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Prime Minister Harris and Police High Command with new recruits from St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Police High Command welcomes new recruits from Grenada & St. Vincent and the Grenadines

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, May 10Twenty-nine young men from  Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines arrived here on Wednesday  to serve as officers in the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF).

This stems from a renewed recruitment drive locally and regionally undertaken by the Service Improvement Directorate to attract individuals with strong academic and technical backgrounds to serve as officers in the Police Force.

Prime Minister Harris and Police High Command with new recruits from St. Vincent and the GrenadinesPrime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, who is also National Security MInister, welcomed the recruits and   thanked them for choosing to serve the people of St. Kitts and Nevis in law enforcement.

“We hope that your experience will be a learning one and a very positive one. Certainly you will learn about other people in the Caribbean; you will learn about St. Kitts and Nevis in particular, and you will learn what it is to be a law enforcement officer.”

Harris told the aspiring police officers that by answering the call to serve they have signaled their intention to uphold the laws of the land and to do what is necessary to safeguard the peace and security for residents, citizens and visitors of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“The police everywhere have a responsibility to serve and protect people, keep our societies safe and, as it were, to help us maintain and minimize elements of crime within our countries, and so we will be counting on you to help make St. Kitts and Nevis the best place in which people can live, people can work, and people can enjoy life,” the National Security Minister said, while assuring the recruits that the St. Kitts and Nevis Government is fully committed to assisting the efforts of the police.

Commissioner of Police, Ian Queeley joined  Harris in thanking the recruits for their interest in serving the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, and stated that, “There are great opportunities to be had serving within this organization and we look forward to engaging you in a very meaningful way so that we can not only contribute to your growth and development, but you will contribute to the growth and development of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

CMC/kb/2018

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Crime, Labour, Local, News, Police, Regional, Youth0 Comments

CCJ rules in favour of Barbadian company

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Mar 26, CMC – The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Monday said it had no jurisdiction to hear a case in which three employees of a hotel in Barbados had been dismissed and ordered that the matter be heard by the Court of Appeal there expeditiously.

In its ruling the CCJ, the Barbados final court, heard that the workers had first challenged their dismissal in the Magistrate’s Court on the basis that they were sent home without cause in breach of the procedures outlined in their contracts.

The Magistrate Court determined on September 24, 2014, that the way the employees were terminated did violate the terms of their contract.

On the same day, the company, Sandy lane Company Limited, through its attorney, verbally informed the magistrate of its intention to appeal the decision.

The attorney then followed this with a letter to the Magistrate on October I, 2014, informing the  magistrate that he was appealing and requesting the court’s reasons for its decision.

When the matter came on for hearing before the Court of Appeal, it considered whether it could hear the matters since the appeals were not filed within seven days from the date of the magistrate’s judgment as is required by the Magistrate’s Court Act.

But Sandy Lane argued that the appeal was filed in time since the applicable rules governing appeals to the Court of Appeal are found in the Civil Procedure Rules which provide for a time limit of 28 days to appeal. It was also argued that it had given verbal, and written notices, within the seven-day period which would have satisfied the time limit under the Magistrate’s Court Act.

The Court of Appeal, referring to an earlier judgment of the CCJ, determined that its jurisdiction to hear appeals from the Magistrate’s court is governed by the Magistrate’s Court Act and not the Civil Procedure Rules.

As such, the time for filing the notice of appeal was seven days. Further, it held, the Magistrate’s Court Act requires notice to be given to the clerk, not the Magistrate, and this was not done.

The court rejected the letter of 1st October 2014 by the attorney since it was addressed to the Magistrate and not the clerk. The appeal was dismissed.

In its judgment, the CCJ made reference to its ruling in the Deane v Allamby  pointing out that in that case it did not even consider whether the Civil Procedure Rules had any relevance to appeals from a Magistrate’s court since the appellant in that case had not filed a notice of appeal under the Rules.

In this case, the CCJ determined that the appellant had in fact given “immediate, public notice of its intention to appeal” which was subsequently followed by a notice in writing, and both were within the time period prescribed by the Magistrate’s Court Act.

The CCJ ruled that in all the circumstances, notice was given as a matter of substance and it should not matter that neither counsel nor the clerk regarded those notices as compliant with the requirements of the Magistrate’s Court Act.

Therefore, the CCJ concluded, the appellant had complied with the notice requirements under the Magistrate’s Court Act.

The Court opined that the regime for appealing under the Magistrate’s Court Act requires legislative intervention to harmonize it with the procedure under the Civil Procedure Rules, the latter being acknowledged as more convenient for appellants.

The CCJ allowed the appeal and ordered that the appeal to the Court of Appeal be restored and heard on an expedited basis.

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migration

Black Caribbean legislators express disappointment at the end of TPS for Haitians

By Nelson A. King

WASHINGTON, Nov 22, CMC – Black Democratic congressional leaders have joined Caribbean legislators in expressing outrage over the Trump administration’s decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 60,000 undocumented Haitian nationals residing in the United States.

US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Elaine Duke said on Monday that she made the decision to terminate the TPS designation for Haitians, with a delayed effective date of 18 months, “to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on July 22, 2019.”

migrationBut US Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Immigration Working Group, Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, and Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, CBC chairman, said, in a joint statement, that they were outraged by the decision that now forces the Haitian immigrants to return home.

They noted that the massive earthquake in the French-speaking Caribbean country killed more than 300,000 people in 2010, disrupted the function of civil society, displaced families from their homes, closed schools and social service agencies, created instability in the government and undermined the economy.

The Black congressional leaders said these conditions were exacerbated by the cholera epidemic, subsequent hurricanes and food insecurity crisis, “which continues to this day.

“The people of Haiti demonstrated extraordinary resolve in their efforts to rebuild. These efforts have been supported by Haitian nationals here in the United States who have worked hard and sent money to family members and friends.

“These remittances are critical to the recovery, and have provided for basic needs, including education, agricultural restoration, business development and home reconstruction.

“Although the administration granted Haitians another 18 months in the United States, the conditions on the ground clearly merit continuing TPS coverage, rather than terminating this essential, life-saving designation,” they added.

The law makers said that while campaigning in Miami, then-candidate Donald Trump called Haitian-Americans “hard-working, creative and industrious, and promised to be their ‘greatest champion.’ Today, Donald Trump broke that promise.

“By ending Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, the Trump Administration has put the lives of more than 50,000 people at risk,” said Clarke, Conyers and Richmond, adding continued, stating that the decision is a “low point for this administration” and “will leave an indelible mark further tarnishing his [Trump’s] legacy.”

Additionally, the Black congressional leaders said the “wrongful decision underscores the need for congress to lead by passing bipartisan comprehensive TPS legislation that would provide meaningful relief to Haiti and all other similarly situated countries.”

New York State Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, New York told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC)  that she was “equally saddened and angered” by the decision.

“For anyone who has been to Haiti in recent months, it is clear that the administration’s decision does not coincide with the dangerous reality on the ground,” said Bichotte, the first Haitian American from New York City to be elected to New York State Assembly. “The return of tens of thousands of people is only going to make conditions worse.

“Furthermore, it would be equally dangerous for the other hundreds of thousands of Central Americans who don’t know any life other than their life in the US,” she added. “In addition, for both Haitians and Central Americans, their economic contributions to both the US and their home countries will now be lost. The fight must continue to address these inhumane and unconstitutional decisions.”

New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, said he was “appalled to hear the administration’s decision, but I was not shocked.

“This kind of callous, deliberate disregard for the well-being of hard-working immigrants, this disdain for our fellow human beings, is what we’ve come to expect from Donald Trump,” he told CMC.

“Trump’s own State Department has a travel advisory in place, which cites the dangers of travel to Haiti for Americans. Yet, he has no problem forcing Haitians, who came here in the wake of a devastating earthquake and outbreak of disease, to return to a country once again crippled by a natural disaster, Hurricane Matthew.

“It could not be clearer that his motives are xenophobic, that his priorities lie in creating fear and relegating certain people to a second class, and I will not stand for it, 59,000 Haitians living in the US under Temporary Protected Status will not stand for it, and their neighbours and communities will not stand for it,” Williams added.

“We must fight for what is hard, because we are factually right and Trump is morally incorrect. Rather than simply expressing our outrage, those of us with the power to do so, need to formulate and enact plans of action.

‘“We need to challenge this decision and put pressure on congress to address this issue legislatively and humanely. We must all become a part of the resistance. This president has made it clear that he’s coming for all of us – whether we choose to acknowledge it or not,” Williams added.

The decision to terminate TPS for 58,000 Haiti nationals living in the US comes 14 days after DHS announced it was terminating TPS for 2,500 Nicaraguans and delaying a decision for 57,000 Hondurans, which automatically gave them a six-month extension after their current status expires in January.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, International, Labour, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

Empowering Excellence private sector team

Empowering Excellence in Public Service

By Bennette Roach

Empowering Excellence private sector team

It must be one of and perhaps the most important legacy Her Excellency Elizabeth Carriere intends to leave behind in Montserrat at the end of her tenure as Governor. From her arrival, the Governor had noted that a public service and how it functioned was integral to the development… delivering quality of service to the public they deserve from their Public Service.

She spoke about a customer service delivery to the public from the civil service as key principles of the reform process.

She had seen problems and mentioned “On the point about relationships with the public this is part attitudinal, its part training, its part issues around having the right people in the right places… it really is also an attitude that the public service is a public service and we must carry out the right kind of service not just for Montserratians but also for people who are visiting Montserrat, so this is also an area of focus for improvement. 

Upon this background with the full backing of government with co-leadership via the Deputy Premier they came up with plans to transform human resource management in the Montserrat public service.

She continued to talk for months the need to reinvigorate the public service, to make it fit for purpose for the times we are living in and the demands of the public. They finally formulated an “Empowering Excellence Program” EEP.

The program began and task force set up. A manager was appointed to take the program (EEP) forward in Cheverlyn Williams-Kirnon (Mrs.). On June 28 Mrs. Williams and her public sector team joined the Governor at her press conference and provided an update on the initiative which is being undertaken through Human Resource Transformation, on stream for about four months.

She reported: “We have established the public sector taskforce and they started working from the 1st March and we are now into three months completed of the program, the implementation of the Empowerment Excellence Program. We are presently finalizing our action plan in terms of what are the actions we are required to perform going forward and we are just about completing what the actions and the tasks are going to be.”

After each of her team presented on their roles on the task force, Williams noted that the main aim is to ensure that, “we run with this HR Transformation initiative and we engage all the different levels within the public sector in order to ensure that there is full collaboration and cooperation and engagement from all,” pointing out they were looking at providing front line officers with name badges so that persons are aware of who they are dealing with and the posts that they hold in terms of our front line staff.

 We are also presently on the government radio station promoting the Empowering Excellence Program because we want to be able to ensure that we empower the public officers in order to provide excellent service.

Mrs Williams touted: “There are some initiatives that we felt must be implemented immediately in order to show that we are moving towards that excellent standard within the public services. These are being advanced as we speak in that several programs are running in order to address customer service and telephone etiquette within the government service… we have also set up the private sector advisory committee and that has been started and established from the 7th June.”

Chivonne Gerald and Clarice Yearwood are the chairman and secretary respectively of the Private Sector Committee

The 45 members of the task force are expected to make their contributions to the program over an initial 18-month period and beyond.

Reporting to the press

The scope of the Empowering Excellence work includes selected and prioritized improvements in: human resource delivery (including talent management, recruitment/retention, performance management, service delivery, etc.)’ leadership and strategy; and managing change, developing excellence, and becoming a learning organisation.

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illegal employment

St. Lucia clamping down on illegal workers

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Mar 21, CMC – The St. Lucia government Tuesday said it had embarked on a drive to clamp down on foreign nationals working here illegally.

“It has been brought to the attention of the Labour Department, that there are individuals employed at various organizations here without a valid work permit. The country`s Labour legislation mandates that overseas nationals desirous of employment in St. Lucia, must first obtain a work permit or exemption where applicable,” the Ministry of Labour said in a statement.

illegal employmentIt warned local employers of employing foreigners who do not have the necessary documents to work here and quoted Labour Minister Stephenson King as saying that “this notification serves as a warning to employers and employees engaged in illegal employment.

“The laws of St. Lucia are clear when it comes to employment, we want people to adhere to the laws or face the penalties” said King.

The Minister of Labour said that the ongoing drive is targeted at people who do not have the necessary documentation and that employers and or employees who are currently in contravention of the law are asked to visit the Labour Department to regularize their employment status urgently.
“Failure to comply will result in the case being passes on to the Immigration Department for full enforcement of the law.

“Employers and employees should note that a foreign national who engages in occupation in St. Lucia or is employed in St. Lucia in contravention of the law is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding EC$5,000 (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both.

“Should the offence continue, the convicted is liable to a further fine not exceeding EC$500 for each day the offence continues and or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.”

King said the government will do what is necessary to ensure that Labour laws are upheld.

Posted in Labour, Legal, Local, Regional0 Comments

LET’S TALK LABOUR

This series of articles is an initiative by the Department of Labour which is intended to provide information in respect to labour issues as well as to educate employees and employers on their rights of work. We will talk about the services which are offered by the Department and also invite our social partners, the workers and employers associations to share information pertinent to their respective organisations.

In this first issue we will talk:  The Labour Advisory Board

Labour Advisory Board

In accordance with the Employment Ordinance 2002 (revised), the Government of Montserrat has established a Labour Advisory Board whose duty is to advise the Government on all matter relating to the employment of labour.  The Board shall also be consulted on all proposed legislation on labour matters being forwarded to the Legislative Council.

Such matters shall include:

(a)    any proposed amendment to the employment ordinance or any other Act relating to the employment of labour.

(b)    technical training of employees

(c)    productivity

(d)    location and types of industry or trade in Montserrat

The composition of the Board is as follows:

Two representatives of Government, one of whom shall be appointed Chairman of the
Board

  • Chairman                     Mrs Rachael Ryan
  • Government Representative               Vereen Thomas-Woolcock

One representative of each trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act:

  • Mr Paul Lewis                    Montserrat Civil Service Association
  • Mrs Hyacinth Bramble-Browne        Montserrat Union of Teachers

Representatives nominated by the Chamber of Commerce, the same number as the Trade Union representatives.

  • Mr Kenneth Scotland
  • Mr Lincoln Joseph

One representative of the construction industry

  • Mr David Tuitt

One representative of the Montserrat Community College

  • Mr Paul Payne

One member appointed by the Government representing the interest of workers

  • Mr Leon Greenaway

The Labour Commissioner of the Labour Officer

In the next article we will talk:  The Labour Tribunal.  We invite your comments and welcome your feed back.

Denise Michelle Phillip
Labour Commissioner

labour@gov.ms

Posted in Columns, Labour0 Comments

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