Two months into the life of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of new Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell, concerns are being raised about the manner in which some workers are being sent home.
There are all kinds of accusations flying right, left and centre and all over the place over the correctness or the wrongful acts being committed by the current administration against these employees who served under the previous regime.
It appears that many people are confused about the applicable laws in addressing the plight of some workers on the public payroll.
THE NEW TODAY is calling for caution when it comes to the handling of workers on contract as opposed to workers who have been appointed to serve under the Public Service Commission (PSC) which is the constitutional body enshrined in law to handle matters involving public officers.
It is generally recognised that workers who have been placed in an acting position by the PSC and have been serving for a certain period of time are considered to be permanent and cannot be removed from their positions that easily.
It might even take years for the person so appointed to be finally confirmed into that acting position by the Commission but no politician has the legal right to remove any such person from their employment.
However, it is a different matter if persons are given contracts to perform some specific jobs on behalf of the State because the norm is for their engagement to have certain specific clauses when it comes to hiring and termination of their service.
Over the years, successive administrations have had the latitude of providing jobs for “the boys” on contracts as opposed to obtaining a permanent job through the PSC.
It is important for people to get the facts and be able to differentiate the status of many of the workers who might be affected in terms of their employment following the June 23 general election.
There are some jobs in which the holders should know that their tenure comes to an end with a change of government in the country.
Politicians have to be extremely careful about their pronouncements on the campaign trail in trying to woo the electorate to get into office.
THE NEW TODAY is also of the view that the new Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs and Minister of Labour, Claudette Joseph should be extremely cautious in expressing her positions on issues that might eventually be sent before her for adjudication.
The role of the Attorney General is to advise the government of the day on all matters in the public interest.
Is it right and proper for the Attorney General to be the same person advising herself in the dual role of Minister of Labour on some very contentious matters?
The minister might be right or wrong in her interpretation of the law but can eventually find herself in a very compromising position.
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has articulated during the election campaign some of the changes that he would seek to bring about in terms of resolution of disputes between employers and employees.
The new Grenadian leader should move as quickly as possible to introduce these new legislation in Parliament for approval in order to change the landscape in resolving labour matters in the country.
It is a very untenable situation to have a minister sitting in Cabinet with responsibility for Labour and then being forced into a position in which he/she would have to eventually make a ruling against colleagues.
THE NEW TODAY would also like to reiterate a call it made a few weeks ago for new Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and his Congress government to invite the British government for assistance in helping to restore the good governance agenda to the public service.
There are many things that are unfolding about the manner in which the previous regime of Dr. Keith Mitchell was running the country and the incestuous relationship that existed with some of the statutory bodies and political operatives of the NNP as a party and government.
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and his Cabinet of Ministers do not have the time available to them over the next five years to grapple with the myriad of problems, especially the expertise to engage in any serious forensic auditing that is needed to look into the manner in which things happened over the last decade.
It is quite possible that even some of the perceived wrongs that took place might result in fingers being pointed not at politicians but really in the direction of some public officers who facilitated a lot of what ought not to have taken place.
These public officers should be reminded that they even run the risk of facing criminal charges for doing the bidding of politicians who enticed them into signing documents that they should know they had no legal right to do.
The happenings at the Richard Cheltenham Commission of Inquiry into the infamous Briefcase saga saw the then Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, the late Nardica Mc Intyre being grilled and not Dr. Keith Mitchell being placed on the Witness Stand to answer questions about the US$500, 000.00 alleged bribery issue.
It was Ms. McIntyre and others who were bombarded with questions and not the former Prime Minister who did not face the Commission of Inquiry.
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has been provided with an opportunity to correct a number of things in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique and in short order he might realise that time is running out and not in his favour any more to address some of these burning and important things.