Legal officers voice concerns
More than a dozen legal officers in the Solicitor General’s Chambers have turned to their union, the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), to get a number of grievances dealt with.NUPW general secretary Dennis Clarke confirmed that he met with some of the officers and found their concerns to be legitimate. Clarke told the DAILY NATION that the officers had used every avenue to have the long-standing problems of shortage of staff, filling of outstanding vacancies, stagnation and an overly burdensome workload resolved.These workers fall under the Judicial Service Commission, and the matter has been referred to the Chief Personnel Officer. The general secretary is asking for an urgent meeting to address these matters.Clarke said the time had come for a shake-up at the Solicitor General’s Office.“Many of the delays surrounding matters coming from that institution should not be blamed on the officers, but on a system that has failed to give urgency to the list of concerns submitted by them over time, including the lack of training opportunities and the unresolved issue of sick building syndrome, which has been severely afflicting the officers for the past three to four years.”Clarke said that the officers were overworked and mentally tired, noting that four years had passed since representations were made by the officers to bring some relief to their plight.“The legal officers have very good grounds on every point of issue. They really need to bring in people to share the workload. The work has backed up and placed a strain on the staff.”Clarke said he would like the Attorney General’s Office to urgently get involved and put measures in place “to ameliorate the untenable situation the legal officers at the Solicitor General’s Office are being forced to endure”.