Barbadian Public Officers Betrayed By Caribbean Court Of Justice

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) was established mainly to replace the British Privy Council as the final court of appeal for Caricom member states. Originally, only two member states, Barbados and Guyana, signed on to the appellate jurisdiction of the CCJ. Belize followed recently. Since the court was established to service 14 member states and now only services three, it would appear that the CCJ is under worked.

One would have thought that since the court is not over burdened, it would be able to take time and deliver well researched and well reasoned decisions. Unfortunately for Barbadian public officers and persons employed at statutory boards, whose employees are pensionable under the Statutory Boards Pensions Act, that was not the case. On April 3, 2009, in the case between Winton Campbell and the Attorney General, the CCJ delivered a judgement that would deny public officers any benefits if their jobs were abolished, that is if they were severed, until they reach 60 years of age or sooner die.

Public workers who lose their jobs, through no fault of their own, are not entitled to receive severance payments or unemployment benefits. According to the CCJ, they would only be entitled to their last month’s pay and pay for any accumulated vacation immediately, and they would have to reach 60 years of age in order to get anything that is due to them.

They arrived at this conclusion as a result of a gross misinterpretation of law and a misunderstanding of the intent of Parliament. When Government passed the Severance Payments Act in 1971, they specifically excluded public employees because they were already entitled to compensation, in the form of an interim pension which would be paid immediately on abolition of office. This pension would be paid until such time as Government provided suitable alternate employment for the affected officer. If the officer refused the job that was offered the law provides that the payments would cease until the person reached 60 years of age.

The court’s confusion came because of a misunderstanding of a piece of legislation that was passed in the House of Assembly on July 22, 1975. Back then the Rt. Hon. Errol Barrow went to Parliament to correct a serious deficiency in the pensions’ legislation. As the law stood then, a person who resigned from the public service before pension age would not be entitled to receive a pension no matter how long that person had been employed. Early retirement age was 50 years. At this point, in order to understand Parliament’s intent it would be useful to quote the Rt. Hon. Errol Barrow, as reported in Hansard:

“In order to get a pension you should have done under the old legislation 10 years’ service. That means you can join the Service at the age of 40 and retire at 50 and get a pension. If you join the Service at the age of 18 and go on until you are 49, you would have done 31 years’ service and under the existing legislation you would not be entitled to a pension because you had not attained the age. This is one of the anomalies which I have drawn to the attention of this Chamber on previous occasions, but it is our policy and I have expressed here before that there should be a lot more flexibility in entry and exit into and of the Barbados Government Service.”

He went on to say:

“The main purpose of the amendments would be to make it possible for a person who is a professional or any other officer to come into the Service, do a certain amount of time and go out and get experience in the private sector, and it will also be possible for the Government to recruit people directly from the private sector who will come into the service and work for a number of years, and they do not have to wait until they are 50 years of age before they retire, but if they retire before the age of 50 and go to work in the private sector they will wait until the age of 55 for a pension.”

The learned judges of the CCJ misunderstood Mr. Barrow’s noble intentions: he never intended to deprive public officers of what would amount to severance payment. The 1975 amendments only intended to store pensions of persons who resigned from the service before they reached retirement age and went on to work elsewhere. By now, the judges should realise that they committed a grave error, and move to reverse the harm that their decision has caused.

The first officers to suffer, as a result of this miscarriage of justice, were the workers who were terminated by the Rural Development Commission: it is now the turn of the officers who will be displaced by the formation of the Financial Services Commission.

0 thoughts on “Barbadian Public Officers Betrayed By Caribbean Court Of Justice

  1. Pingback: Barbados: Questioning the CCJ · Global Voices


    • @Caswell

      If your interpretation is correct would it not compel the NUPW and other unions representing public sector employees to act?


  2. But Caswell, you have not stated what provision the CCJ misinterpreted according to you. What does the misinterpreted section say?


  3. Caswell

    You amuse me, you are an expert on everthing.
    Maybe we ought to send home all of the CCJ’s Judges and replace them with you.
    It is simple in litigation, you win some and you lose some. If the same Judges who you are castigating had ruled in the way you wanted, then they would have been the most competent Judges in the World.


  4. Jack Spratt
    There are many sections that should be read together in order to to appreciate the point. I am quite busy now, but I will respond to you in a comprehensive way later tonight.

    Carson C. Cadogan
    You haven’t realised by now that you add nothing to these debates but vitriol and stupidity. It appears that you believe that it is your role to be silly. I think that you are capable of raising the intellectual level of your comments, but you prefer to degenerate to nonsense. It might just be a character flaw, and if that is the case, I apologise because you can’t do any better. You are proof that education does not equal common sense. If you put a pig in a palace, you do not get a king: all you get is a shity palace. Carson, stay in your palace!

  5. Pingback: Barbados: Questioning the CCJ @ Current Affairs


  6. CASWELL

    I repeat, you are an expert on everything. Unless it is done your way then it makes no sense.
    That is why you are on the outside looking in.


  7. Caswell,

    As you have pointed out on a previous occasion, I speak from a position of ignorance. So could you clarify a few things? In the CCJ matter you mentioned
    – wasn’t the public officer in fact paid his pension immediately on abolition of his office (and thereafter)? Did the CCJ rule against this? If no, what is the issue you are raising with the CCJ’s ruling?
    – did the CCJ rule on the appropriateness or otherwise of the pension deferral in general? Was this a disputed matter in the appeal before the CCJ?
    – how many courts in Barbados ruled on this matter in the same way as the CCJ? Why would you blame the CCJ and not the courts in Barbados?
    – wasn’t the issue in this appeal that the public officer wanted his full pay to continue even after abolition of his office, since he argued that he was still in the public service?


  8. How could public employees on dismissal after years of service not be compensated. Why are the Unions silent on such an issue. Why would the CCJ do somethingl like that . It does not make sense. There is a need for an explanation. Public Servants through out this region should take note of this and seek an explanation. Every governement should be called on to speak to this siutation.


  9. Jack Spratt
    As promised , I will attempt to better explain myself.
    On July 22, 1975, Government passed the Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, (PMP Act). The purpose of this piece of legislation, as explained by the Rt. Hon. Errol Barrow, is to store the pensionable service of persons who leave the Public Service to work elsewhere before they reach the retirement age for the Public Service. To achieve this goal, the PMP Act inserted the provisions in:
    1. Pensions Act, Cap. 25
    2. Public Employees Pensions Act, Cap. 30
    3. Widows and Children Pensions Act, Cap 37
    4. Teachers (Secondary Schools) Pensions Act, Cap. 56
    5. Statutory Boards (Pensions) Act, Cap. 384

    For the purposes of this comment, I will not reproduce the entire sections: I will merely point out the relevant parts. Since the provisions are identical in each of the various pensions acts, I will concentrate on Cap. 384.

    Among other things section 10 (1) provides that pensions would be paid when a person satisfies one of the following conditions:
    (i) on or after attaining the age of 60 years;
    (ii) on the abolition of his office;
    (iii) on the organisation of his office for any purpose
    Please note that (ii) and (iii) do not speak to any particular age.

    If as the CCJ is saying, the 1975 Act made the pension payable at age 60, how could you explain the 1982 amendment to section 27 which states:
    27 (1) every pension granted under this Act shall be subject to the conditions that unless or until an officer attains the age of 60 years, he may, if physically fit for service under a Board, be called upon by the Board to accept an office in the service of a Board not less in value than the office which he held at the date of his retirement.
    27 (2) Where pursuant to subsection (1) a pensioner is called upon to accept an office in the service of a Board of a value not less than that prescribed in subsection(1) and he declines to accept such office, the payment of his pension may be suspended by the Board acting in its discretion until he attains the age of 60 years.

    If as the CCJ has ruled, the pension is only payable at age 60, how could section 27 (2) suspend the payment of the pension until the person reaches 60 if that person was not already in receipt of the payment.

    Quite frankly, the CCJ got it wrong.


  10. Brutus
    You asked: “wasn’t the public officer in fact paid his pension immediately on abolition of his office (and thereafter)? Did the CCJ rule against this? If no, what is the issue you are raising with the CCJ’s ruling?”
    The CCJ compounded the mistake of the Court of Appeal, they applied section 13 (3) of the Pensions Act which was not applicable in the case of abolition of office. In order to answer your question fully, here is what the CCJ said at paragraph 36 of their judgement in the Winton Campbell case:
    It appears from section 13(3) of the Pensions Act at [26], as duly interpreted by the Court of Appeal, that payment of a pension is suspended until the age of sixty is attained unless the Governor-General considers that a case of permanent incapacity has been established. We have, however, been informed by counsel for the Respondent that, until the Court of Appeal decision, the practice had been to pay pensions immediately upon retirement from office and the Appellant had been a beneficiary of this practice. Such counsel’s understanding was that persons in receipt of such pensions would continue to receive them, but that persons retiring after the Court of Appeal decision would not receive their pensions till attaining the age of 60 years.

    Brutus, this was not part of the appeal and was not argued before the CCJ, and they should not have ruled on such an important issue so glibly. Their ruling has potentially terrifying consequences for public officers. It simply does not make sense. Their interpretation could never have been in the contemplation of Parliament. Why would Parliament bring the Severance Payments Act in force on January 1, 1973, which qualified private sector workers for severance pay for the first time: and then, the same people would pass legislation, on July 22, 1975, to abolish the equivalent of severance pay for public sector workers. That would have been idiotic. I have heard the Rt. Excellent Errol called many things, but NEVER an idiot.


  11. The judgement is here: http://www.caribbeancourtofjustice.org/judgments/CV2_2008/cv2_2008.pdf
    The background to the case is interesting as it appears that the Government had been trying to remove Mr Winton from office for a while because of difficulties in the department headed by him. Government, to its credit appears to have made attempts to place him in a different position.
    Paragraph 14 says “Having him continuing as Chief Electrical Officer proved unsatisfactory” so what we have here is a public sector officer who it appears cannot, or does not carry out their job satisfactorily.
    The case was not about severance pay, it was about the ability of Government to abolish a public office.
    Paragraphs 47 and 48 sum up the position on damages. The Court did not award damages as Mr Winton was paid a pension from the date his office was abolished in 1992 and that pension will continue until his death. In 1992 he was 37 years old so ultimately he will have been paid his pension for 23 years more than he is entitled to under the law (Paragraph 36). Even the Judge who disagreed with the majority verdict of the Court agreed that no damages should be paid.
    I see no reference in the judgement to the Severance Payments Act 1971. I guess it is entirely possible that the CCJ would have taken a different view on this case, including a consideration of that Act, if the Government had not been so accommodating as to pay 23 years of pension which was not legally due.
    It looks to me as though the judges did a good job of analysing the law and wending their way through what was a complicated case.
    One thing, though is unclear. The case was fought on the right of Government to abolish the office of Chief Electrical Engineer.
    It seems clear from the CCJ judgement that the Government was unhappy with Mr Winton’s performance. It chose to abolish his post. Why did it not remove him from office for poor performance?


  12. Caswell, you make a very interesting statement – “this was not part of the appeal and was not argued before the CCJ, and they should not have ruled on such an important issue so glibly”.

    It seems to me from what you quoted in your last post that the CCJ pointedly did NOT rule on the matter of the pension. The CCJ judgment refers to “section 13(3) of the Pensions Act at [26], as duly interpreted by the Court of Appeal” and perhaps there was no reason for the CCJ to question this interpretation as it was not an issue in THE APPEAL.

    Was it even an issue in the preceding court actions?


  13. Brutus
    You are correct it was not an issue in either court. Nontheless, they made statements by the way without hearing arguments that have devastating consequences for the entire Public Service. The people of the Caribbean deserve much better, no wonder the other countries are skeptical about joining the CCJ.


  14. Franklyn, THE ONE MAN UNION I say unto you ,You haven’t realised by now that you add nothing to these debates but vitriol and stupidity. It appears that you believe that it is your role to be silly. I think that you are capable of raising the intellectual level of your comments, but you prefer to degenerate to nonsense. It might just be a character flaw, and if that is the case, I apologise because you can’t do any better. You are proof that education does not equal common sense. If you put a pig in a palace, you do not get a king: all you get is a shity palace


  15. Sorry Caswell, you are not making a convincing argument that the CCJ made an error. I think you might have to argue that the High Court of Barbados made an error.

    However in light of your previous comments, what do you make of the following extract from the CCJ decision?

    *****************
    [26] In respect of retiring from the public service it is necessary to refer to section 13A(2) and (3) of the Pensions Act, Cap 25, which state as follows:

    (2) Subject to subsections (3) and (6), no pension, gratuity or other allowance under this Act shall be granted to an officer except on his retirement from the public service in one of the following cases:

    (a) …;
    (b) …;
    (c) on the abolition of his office;

    (3) Subject to subsection (5) a pension, gratuity or other allowance under this Act may be granted to an officer who retires before attaining the age of 60 years but payment shall be suspended until

    (a) he has attained the age of 60 years or sooner dies; or
    (b) he satisfies the Governor-General that he is incapacitated and his condition is likely to be permanent.


  16. Brutus
    The Court of Appeal made a mistake. The CCJ did not correct the error as they should if they had heard arguments. I am aware of paragraph 26, however, my point has always been that subsection 3 was wrongly inserted in the Pensions Act when the Law Revision tidied up the legislation. If the Court had heard argument on that point the conclusion would have been different.


  17. Caswell, that a subsection was, as you put it, “wrongly” inserted in an Act is not a legal argument at all but only a hope on your part. The words of the subsection seem quite clear to me; what argument is there for a contrary interpretation? The intention of Parliament as gleaned from the speech of one Parliamentarian in Hansard, no matter who he may be, cannot outrank the plain words of the section.


  18. @Caswell

    I agree with Jack Sprat point. Any how it is no use co
    ntinue the debate on this matter, the CCJ has ruled and that decesion must be accpted, unless the court can or is asked to revist it. Can that happen.

    @poop at sea

    why do you attack Caswelll so viciously? You seem to have a personal problem with him?


  19. somewhere in the back of my mind, i believe you have a point but i thnk you confused the issue in you opening arguments by referring to the severance payments act and mr barrows reasoning et al. so, even thoug i hold the same view as you, i agree with brutus that your case is not well put but for once kind of muddled.i wanted to join the argument on your side and was about to do the appropriate research but cannot findmy copy of the CCJ’S decision re- winton campbell.however, i would put my two cents worth subject to correction. my understanding in reading the decision is that it runs counter to the pension laws of barbados which allpowed mr campbell to obtain his pension before 60 because his post was abolished and he was not offered a post of same or better value. on the other hand, what the CCJ’S decision didin its ruling against mr campbell was to reverse the obligations of the pensions act of barbados to public officers whose posts were abolished without placement in posts of same value but allowed mr campbel to continue to benefit from the provision of obtaining his pension before 60 because he was already receiving it.; and correct me if i am wrong caswell but that is my understanding in a nutshell from a layman’s layman’s perspective..


  20. just only asking,

    Any single person one man show that believes he represents a block of Union votes but does not have a membership other than he himself has to a self centered idiot and not wothry of being listened to with his self opionated rubbish as if it is the gospel according to Franklyn whatgospel can he speak to me on that he sould be taken even slightly seriously ? NOTHING , NONE.


  21. Balance
    I referred to the Severance Payments Act only to point out that public officers were excluded from receiving benefits under that act because they had better provisions under the various pensions acts in the event of redundancy/abolition of office.

    I referred to Mr. Barrow’s speech in the House of Assembly to show that the legislation that the Court of Appeal and the CCJ misinterpreted had nothing to do with abolition of post. That legislation was only meant to store pensions for people who left the service early, that is before retirement date, and went on to work elsewhere.
    Please bear with me a little longer and you will see my point. According to the Court of Appeal and the CCJ, Act No. 1975 – 31 provided that the payment of the pensions would be deferred until the person reaches 60 or sooner dies. If that interpretation is correct, why would Parliament pass Act No. 1982 – 45 to say that if you are in receipt of a pension and you were not yet 60 years of age, you could be called out to work and if you refuse the pension would be suspended until you reach 60 years. Those two provisions do not make sense and cannot both exist at the same time. Since the 1982 act is the latter it should stand.

    Even if I am wrong, my contention is that the courts should not have spoken to the issue without hearing arguments on something that is so important. As a result of this interpretation public servants who are severed have no claim for severance payments, also they are not entitled to receive unemployment benefits from the National Insurance Office. All that the Government would be required to pay immediately to the severed employee is the last month’s pay and any accumulated vacation pay.

    Imagine being severed at age 35 and having to wait 25 years for your severance payment. That is now the law according to the CCJ. Worse yet the severance payment would be calculated on the salary that you were receiving 25 years earlier.
    Balance, that is also my layman’s perspective, and I hope that I have made myself a little clearer for you.


  22. I remember when the Government of Barbados went to Parliament to change the law to get rid of Winton Campbell.

    He became a legend, …. the only man the Government had to go to Parliament for …. and change the law to get rid of.

    I remember hearing he was a stickler for the codes and if as a contractor you could not convince him logically a particular solution met those codes as laid down in the IEE Regulations (as required by the law at that time) … your job failed until you could demonstrate it met the codes, regardless of who you were!!

    That meant your project could not be connected to the BL&P.

    That meant delay in delivery to your client.

    As a contractor you looked bad.

    I did not get the impression he was very popular with the big contractors, …… a very articulate guy, …. knew the codes he was responsible for enforcing, ….. very difficult to defeat in debate.

    Only a brave person would take him on in technical matters relating to the codes.

    I don’t know much about his day to day management of the department for which he was responsible.

    Maybe he was at fault here.


  23. thanks caswell but i still want to be clear on the ramifications of the CCJ’S position oon the ability of public officers to access their pensions before 60 if their posts were ABOLISHED without securing another post with similar terms and conditions.is it not correct that there is such a provision under the laws of barbados but the ruling of the CCJ alters this entitlement? if this is indeed so, can’t the NUPW in conjunction with CTUSAB mobilise public servants to oppose this backward step?


  24. Balance
    Because of my past association with party politics, everything I write is attacked by nincompoops, like CCC, because they think that I have some political axe to grind. That said, I must tell you that NUPW is aware of the situation: I can’t speak to what BWU knows, but they should. The problem is simply that the unions, for the most part are wrapped up in politics and have lost sight of their role in representing the workers.

    The unions will not speak to the mess that the court ruling has caused on public servants because the government is exploiting the situation for political gain. They have already used the ruling to rid themselves of thirteen workers at the Urban Development Commission, and are now wreaking havoc on the workers who are employed by the departments that now fall under the Financial Services Commission.
    The unions are afraid that they will lose their perks from the Government if they are critical of Government in the interest of the workers that they represent. Some politicians see everybody that criticises them as enemies to be stamped out going as far as destroying organizations where they work. Look at what is happening at the Family Planning Association: George Griffith is a well known supporter of the BLP, and Government has been systematically removing funding from that body just to take out George, but you are not hearing that because everyone is afraid of politicians with actual power.
    As far as I know, no union in this country has called upon the Government to go to Parliament and reverse the effects of this ruling. The only other way to change the abhorrent situation would be to take the matter to the High Court, lose there; then appeal to the Court of Appeal, lose there; ant then appeal to the CCJ in the hope that they would reverse themselves. However they are not likely to do such a thing because the situation was brought to their attention by someone who never set foot in a law school, well at least not during class.


  25. The case was not about severance. The CCJ decided that no damages were due as the Government had paid a pension since the time of the abolition of the person’s office. It’s that simple.
    Mr Franklyn may have wanted the Court to look at severance but that was not the substantive matter before them.


  26. How is it that a Civil Servant (born the same year as me) can go home at 37 (after putting in maybe 20 years in the work force) and collect a pension until aged 77,87, 97, 107, 117? 127?

    And poor non civil servant foreign exchange earning me can’t collect a cent of pension until I am 67 and have put 49 years of sweat and tax money into the system.

    Somebody please explain this to me in real simple language that I can understand.


  27. Mr. Dragon
    The case was never about severance and I did not want the court consider any such thing. However, you are quite correct that the issue of severance was not the substantive matter before them, but neither was the issue of receiving pension at 60 years when the post is abolished. It was not argued before them. They were not called upon to pronounce on the matter, but they did so without the benefit of any legal argument. They just delved into an area where they had limited knowledge and wreaked havoc in the lives of all public workers even if the have not yet realised it.

    Random Thoughts
    I would be quite happy to explain the matter to you.
    Public officers who are appointed to their posts are appointed until they resign, retire at 60, or die, whichever comes first. Ordinarily the public officer would retire at 60 and receive a pension if he had put in a minimum of 10 years’ service. If he dies while still employed, his estate would receive the gratuity or a year’s salary, whichever is greater. If he resigns from the service before he reaches 60 years in order to go and work elsewhere, his pension would be stored and paid when he reaches 60 years.

    Next is where the problem lies. If he is made redundant, as they say in the Service, if his post is abolished, he would have been entitled to receive a pension immediately, at whatever age, if he had 10 years’ service. This pension is not intended for life: it is supposed to be payable until the Government reassign the officer to a post of equal standing. If the job is offered and the officer refuses to take up the offer, the pension would cease until he reached 60 years, so it is not really for life. It is only intended to pay the officer until he is re-employed in the service.

    You should also be aware that in the event of redundancy, public officers are not entitled to severance pay or unemployment benefits, since he would be in receipt of compension in the form of the temporary pension. As a result of this ruling, in the event of redundancy, the public officer is not entitled to any money whatsoever until he reaches 60 years. Just imagine if this ruling were in place when Campbell was made redundant in 1992, and he was not re-employed in the Service, he would have to wait, for what would be in effect his severance pay, until 2015 to receive any money. Does that sound fair to you?


  28. Caswell

    The case was never about severance and I did not want the court consider any such thing. However, you are quite correct that the issue of severance was not the substantive matter before them, but neither was the issue of receiving pension at 60 years when the post is abolished. It was not argued before them. They were not called upon to pronounce on the matter, but they did so without the benefit of any legal argument. They just delved into an area where they had limited knowledge and wreaked havoc in the lives of all public workers even if the have not yet realised it.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Is this pronouncement on pension in the absence of legal arguments an Orbiter Dictum?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obiter_dictum

    I


  29. John
    You are really asking the wrong man. I am not a lawyer or even legally trained. Maybe you should ask Jeff Cumberbatch or Cecil Mc Carthy. I am just a person who reads a lot, and when I believe that I understand an issue, I would write or speak to it if the need arises. You see, I am not afraid to be wrong: there is no shame in it: that is how I learn. If I am wrong in this instance. I would have learned something and move on to my next windmill.

    That said, as I understand it when a judge gives a judgement, the reasons for doing so is called the ratio decidendi. In the course of giving his judgement, a judge might refer to something by the way that is called the obiter dictum. Things said obiter have a way of being elevated to law. That is why I believe that judges have to be very careful when giving decisions. I don’t think that the CCJ, in making that statement, had any idea of the immence harm that they were causing. I honestly believe that the court was not as careful as it could have been.

    I was one of the boisterous supporters of the establishment of the CCJ: I even wrote letters to the editor and spoke on call-in shows to support the establishment of the court. Now I feel as though I was bitten by my own dog.


    • @Caswell

      Keep on questioning.

      People who question immediately become the enemy of the establishment, BU knows that only too well.


  30. Courts make mistakes.

    Judges are only human.

    The question is how to rectify them to prevent irreparable harm being done!!

    How would it look now for the CCJ to apologise for an error in judgment and the Government of Barbados has relied on the error?

    I am no lawyer either but I wonder how courts deal with evidence which arises to prove a person jailed for life is actually no murderer at all.

    I know from TV that they admit their error and apologise.

    However, is the pardoned person compensated for losing perhaps decades of his life?

    Guess that is criminal law vs civil law.

    ….. but, courts do make mistakes … and admit them.


  31. John
    I agree with you that judges make mistakes, as all of us do at times. My major problem is that the Government would seek to exploit the mistake for cheap partisan politics. They used the mistakes to dismiss workers, who were accused of BLP affiliation workers from the UDC. When they discovered that the workers were not now entitled to compensation upon dismissal because of redundancy, a caring Government would have moved to rectify the problem, not abuse workers as a result of it.

    Personally, I was prepared to give my support to the present administration, not because they are doing an excellent job, but because the alternative, in the for of a government lead by either Mottley or Arthur would give me stomach problems. Now , I am forced to reconsider that support because I cannot support politicians who would treat people in this manner. They ought to be ashamed.


  32. Comes down now to compensation. If CCJ made and error and GOB capitalised on it, how are the persons losing their jobs compensated?

    Guess one way is they get their pensions retroactively!!

    I agree, it is sad to see partisan politics at play by either party.

    But, that is what politicians do … play politics.

    Keep them shuffling and unsure of their 10 years!!!


  33. Quoting Caswell Franklyn “Just imagine if this ruling were in place when Campbell was made redundant in 1992, and he was not re-employed in the Service, he would have to wait, for what would be in effect his severance pay, until 2015 to receive any money. Does that sound fair to you?”

    No. Pay the man his severance and unemployment right away.

    But if a well educated man, is severed, fired, made redundant, post is abolished whatever at age 37 it is his RESPONSIBILITY to look for other work fast, fast.

    I am one of those people who feel that paying a 37 year old a pension until such time as the government finds him a commensurate job is a disincentive to him using his initiative to find other work, in or out of the public service, or in or out of Barbados.

    But that said I’d like to see the law restructured so that civil servants are on a level playing field; so that civil servants make contributions to and receive unemployment insurance and severance payment like anybody else.

    And yes I’d like to see some of the job security removed from civil servants.

    If a civil servant is lousy at his job, creates havoc in her office, arrives late and leave early, doesn’t show up on Mondays because of being stale drunk, takes too frequent sick leave even though he or she doesn’t have any chronic illness or any illness at all; takes 3 hours lunches to put out pubic fires up where she does live, the government should be permitted to fire, indeed should be encouraged to fire.


  34. Caswell – from my reading of the CCJ decision, it was the Appeal Court of Barbados that ruled on the matter of the pension and not the CCJ. I would argue that the CCJ pointedly did NOT rule on the matter. Why do you keep stating otherwise?

    Why wasn’t the payment of the pension raised as a grounds of appeal against the Appeal Court decision? Because the man had been paid the pension from when his post was abolished, but he wanted his full salary.

    Couldn’t the matter still be challenged in a Barbados court, or the law amended for greater clarity?


  35. Caswell said “Public officers who are appointed to their posts are appointed until they resign, retire at 60, or die, whichever comes first”.

    Now that is an absolutely amazing practice and perhaps this is why the matter is so important to Caswell! Government should be able to fire any public officer, but I am tending to agree with Random Thoughts that the public officers should therefore be part of the unemployment and severance schemes.

    Maybe Caswell can present the other side of the argument.


  36. Brutus
    You are correct. The matter of the pension was not raised at appeal simply because it was not a ground on which the court was asked to rule, yet they decided and created havoc in the process.

    There is some misunderstanding about public officers and their security of tenure. Public officers can be dismissed for misconduct: the problem comes when those alleging misconduct are unable to prove their case. For example, in order to dismiss a person for being habitually late, you must produce a register to show he was late. The absence of a register is not the fault of the accused: rather it is fault of the Head of department who is required by law to maintain a register. Below is a list if some of the offences that can result in dismissal:
    2. In this Code,

    “misconduct of a serious nature” means conduct that warrants the dismissal of the offending person and, in addition to the misconduct specified in paragraph 27 (b)(i)of the Code of Conduct and Ethics, includes the following:

    (a) absence from duty without leave or approval;

    (b) conviction of a criminal offence punishable by a term of imprisonment;

    (c) failure to report or disclose any information that ought reasonably to be reported or disclosed where the consequence of that failure amounts to a grave injustice;

    (d) unauthorised disclosure of information pertaining to the Government;

    (e) insubordination;

    (f) habitual intoxication or possession, use or distribution of illegal drugs while on duty;

    (g) reporting for duty or performing duties while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs;

    (h) failure to observe any laws, orders, rules or regulations governing the Public Service;

    (i) falsification of accounts or records, either manual or electronic;

    (j) wilful mutilation, alteration or destruction of property including official documents or records, either manual or electronic;

    (k) the threatening of a fellow officer or any person or threatening the destruction of any property while on duty;

    (l) the causing of grievous bodily harm;

    (m) the unauthorised possession of a firearm or other device that can be considered an offensive weapon;

    (n) acceptance of bribes or other inducements;

    (o) misappropriation of public funds;

    (p) major loss of or damage to property of the employer;

    (q) failure to perform the duties assigned to the office;

    (r) negligence in the performance of duty;

    (s) failure to maintain official records where the consequence amounts to a grave injustice;
    (t) misconduct involving 3 of more of the matters listed herein as matters of misconduct of a minor nature in paragraphs (a) to (h) within a period of 2 years;
    In addition to the above a public officer can be dismissed for deceiving or knowingly deceiving misleading MInisters, Parliament, Permanent Secretaries or the public.
    The rules only have to be enforced


  37. this ruling has really dealt a grave disserviceto those public officers whose posts were abolished and had certain pension rights under the pension laws of barbados.the question is how can those rights be restored in keeping with our more humane pension laws. by the way, do you not realise that by injecting severance into the argument led to some misunderstanding of the issue. also, am i to understand that a B.L.P without mr arthur or miss mottley would attract your support once more?


  38. Brutus
    You are most welcome. You might find it difficult to believe that there are permanent secretaries that do not know the rules in the Public Service, and it is their jobs to enforce them.

    Balance
    I am sorry if I misled you with my reference to severance pay. I was merely trying to show that public servants are not entitled to severance, and if their pension is taken away on abolition of post that they would not be entitled to anything.

    All I want you to take away from my reference to support for a political party is that I would not support any politicians that treat workers the way that they have been treated, by the present administration, in this pension issue.


  39. But Caswell are appointed public servants ever fired?

    If so how many each year? Or what % in any year or in the past 10%

    In other words is being fired something that public servants have to worry about

    I was always under the impression that public servants were made of asbestos, that is fire proof.

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