The Caswell Franklyn Column – Buying Votes with Public Service Appointments

On the day dedicated to workers (May Day) news broke that 660 temporary workers have been appointed to the Public Service, within the past six months, with more than 300 additional appointments expected shortly.

Under normal circumstances, as a trade unionist representing public workers, I would be ecstatic on receipt of that news. But these are not normal circumstances and even though I am happy for the recipients, it is tinged with a bit of anger because of the way many of these workers have been treated over the years leading up to these appointments. As far as I am aware, some of these new appointees were employed as temporary officers before this administration took office in 2008.

From where I stand, this mad rush by the authorities to make these appointments seems to be a crass attempt to curry favour with public workers ahead of the general elections, and also to cement their supporters in secure public service jobs. Somehow, the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) believes that these appointments would translate into votes from grateful workers and their families. While I fully expect that their supporters would blindly support the DLP; I don’t believe that members of the ruling party could be so delusional to expect that uncommitted workers, who in many cases endured upward of ten years as temporary officers, to vote for them now.

By making these appointments and promising more, the DLP should not think that it is doing public workers any favours. Delaying these appointments for years meant that these workers could not get credit, to move on with their lives, because of their temporary status. Also, temporary officers pay two percent more in contributions than appointed officers to National Insurance. In effect, a temporary officer who earns $2,500 per month would pay an additional fifty dollars per month. (That could still have bought two chickens). Over ten years, by not appointing that worker as required by law, Government would have taken an additional $6,000 from his pay packet, while denying him any salary increases over that period.

To make matters worse, even if the appointments were backdated to comply with the law, and they were not, National Insurance would only refund that worker a mere $1,200.

It troubles me immensely to think that politicians would expect to be rewarded for allowing these appointments at this time. It bears repetition, they are not doing workers any favours. Section 13.(11) of the Public Service Act requires the authorities to fill permanent post within 12 months. It states:

No established office in the Public Service shall be allowed to remain vacant for a period of more than one year except

(a) permission to allow the vacancy is granted by the Governor-General on the advice of the Service Commission; or

(b) the office has been frozen by the Minister.

Despite this provision, the authorities continued to allow temporary officers to act in vacant established offices for ten or more years in some cases.

It is apt to point out, to those who think that appointing public officers en masse would redound to the benefit of the ruling party, that just prior to the 2008 elections, the Arthur administration passed legislation to ensure the automatic appointment of over 3,000 temporary officers. They lost.

There is another sinister aspect to these appointments, many of which appear to be done along partisan lines. Long-serving, competent and deserving officers are being overlooked for appointment or promotion is preference for person who identify as supporters of the DLP. In the event of a change of government, the DLP would have its supporters/minions in key areas either to disrupt or spy on any new administration.

34 thoughts on “The Caswell Franklyn Column – Buying Votes with Public Service Appointments

  1. Crooked scumbags using taxpayers’ money to buy votes. So what else is new in the failing state of thieves, criminals, yardfowls and lawyers (yes, I know that is redundant)?

  2. Try getting this narrative out to John Public via any medium other than social media and see what happens. In the name of “balance ” political prostitution is permitted, since the bottom line has to be protected, and what better way to do so than governmental revenue? Look how fast Steve Blackett became accessible last Friday and could make no greater impact than dissing the noble efforts of Keymar Saffrey, who advocates on the behalf of the growing vagrant society. Would have loved to hear him being quizzed relative to his most idiotic comments about blood flowing in the streets like water…..With their bloated cabinet the best this DLP could offer was back bencher Mr James Paul….now theirs is a free and unfettered avenue to the listening public……it begs the question who are the real enemies of this state?

  3. Low class, low rent ministers using the power given to them by the people to keep the people in perpetual bondage using yardfowlism as a weapon..

    It appears these wicked negros in parliament are unable to see themselves and their nonprogressive, trifling, petty, small time actions practiced for decades and their ignorand yardfowls are equally blind…to the fact that these practices combined have caused the island to regress.

    Only the dumbest will not reverse these actions and upgrade everything devoid of the uselessly demeaning and degrading party affiliation and yardfowlism.

  4. Caswell

    Your articles often lack balance and can be usually countered with a simple statement/question.

    How is this any different to what has always happened previously, in all other administrations?

    That a man of your ilk would continue with this line of ‘school boy’ interrogation without going to the next step and the one thereafter cements you in a certain place.

  5. @Caswell

    Both political parties do what you have articulated every general election. In fact it should have come as no surprise. Who do we blame?

  6. Who do we blame?
    Who else but the CHOSEN one that refused to BUP…..?
    …the one who could have CHANGED the paradigm?

    …but who instead chose to stick with a little shiite union …and to write articles in the Trini Newspapers about petty political shiitehounds unfairing hopeless brass bowl mendicant workers.
    Workers who are so unproductive that employers can’t wait to get rid of them….

    Tron has the narrative down pat…..

  7. @Caswell

    Any thoughts on the utterance from the AG that 15,000 jobs are in the offing? As a trade unionist this must make you smie?

  8. Well, to say you have an army connotes certain images

    We wonder if this army has any guns or nuclear weapons

    What are the strategic objectives of this here army?

    Are their military and political strategies congruent?

    Is that army sectarian or tribal?

    Are members willing to die for the people this time around, and what are your ‘red lines’?

    Will this army return real and effective, day to day political and economic power, to the people?

    Is that army willing to correct past injustices or is this just useless political propaganda?

    Has that army imposed military justice on itself for crimes previously committed, against the people?

    And have those criminals been duly shot?

    If so, where have the bodies been buried?

    Should the people of Barbados expect the surrender of weaponry once current hostilities end?

    And many more questions……………………….

    • @Pacha

      Interesting the use of the bus and army vs old lady and the bus. Also interesting is that the DLP launch will be held at a condemned national stadium.

  9. @ David May 6, 2018 10:36 AM

    Any thoughts on the utterance from the AG that 15,000 jobs are in the offing? As a trade unionist this must make you smie?”

    You ought to read more into the 15,000 jobs promise than just the message that it is just another comfort to the voting fools.

    Bajans should await those jobs the same way they are still waiting on the reduction in the cost of living since 2008.

    They should expect that 40% of government supply of goods and services contracts is awarded to small to medium sized businesses or that a DLP administration would be characterised by good governance through the practice of transparency and honesty in the decision-making process.

    Maybe the man is trying to tell the Bajan voters that the private sector should be looking to create 15,000 jobs to absorb the 15,000 which will soon cut from the public sector under the upcoming IMF arrangement involving a comprehensive programme of privatization and outsourcing from school meals to security at government worksites.

  10. Pure political propaganda, what people’s army powered by you what.

    that is very likely the slogan Cambridge Analytica gave the nuisance government ministers just before the company got exposed worldwide for fraud among other crimes, had to shut shop and are now dodging subpoenas.

    By themselves, they do not have the creativity, intelligence or ingenuity to come up with such slogan on their own.

  11. Just a small note… every time I see the phrase I see “The People’s Army” I think of the “People Liberation Army” of China. It makes me wonder if the Chinese are involved in the PR campaign of the party.

    It is the silly season

  12. Someone gave it to them, it is not a locally thought of slogan, they are full of shit and should never enter that parliament again, under any circumstances.

  13. Party 1: 15, 000 new jobs
    Party 2: South Coast Sewerage Project problems
    Party 2 : a shortage of Transport Board buses
    Party 2: Sanitation Service Authority trucks,
    Party 2: free tertiary education; (this one is tricky.. the issue will be solved doesn’t mean it will be free again)
    Party 2: 1 non-contributory pensions would be increased.

    Me: A bridge in Brooklyn for $10,000. I tekking $ BDS

  14. We need to keep track of these promises somewhere. Even the DLP will solve the sewage problem at some stage.. it cannot go on forever.

  15. @ TheoG
    This is all excellent political strategy for Barbados….
    Remember, …a promise is a comfort to a brass bowl…

  16. Pachamama

    I always welcome your criticisms of anything I write since I am convinced that I am right when you make negative comments. Thanks again.


    You claim that both parties behave the same way at election time when it comes to appointing public officers. That might have been the case, I’ll take your word for it, but you should be aware that it is corruption and more so this time around. Let me explain.

    Prior to demitting office in 2008 the Arthur Administration put legislation in place that would have seen an end to what you and most other come to accept as normal. The Public Service Act when you read section 13.(11) and the Employment and Recruitment Code together would clearly show that these vacancies should be filled as they arise and in any event not more than 12 months should elapse.

    The “independent” Public Service Commission has allowed all the vacancies to accumulate and then fill them strategically at election time. This is contrary to the letter and spirit of the law that came into force on December 31, 2007.

    It looks like corruption to me since appointing public officers is the responsibility of the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Service Commission. Why accumulate these appointments, in defiance of the statute, and make them when it would appear that they are gifts from the party in power.

    The first civil service commission was established in England in 1855 to rid the civil service of the system where patronage was used to make appointments. We now have a commission that has allowed itself to be accused of making patronage appointments on behalf of the DLP.

  17. Caswell
    Yes, we know that well. As much as you would criticize this dlp you like dem are as quintessentially Bajan as is possible. Always right and mighty.

  18. It is very appropriate that the failed DLP government chose a bus as the party vehicle for this election. They chose to throw Barbados and Barbadians “under the bus” for the last seven years. They have not seen it fit to provide the traveling public with a barely acceptable bus service. Their sinister of finance “buss” the treasury and for two years the south coast has had to live with “buss” sewage pipes.

    It is therefore now fitting that they be thrown “under the bus” by us on Election Day. You should also pay particular attention to whose likeness appears directly in alignment with the front tyre of the bus. “Powered by You” and “Removed from Power by Us”.

  19. ””’Interesting the use of the bus and army vs old lady and the bus. Also interesting is that the DLP launch will be held at a condemned national stadium.””


    How appropriate! To have a condemned party going to a place which is not dissimilar, or should be. Maybe, our intellectual prop, Bushie, will see the spiritual side of the language being spoken in their actions.

    Maybe it has something to do with the three-pronged fork planted at the Garrison or the shiiite, human waste, running in the streets.

    Maybe Bajans will flush both the shiite DLP and all other shiiite out of the body politic forever using the army to good effect.

    • @Pacha

      The pundits appear to have the view this is about decapitating Mia in her yard, there is another perspective that the stadium is a small area and will give the appearance of being crowed with a relatively small turnout. We will wait and see.

  20. David

    These political shenanigans surprise us not. We should expect even more desperate measures in the weeks ahead.

    But regardless of what they do, they cannot avoid the fate which awaits them. And has been awaiting them for 3 or 4 years now.

    Why else would the coward-in-chief bring the country to a near state of unlawfulness?

    What may concern us is the possibility of a constitutional crisis. These seem to be in ‘bogue’ around the world. And without an ability to deal the duopoly a double-blow, we are back to the position ante.

    It is the possibility that Bajans may over correct, as nearly happened several times previously.

    • @Pacha

      A point to contemplate and reinforced last night by Mia Mottley is that a 120 million foreign loan payment comes due next month. To have tarried this late the PM has created a challenge for the new government given the poor state of the foreign reserves.

  21. David

    And we are certain that other similar situations will be unearthed soon or after a new guvment comes in.

    In 2008 the DLP had to bring to book hundreds of millions in sovereign guarantees issued by the OSA guvment, as demanded by the IMF/World Bank, making the national debt significantly higher.

    This is the essential nature of duopoly politics in Barbados, elsewhere. Playing games and leaving the people to hold the bag. An empty bag.

    We’re relatively certain that the DLP will be on the opposition benches, as few as they maybe, laughing at the BLP like happened, in reverse, after 2008.

  22. The Dems are ready to address the ” Jim Jones sweet juice ” of promises that Mia Mottley let out of her …….mouth……at Weymouth last night !

    Dr. Michael Howard article in today’s Nation newspaper is a must read for rational thinking Barbadians !!

    Wuhloss !!!

    Barbados 🇧🇧 deserves better !!
    Barbadians don’t deserve Mia Mottley !!!

    VENUES: The Gymnasium and The National Stadium. Who more igrunt than who? The Clowns or the Comedians?

  24. Fractured & Goodbye Felicia..yall trying to bribe the electorate with their own tax refund money, bribe civil servants with promotions they should’ve gotten over 10 years ago, you will see how well that scam works out, yall have no shame….corrupt to the core.

    Yall should only get 10 people to turn up to that deliberately neglected, broken down, ready to collapse stadium.

  25. Buses must be bought; sanitation trucks must be bought; and the SSS must be fixed. These are all non-negotiable, and the fact that they make a party’s manifesto further highlights the failure of the DLP. This must be a first; not bus fares but buses! As for decapitating, let them gather.🤣🤣

  26. The more appointments, the better. It will help to accelerate devaluation and finalize the colapse of the Barbadian financial system.

    Barbados is definitly no developing country, since nothing develops but debts, crime and misery.

    Goodbye America, hello Mozambique!

  27. @ millertheanunnaki May 6, 2018 11:19 AM

    15,000? Good number! We all know that the outsorced private corps do not need 15,000 maids, drivers and other lazy laggards hanging around the whole day at the taxpayer´s expense.

    It is time for the civil servants to book their container for shipment to the banana plantation in Costa Rica or the gold mine in Guyana.

    Barbados is highly overpopulated, the work ethic degenerated and the number of inhabitants milking the taxpayer must be reduced AT ANY COST.

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