The Caswell Franklyn Column – Docking Strikers Pay Not Automatic in Public Service

It was with utter amazement that I read a circular purportedly from the Head of the Civil Service reminding senior managers in the Public Service of the General Orders relating to absence from duty without permission, in response to the trade unions announcement of a march. Additionally, they were required to “make a note of any officers or employees absenting themselves from duty during working hours without authorization”.

To my mind, this communication is particularly troubling for a number of reasons. Firstly, I was stunned by what I consider to be the improper issuance of the circular and had to ask myself, why would the person, who is the final arbiter of grievances in the Public Service, insert herself so early into a matter that could potentially end up on her desk for resolution?

Let’s say that an officer, who attended the march, had his pay docked as result. Apart from industrial action, there are several options available to the aggrieved employee or the union to seek to resolve the issue. The officer may file a grievance in accordance with section 12 of the Public Service Act (PSA). That section allows an officer, who is aggrieved by the action of a person who has supervisory powers over him, to invoke the procedure with respect to grievance handling that is set out in the Fourth Schedule.

Accordingly, the union is required to refer the matter to the Head of the Public Service for resolution before declaring a dispute. It would now seem that this ill-advised circular would send an aggrieved officer looking for other options.

An aggrieved officer, whose pay has been docked, also has the option of going to the High Court. It is my view that notwithstanding what is written in the General Orders and the Code of Conduct and Ethics, permanent secretaries and heads of department cannot automatically reduce the pay of persons who are absent from duty without permission.

Paragraphs 15 of the Code of Conduct and Ethics makes it an offence for an officer to absent himself from duty without permission, except in the opinion of the permanent secretary or head of department the absence is due to illness or other unavoidable circumstances. It goes on to say that the pay of the officer may be reduced by the permanent secretary or head department to take account of such absence.

Among other things, paragraph 27 of the Code of Conduct and Ethics makes it an offence of a serious nature to breach paragraph 15. The first offence of a serious nature mentioned in the Code of Discipline is: “absence from duty without leave or approval”.

Paragraph 4.(2) sets out the role of the permanent secretary and head of department in relation to misconduct of a serious nature. They can investigate the matter and report their findings to the Chief Personnel Officer. They do not have the power to discipline public officers. Section 94.(1) of the Constitution assigns that role to the Governor-General, acting on the advice of the PSC.

Further, section 95 of the Constitution allows the Governor-General to delegate his powers, except the power to dismiss, to one or more members of the PSC or to public officers. So far the Governor-General has not done so in respect of permanent secretaries and heads of department. In any event even if he had done so, accused officers still have a right to due process before a disciplinary penalty could be imposed. It is interesting to note that docking pay is not a penalty that is set out in the Code of Discipline.

Also, if an officer believes that he has been adversely affected in his employment by his employer because he went on a trade union organised march, he can report the matter to the police. Section 40A of the Trade Union Act makes it an offence, punishable by a fine of $1,000 or imprisonment for six months or to both, for an employer to dismiss a workman or adversely affect the employment or alters the position of a workman to his prejudice because that workman takes part in trade union activities outside or, with the consent of the employer, within working hours.

The Public Service is a rules-based organisation but it seems that those who are required to manage the service do not have a working knowledge of the rules.

46 thoughts on “The Caswell Franklyn Column – Docking Strikers Pay Not Automatic in Public Service

  1. They are well aware of the rules and regs, they ignore them in a bid to display their petty little poeers over each other.

    They all continue to make end rounds around the rules, laws and regulstions, to treat each other as slaves with no rights, despite the existence of laws, rules and regulations…..

    ….. some type of classes or psychological sessions need to be held to combat this slave mind, this slave mentality so ingrained in, from the government ministers back down, it seems to be never ending and getting worse.

  2. Well Well

    You are right when you speak of the slave mentality, it pervades this society, but trust me when I tell you that a lot of what is happening comes from ignorance of the rules that these persons are empowered to enforce. Just one minor example of this ignorance would suffice. You should note that the circular purportedly comes from the Head of the Civil Service. Would you believe that there is no such post or designation in the law. That post was re-designated Head of the Public Service on December 31, 2007 by section 6 of the Public Service Act. That is almost 10 years and it seems that none of the persons who occupied that position since then has ever noticed.

  3. It seems utter ridiculous that an employee who had absent without leave because his or her pay had been dock for attending an union march could report such matter to the police. The police have better and more pressing issues to attend to than to entertain the complaint of some employee against his boss for the lack of pay. This is certainly not a matter for law enforcement, but one I would presume for the labour department and the civil court. Listen! I have been on many union marches and did so know that I weren’t going to get pay for the day, but the sacrifice was necessary because it sent the right message to management as what were to come if our demands weren’t given some consideration.

  4. Caswelll…why I said that…I am sure there are books and folders of rules and regulations easily available and can be accessed, if not on site, at the government printery on Bay Street, before these fly by night civil servant managers start writing their petty power letters.

    They obviously are not interested in researching any rules and regulation for confirmation, but just reacting to what they believe is an affront to their petty powers.

    Plus…according to your last paragraph….none of them care to notice anything useful…lol

    Just like with government…the heads are poisonous and should be removed from the body.

  5. Duncy are you a female rabbit?

    The writer of the article says and I quote “…Section 40A of the Trade Union Act makes it an offence, punishable by a fine of $1,000 or imprisonment for six months or to both, for an employer to dismiss a workman or adversely affect the employment or alters the position of a workman to his prejudice because that workman takes part in trade union activities outside or, with the consent of the employer, within working hours…”

    It is the law buffoon that address dismissal and the docking of pay because a workman takes part in a union march.

    Tell me something, while you were doing your voyeur activities at Station A, a horse ever kick you upsides your head?

    You got to be brain damaged or worse hmmmmmmmmm

    De ole man wondering if de horses (human or otherwise) ent ….. hmmmmmmm

  6. @ Mr. Franklyn,

    “Knowledge dwells in heads of men replete with thoughts of other men, wisdom dwells in heads of those attentive on their own…”

    These men are neither knowledgeable nor are they wise.

    You dun know that they, both sides of them, are really ammmmmm female rabbits.

    Let us be serious Mr Franklyn. Did you attend the EU? meeting last week where they were discussing the Agricultural Grants thing?

    Did you hear the bungling buffonery presented by the current Deputy Permanent Secretary of Agriculture?


    But you is a gallows bait youself doah heheheheheheh

    Why if you was to come here and relate stories about PS Edison Alleyne or former BLP supporter (nearly said such pooch-ologist) and former PS Barker, whuloss men would start to get a closer perspective of ingrunce personified…heheheheheheh

    But de cuntry os 98% literate sooooooo…

    • Piece

      I don’t get invited to such affairs, I only read of them in the news.

      Don’t worry Piece, those stories will come. This is the right place but the wrong time.

      Sent from my iPad

  7. Piece aka ready to depart

    Read: “Also, if an officer believes that he has been adversely affected in his employment by his employer because he went on a trade union organized march, he can report the matter to the Police. ”

    What does Mr. Caswell entails when he articulates that if the employee believes that he has been adversely affected in his employment by his employer?

    Is Mr. Caswell trying to tell us that the employer is using threats against the employee because he or she participated in the union march?

  8. Piece aka ready to depart

    I thought we pay our law enforcement personnel to deal with matters of a criminal nature? I didn’t know law enforcement is/are now charged with settling Union disputes?

  9. Piece aka ready depart

    What has a union affair to do with law enforcement unless it has to do with the police. A female colleague of mine was sexually harassed by another employee at work here, and she reported the matter to law enforcement. Law enforcement told her that since the matter occurred on the job, that is wasn’t a law enforcement matter, but one for the human resources department. Now, perhaps I am simple minded as you have so wrongfully characterized me, but I do not see how a union matter could be referred to law enforcement unless it is of a criminal nature Sir.

  10. @ Duncy aka De Man Dat Many of Us would Want to Depart (from BU)


    The point being made by Mr, Franklyn is that there is such a law.

    He did not make the law buffoon, he is only restating it.

    Since you are Duncy to the Max let the ole man break if down fuh yuh in simple language

    I will quote one such american law that persists in the hellhole that you alwys quoting bout.

    “If a frog dies during a frog-jumping contest in California, it can’t be eaten.”

    This health code likely made its way into the books to protect competitors at the Calaveras County Fair and Frog Jumping Jubilee, an 80-year-old tradition in the gold mining town of Angels Camp.

    Now Duncy let us see if this makes any sense to you.

    Suppose that there was a law on the Statutes Book of Barbados which said “”If a chicken dies prior to being officially slaughtered in Barbados, it can’t be sold to be eaten thereafter?”

    Would you Duncy while speak to such a law to the then minister of health Sir Branford Taitt concerning that purported breach that you Ram into, sorry i meant ran Into, would such an observation by you Duncy make you complicit in the supply of the Dead Chickens?

    or would it nullify that there was such a law about chickens/frogs?

    and most importantly would it not mean that you should get your ingrunt self away from the cuntputer and keep quiet while big menses trying to educate likkle madmenses like de ole man about me rights, if i should join the union?


  11. I wonder what would happen on BU if we did not Dumpsy tuh cuss?

    I recall in his absence we started to cuss each other…..take care he doan distapear agine.

  12. ….Dunpy would be shocked to lean that ram dead chickens case is still haunting the ccj and supreme court over 30 years later….

    …most of the judges and even Taitt himself are very long deceased….

    ..but the case keeps going and going….lol

  13. Piece aka will soon be departing us

    I gine leave yah alone cause mi madda tell mah tah respect mah eldas old man.
    But isn’t it funny how your country is moving backwards and all you and those liken to you can do is to spew of lot of useless theories as to what course the country should be taking. Why don’t you take sometime and do as a lot of the intelligent young Bajan men and women are doing on Facebook with the youth of Barbados. Don’t You think that you could make a difference in some young man or woman’s life by impart some of that Bajan colloquialism before the minutes of your earthly career is numbered rather than to come to this blog day after day and wasting what little time you have left of life Sir?

  14. David, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be an active member of the BU community for years. You are a nice fella whom have gained respect during the years, but before I depart this blog once and for all: it is my hope is that you make an effort to attract the voices of the younger Bajans to the BU community. Later brother…

  15. @ Duncy aka De Man Dat Many of Us would Want to Depart (from BU)

    “But soft awhile and such a dawn of which you speak will come…
    Where, in some stark apposition to nature’s rising sun
    while yonder sun in the east is forever rising the old man’s sun will nova once and die
    As will yours….heheheheheheheh

    What would you say Duncy if you were to know “the lives” i have touched and yet still touch today? (I pause to observe he of the trembling botsies here)

    But yes challenged sir, I thank ye kindly for your exhortation to make a difference in these lives that I am but born to serve and will continue on such azimuth.

    @ Vincent

    Whu wrong wid you doah?

    Yuh feel dat we only supposed to cuss you?

    You is a bullet proof feller and when normal men like Duncy will crumble and disappear (or be blocked) you does only chuckle

    …and when the topic get too much for you…cause we dun know our limitations,,,you does demit that specific blog

    Doah de ole man feel dat you does get you Mugabe instructions when to speak and when to lef de studio heheheheheheheeheheh

  16. Piece

    Chuckle…..we duss geh we instruktions de same said time Skippah… whu ez de prob.

    Skippah…..leh muh noah ah whichen blog yuh run muh frum???

    Dumps is resilient he hibernates and then returns fully invigorated to spew his own brand of logic.

  17. Caswell will your union Unity join the go slow this week? If yes do you have a strike fund?

    Why is Glyne Murray not mentioning unity on today’s talk show?

    • Caswell will your union Unity join the go slow this week? If yes do you have a strike fund?


      I’m almost 60 years old and have never attended a party or function uninvited. Sixty years of habit is hard to break. But even if I were invited, I would still have to find out what those unions are trying to achieve. They have not clearly articulated their aims.

      Sent from my iPad


  18. oh please, stop with all the drama Dumpy, ya know ya not going anywhere, ya just like Hal….drama

  19. @ Mr Caswell Franklyn.

    I have a few question for you which may put you on the spot.

    Let us accept for a while that the Demonic Lying Party is incompetent

    And the lick pooch Senators (that both sides appointed) are incompetent

    What about the substantive tier of the Public Service?

    Are they Incompetents too?

    Or do you feel that they are being coerced to do these illegal acts?

    I mean one can easily ascribe idiocy to the dredges that have been appointed and their legion of stragglers on but the public service is a “permanent fixture” and you would figure that when these clowns are gone that when the next lot comes that they would revert to sensible behaviour.

    which brings me to the last $64 million questions.

    Have you had any preliminary discussions with Mugabe? and the incoming band of imps? as to whether they will rectify and revert to or employ the correct interpretations of the law when her Night of the Long Knives come to being?

    What has been her response?

    Do you believe her OR HER EMISSARIES when she says what will obtain under her rule?

    I now see why you ent running for politics.

    You does have to be souless beings to take on these jobs where your yea is nay and your nay is “you better had watch your back and this knife that i got in my left hand…”

  20. David posed the question that immediately came to mind while reading this piece. Where does Unity Trade Union stand in this matter? I have long called for the collaboration of the many factions of the movement that claims to have the interest of the workers of Barbados at heart. Interesting to note also David ‘ s point that Glyne Murray neglected to acknowledge the existence of Caswell ‘s union, even though the common denominator, the tie that binds Glyne, his mentor Owen Arthur and Caswell Franklin inextricably together is their disdain for the leader of the opposition. The lack of a strike fund notwithstanding, solicit the assistance of the regional trade union body and bring pressure to bear on this administration. See the forest for the trees and accept that nothing can ever be as bad as what presently exists. Like Hillary Clinton Mia is certainly the lesser of two evils. The margin for error where Barbados in relation to America is concerned is exponentially smaller. To Caswell and company I urge you to learn from America ‘s mistake. Sooner rather than later this system shall take care of Donald Trump. Think country first,and DO THE RIGHT THING!

  21. …i saw some promise somewhere about a constituency day, i was wondering how that got more relevant or important than assuring the voters that the sickening issues at the supreme and magistrate courts levels will be fixed permanently…

    ….. FOIA, Integrity and Transparency legislations will be implemented/enforced within the first month of being elected….

    ….that Fruendel, Dumbville, Lashley/either/or, Carrington, Thompson and all the known crooks who refused to account for taxpayer`s money and gave away tax and pensioners dollars by the hundreds of millions to the local crooks and parasites will be investigated immediately and arrested for corruption and theft….

    instead i see some sissy promise of a constituency day, the backwardness is appalling.

  22. @ Hamilton
    You have probably worked out by now that Bushie knows Caswell better than Caswell does….

    The actual (undiplomatic) answer to your question then, is that Caswell is not a team player. You yourself…would not invite Caswell to your bassa-bassa either….
    Well, at least not twice… 🙂

    Caswell’s mouth has no cover.
    Caswell does not compromise …
    Caswell suspects EVERYONE of improper motives (and that includes Caswell…)
    Caswell is not diplomatic – he says what is on his mind… usually caustic…

    Bottom line … where ever he goes, someone is always trying to stomp him like a centipede.
    Should centipede attend ‘fowl-cock’ parties?

    Caswell was BORN to be a supervisor of GOVERNANCE… someone who adjudicates the rules and who keeps both the powerful and the weak on their P’s and Q’s….

    BUT …like everything else in Brassbados, what we have is another square peg fitted into a wrong hole….

    Why do you think Bushie asked the man to done wid the Unity shiite …and start the BUP thing…?

    ha ha ha

  23. I wrote what I wrote before your post Caswell. Now help me to understand if you are interested in helping to save Barbados. Believe me…I know of the bull’s eye you wear on your back. I also know that privately they respect your ability, even though publicly they say differently. This is bigger than any one of the players involved in this nightmarish chapter of Barbadian existence. Not a single member of the Freundel Stuart administration gives a flying f____k about anything that anyone thinks or says about them. They are driven to do their do,get all that is there to be gotten and ride off into the sunset…set for life…..not meaning to be morbid and certainly not disrespect intended, but let bajans ask themselves where did the late DPP die? Where did the late Pm receive his treatment? The underfunded QEH it seems, is for the average Joe who by the way is called upon to do the heavy lifting (NSRL) while the connected get to access the best available. Help me understand Caswell.

  24. Stop waiting for calls Unions and act as was advised on Brasstacks today…..the basis of the action is pure and simple… confidence in the govts ability……shutdown the ports untill parliament is dissolved and an election date is called.

    The Budget as presented is a non-starter according to the Gurus as well as the MoF who stated that in October after the reviews come in they will amend the budget.

    This govt appears to be playing for political time and allowing the country to slip in the meantime.

    Presently the Unions actions are falling in with the govts plan.
    Yesterday at 06:21
    Unanswered call
    An urgent plea was made this afternoon for the Freundel Stuart Government to re-open tripartite discussions with local trade unions and the private sector on the vexed issue of the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) and other…

    • Hamilton

      In response to your comment at 3:01, I think Vincent’s comment sums up my feelings adequately:

      “Stop waiting for calls Unions and act as was advised on Brasstacks today…..the basis of the action is pure and simple… confidence in the govts ability……shutdown the ports untill parliament is dissolved and an election date is called.”


  25. They have many reasons to strike and should do so. As it relates to the docking the of pay and other high handed actions by this administration they are familiar with the fact that the judicial process is like molasses going up a hill and if there is a hearing before the tribunal there are all DEMS before the Supreme courts there are all DEMS so do as we like cause things can’t get no way…y.

  26. Hamilton…we can also say, the best, most expensive medical care in NY and Miami and a lot of good it does or did them….

    very few of them want to be in the neglected, sold to the highest bidder QEH when they get ill, but get ill they all will….no matter how much money and material possessions they stash away.

  27. I never that that I would write this but I now believe that Barbadians need an opportunity to vote and to give a mandate to a political party to take the hard decisions necessary to turn this country around and correct the rot of the last 10 years.

    If this means that labour and capital have to join in a National shutdown and public peaceful demonstrations then I say the sooner the better for Barbados. Let us get on with what we need to do.

  28. Barbados will not recover when economic decisions and their timelines are being governed by political considerations. I used to think that one of the worst things for Barbados was the near year of nothingness when PM Thompson was ill and dying but that pales in comparison the last 7 years of nothingness since his death. How cruel it was for fate to take David Thompson and to give Freundel Stuart?

  29. People
    When you have a complete fool like Ince involved in the financial management of Barbados and an equally cursed-with-face-like-lucifer-self but with a nimble brain capable of obtaining first class honours in economics and a worthwhile designation in accounting and finance,you have a combination of a man who thinks he is god’s gift to the economy and a man whose sell by date is fast approaching and whose desire is to destroy the Democratic Labour Party because he gets no adulation for his genius in extracting every last cent from the middle class of Barbados.Boyce is singly destroying the Dems and Barbados middle class.Hes a vicious animal who can’t get along with anybody because he is not a team player.Wicked chopsutter if ever there was one.Quisling Boyce is surrounded by dunces on all 3 sides of the equation.He is the only one who knows what he’s doing.A destructive fucher.Sumbeetch!

  30. In matters like these one of the most irksome stategies would be to boycott all the kadooment activities and to have staff at the airport and the seaport strike on strategic days,

    It is not necessary to do a General strike just yet, just select the specific areas that one will close down to MAKE THIS GOVERNMENT CLOSE SHOP.

    One strike every two weeks.

    THe way that one structures s is to ensure that the union dues are adequate to cover the out of pocket expenses.

    So it is here that the Unions should know exactly what the cost of a strike should be and what it would cost to maintain this industrial action until christmas and beyond.

    Keep essential service running but use the others to show solidarity for the matter.

    What a united frong of Unions needs to do WITH CASWELL LEADING THE CONSORTIUM is to make representation to the private sector for all hands to underwrite the challenges that it will bring

    Wunna dun see how de ole man predict NOT ONE EFFING SEAT???
    MUgabe, you want de ole man to run you campaigns for you causing Lucile and Stephen and Ole McDonald ent really got a clue.

    Before the strikes wunna has got to effect an acclimatization campaign to all your members telling them (i) why (ii) where (iii) how long (iv) what it is going to cost and most importantly (v) what the implications are going to be.

  31. @ archAngel?

    You have spoken true words about the stuttering head boy and Head Boy.

    He is yet to leave the poverty of mind and spirit that he developed growig up in Chimboraza St Joseph

    I nearly said Chimpgorilla but i pause since i am mindful that it offends my friend.

    How else can you describe this man beast?

    A man who could not run a breadshop in Eagle Hall but is now the pundit and advisor for the Economy and Survival of Barbados.

    But GOD is not asleep and their day will come like it came for Thompy and will come for us all

  32. @JUNKbados….no no ….how selfish and spineless were the so called eager many (eleven got named) that opted to play ball even though they all knew that Stevie Wonder would probably be more successful as a race car driver than their leader. Look at the rot.Scandal after scandal yet business as usual. One minute they want to hear nothing from anyone where governance is concerned. Next minute they are shamelessly calling on the same Owen Arthur that the Minister of finance had earlier boasted about having both sides of his tongue sharpened, so as to deal with he whose shelf life had long expired. Problem was that they sought to recruit his advice after the estimates had been tabled.They then called upon not one but two groups and received the concensus that increased taxation will not inspire growth in this size an economy. Did that stop them? It did not. They have clearly demonstrated that they are governed by a set of laws new to most Barbadians.Take for instance a few of the idiotic statements. ” we might have to cracking a few heads and shoot people . Pot holes save lives…we might see blood flowing in the gutters like water.” My favourite of all. “Barbarians are better off today than they were years ago. Thats based on the perspective one chooses I suppose….if I had graduated from rotating three or four shirt jacks to about thirty designer suits,and was able to park my jig-mah-hawk that broke down at least twice a year,and now enjoy the air conditioned comfort of a big ride……well let me left dah right dey. I want to offer a word of advice to both unions representing teachers in Barbados. No right minded person can seriously question the restraint you have demonstrated over the years, and especially given the fact that the adversarial stagnation was generated by a former union leader.Are you waiting until a teacher is killed or seriously injured to make this administration engage you in meaningful discussion? Today Glyne Murray told all Barbados that he saw it in poor taste and went as far as calling it vulgar, Mr Mc dowell’s use of the slogan “up de thing.” That slogan came from the crowd…the same crowd that Mr McDowell was playing to.Tell us which is more vulgar Glyne. That or the claim about morality ,in a land where bulling and wicking is as commonplace as government busses parked by Trans tec? Wunna really feel dat bajans foolish.

    • @Hamilton

      Have you observed how often the name of Owen Arthur surfaces when Glyne Murray is on the talk show?

  33. @ David….what is most bothersome is the fact that he has improved as a moderator, and his experience garnered through travel as well as his stint serving as a government minister lend favorably to the level of discussion he entertains……until he resorts to doing the bidding on Owen Arthur ‘s behalf……by the way is it not about the right time for Mr Arthur to take this country into his confidence and bare his soul where Mia is concerned? She is a despot. She is hungry for power. We get that,but unless there is more of which we know nothing, all Owen and Glyne are doing is seeking to retard the inevitable.

  34. Can David provide statistics on the annual number of work stoppages in Barbados since the 1980s?

    It used to be that the labour movement was blessed with cooler heads than the tough guys in Trinidad, Guyana, Antigua, Grenada, St. Kitts, etc.

    But now we have militants like Caswell and the females running the teachers unions and the BWU. Are things getting out of control?

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