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MCSA seeks time extension to review Public Service bill

The Montserrat Civil Service Association (MCSA) is seeking more time to review the Public Administration Regulation, according to president of the MCSA Mr. Paul Lewis.

In an interview with The Montserrat Reporter Mr. Lewis revealed that the Association has only had a very short amount of time to review the document and have already identified a number of anomalies. “The Montserrat Civil Service Association was given a very short time to examine the Public Administration Regulations, which will replace the general orders. We were given a couple of weeks to look at it and we don’t think that is adequate. The consultant hired by government, had a longer time than we did and was able to interview senior civil servants and so forth, and for us to be given a couple of weeks, I think that’s really unfair.”

Last month the Caribbean Public Service Association held its 42nd annual conference here on island, where representing members of the Caribbean Congress of Labour and the International Labour Organization briefly reviewed the document and found several problems.

“When we use the opportunity during the Caribbean Public Service Association (CPSA) meeting  to have other affiliates of CPSA and Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) look at the document which  was just about one hour, we were able to pick up a number of anomalies, concerns, grey areas and so forth that we will put forward,” said Mr. Lewis.

He said, “We also had the International Labour Organization consultant here.  He is presently involved in updating the labour laws in the Caribbean and so we find that it was good that we had him here at the same time and had him take a look at the document and he too has submitted his concerns and his comments. He also indicted the time is too short to do a detailed analysis. So what we are doing is putting forward what we have so far, present it but make the point that we need some more time to do a more detail analysis.”

According to the President the MCSA an extension will allow for further consultation and discussion of the bill with the general Montserrat membership of the MCSA, as well as the ILO, the CPSA and CCL. It will also give the Government further opportunity to review the bill before they enact it.

CPSA affiliates and CCL highlighted several areas of concerns including: powers invested in the Deputy Governor, Officers and pension, Government vacancies and discipline and termination.

The new regulatory bill will replace the Government General Orders which regulate the administration of public workers. The bill is anticipated to be enacted by September, 2012.

The Caribbean Public Services Association (CPSA) deliberated during the concluded 42nd Conference in Montserrat, the new Montserrat Public Service Act.

The following are some areas of concern highlighted by CPSA affiliates and CCL within an hour of looking at the document.

  • There was much ambiguity identified in 7 (1) the powers vested in the Deputy Governor and the lack of consultation with any statutory body to carry out duties assigned. Master servant relationship was of concern where the employee shall and the Governor may lead to conflict.
  • At 8 (1) ambiguity was also highlighted where no officer shall receive pension without qualification. There is lack of consultation by the Premier with the PSC in the exercise. Ambiguity is clear as it speaks to pension rights at 7 (2) and 8 (1)
  • At 6 should read unless there is no suitable candidate, advertise should be inserted and vacancy for a new post.
  • At 7 the question was raised as to what is suitability and this should be qualified by qualification, merit, and performance.
  • 11 (1) should be omitted as it contradicts rights referenced in 6, 7, and 8 and compromises the recruitment process.

Government shall and not may and the contract should be removed in this clause, and the employee may be given 6 months additional probation instead of shall.

  • Discipline and termination need to be considered in conjunction with the Constitution. The PSC should have 5 or 7 persons and not the even number of 6.
  •  The Disciplinary procedures need to be reviewed, there are too many grey areas and loop holes.
  • The appeals process is not spelt out and there is lack of natural justice in the process.
  • The grievance process does not mention the PSC. The Board of Appeal should be established and the appeal be heard by this body before going to the Governor.

The comments sent to MCSA from the ILO consultant Mr. Clive Pegus is attached. Mr. Pegus is involved in the upgrading of various Labour Laws throughout the Caribbean.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

The Montserrat Civil Service Association (MCSA) is seeking more time to review the Public Administration Regulation, according to president of the MCSA Mr. Paul Lewis.

In an interview with The Montserrat Reporter Mr. Lewis revealed that the Association has only had a very short amount of time to review the document and have already identified a number of anomalies. “The Montserrat Civil Service Association was given a very short time to examine the Public Administration Regulations, which will replace the general orders. We were given a couple of weeks to look at it and we don’t think that is adequate. The consultant hired by government, had a longer time than we did and was able to interview senior civil servants and so forth, and for us to be given a couple of weeks, I think that’s really unfair.”

Last month the Caribbean Public Service Association held its 42nd annual conference here on island, where representing members of the Caribbean Congress of Labour and the International Labour Organization briefly reviewed the document and found several problems.

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“When we use the opportunity during the Caribbean Public Service Association (CPSA) meeting  to have other affiliates of CPSA and Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) look at the document which  was just about one hour, we were able to pick up a number of anomalies, concerns, grey areas and so forth that we will put forward,” said Mr. Lewis.

He said, “We also had the International Labour Organization consultant here.  He is presently involved in updating the labour laws in the Caribbean and so we find that it was good that we had him here at the same time and had him take a look at the document and he too has submitted his concerns and his comments. He also indicted the time is too short to do a detailed analysis. So what we are doing is putting forward what we have so far, present it but make the point that we need some more time to do a more detail analysis.”

According to the President the MCSA an extension will allow for further consultation and discussion of the bill with the general Montserrat membership of the MCSA, as well as the ILO, the CPSA and CCL. It will also give the Government further opportunity to review the bill before they enact it.

CPSA affiliates and CCL highlighted several areas of concerns including: powers invested in the Deputy Governor, Officers and pension, Government vacancies and discipline and termination.

The new regulatory bill will replace the Government General Orders which regulate the administration of public workers. The bill is anticipated to be enacted by September, 2012.

The Caribbean Public Services Association (CPSA) deliberated during the concluded 42nd Conference in Montserrat, the new Montserrat Public Service Act.

The following are some areas of concern highlighted by CPSA affiliates and CCL within an hour of looking at the document.

Government shall and not may and the contract should be removed in this clause, and the employee may be given 6 months additional probation instead of shall.

The comments sent to MCSA from the ILO consultant Mr. Clive Pegus is attached. Mr. Pegus is involved in the upgrading of various Labour Laws throughout the Caribbean.