The office of Grievance Officer of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Public Service Union- PSU is now vacant following the dismissal of former Grievance Officer Mr. Kenson King.
The decision to dismiss King was made by the Union’s Executive after he failed to attend the Union’s last five meetings.
King who was elected unopposed in the PSU’s last general elections, received his dismissal letter on Tuesday November 12th, 2019.
King told ANN, he went to the Union’s Office on Tuesday and the Office Manager told him she had a letter for him, she then gave him the letter which he opened and read.
“I was in total shock when I saw the content of the letter, which stated that the office of the Grievance Officer was made vacant because of a breach of the PSU’s Constitution which states that once a member of the executive misses three consecutive meetings without a valid excuse his or her position becomes vacant “, King quoted the letter as saying.
The letter to King signed by President Elroy Boucher on behalf of the General Secretary expressed to King that between October 2nd and October 31st, 2019, the Executive Committee held five meetings and King attended none. The letter also stated that the position of Grievance Officer is a very important one in which the officer is responsible for investigating and addressing the many issues of the Union’s members.
King told ANN that he was out of state from August 8th to October 31st, 2019 and he did inform the executive and the office that he would be out of state.
“Am at a lost with this current situation because I was in contact with the office and the executive knew I was out state”, the former Grievance Officer said.
When ANN contacted King on Thursday afternoon, he was just leaving the Union’s office where he went to the executive meeting to explain himself to the executive body about his absence for the previously held meetings.
Upon entering the meeting, King told ANN he was told by Boucher that he cannot be in the meeting because he is no longer a member of the executive.
King said he was denied the opportunity to present his side of the story when Boucher told him that he couldn’t stay.
King told ANN that while he was leaving the PSU’s compound, he saw two police officers heading in the direction of the PSU’s Office, he was told later that evening by a member that the officers came and asked for him.
ANN contacted Elroy Boucher, President of the PSU for an update on the matter, Boucher referred ANN to the Public Relations Officer. After all attempts made to contact the PRO were futile, ANN contacted Boucher again. This time Boucher remarked that the Union has a constitution and it must follow the constitution.
He said at no point in time did Mr. King ever communicated to the PSU, whether verbally or in writing that he will be absent for the entire period listed in the dismissal letter. “There has been absolutely no communication whatsoever and there is no evidence of such. The Union has an obligation and the executive took a decision that I gratefully respect, which is to uphold the Union’s Constitution”, Boucher said.
He said that he wasn’t at the meeting but if the Executive didn’t take that position, they would not have had any right to talk about the Union’s Constitution after that.
When ANN asked King what his next course of action is, King said that he plans to respond to the letter and write to the general body and the General Council regarding the matter.