the board our side of the story as it relates to the current noncompliance of SSB. It has been very I would say I don’t want to use the word tempestuous when it comes to dealing with the SSB on this specific matter. Unfortunately so our members are disappointed and the CWU is also disappointed but we are responding to the invitation to go to the board as is laid out in our CBA. We had initially written to the board, to the Chair which they say writing to the Chair is not writing to the board so here we go again around the mulberry bush but we are approaching the board on Thursday. Hopefully we’ll get a resolution by that time or shortly thereafter.”
We’ll keep following this story.