Prime Minister says union leader wanted him to interfere in promotion process

Prime Minister says union leader wanted him to interfere in promotion process

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has responded to Public Service Union (PSU) president Elroy Boucher’s allegations that he (Dr Gonsalves) has been involved in the proccess of promotions of public servants.

The Prime Minister in his response is alleging that Boucher, in his own personal interest, tried to get him to interfere in the process that is handled by the Public Service Commission – an independent body whose members are appointed by the Governor General on recommendation.

Dr Gonsalves was a guest on Xtreme 104 Radio on a programme hosted by ‘Candy Man’ and speaking about the judgement on the legal matter where the Public Service Union, which represents public servants had taken to court the Public Service Commission which is responsible for appointments and promotion of public servants. The PSU claimed that the PSC failed to comply with the regulations that govern the appointment and promotion of public servants to the extent there was lack of transparency, unfairness and lack of objectivity.

As Dr. Gonsalves sought to explain the functioning of the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) which is in the Public Service Commission and the process of appointments and promotions, ‘Candy Man’ interrupted him, telling him about Boucher’s allegation that he interfered or was involved with the promotions.

The Prime Minister said that people get promoted and he “would learn that they get promoted” because he doesn’t have a say. He then went on to speak about an alleged occurrence where Boucher visited his office seeking his hel to get him promoted.

“One day, a few years ago before the last general elections – maybe a year or so before the last general elections, Boucher came to my office. And, I’m sure when he came to my office to see me he would have had to leave his cell phone because he wouldn’t have been able to see me…

“And he said he came to talk to me to see if I can help him to promoted to head the maintanance division at the hospital. I said, you know Boucher I don’t get involved in these things; is there a vacancy? He said yeah, yeah, heah and he understand that ther are people who are ahead … and they recommending somebody else. I said I don’t know anything about that. So, I say but I will find out from the permanent secretary,” Dr Gonsalves stated.

The Prime Minister said he found out from the permanent secretary that it was true that the position was vacant and there were three persons recommended. Boucher was not one of them.

He said he was told that the three persons were highly qualified.

He said that it was agreed that Boucher had more experience but that he was “not a good worker.”

“I told Boucher that the permanent secretary told me that. Subsequently, I told Boucher that, when he wanted to find out,” Dr. Gonsalves said.

Prime Minister Gonsalves said he was made to understand that Boucher took “a lot of time off” for his involvement with football and to deal with matters of the trade union.

“I am telling you that Boucher tried to get me to get involved. And I’m telling you the result of that,” Prime Minister Gonsalves told ‘Candy Man.’