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CTUSAB wants election bar for public officers reviewed

BARRY ALLEYNE, [email protected]

CTUSAB wants election bar for public officers reviewed

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The Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) wants Government to consider a revision of the General Orders of Barbados to provide for the granting of a leave of absence to public officers who may wish to contest an election to political office.

That suggestion is one of two declarations made by CTUSAB during its recent mid-term delegates conference.

In making the call, CTUSAB noted in a statement that there is no provision in law for leave of absence so as to allow any public officer to stand for or contest legislative election in Barbados, in spite of the Constitution, as the supreme law of the land, provides for freedom from discrimination, the right of choice and of association.

Current law demands that individual public officers resign from their employment in the public service in order to pursue a political interest.

The Congress, in a second resolution, also called on the Government, in the interest of fairness, equity, justice and transparency, to investigate the reasons for the retrenchment of workers’ representatives, so as to satisfy that there were no breaches of the provisions of Article 1 of the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 135.

That convention reads that workers’ representatives in the undertaking shall enjoy effective protection against any act prejudicial to them, including dismissal, based on their status or activities as a workers’ representative or on union membership, or participation in union activities, in so far as they act in conformity with the existing laws or collective agreements or other jointly agreed arrangements.

CTUSAB is contending that there are reasons to believe that actions taken under the Government’s retrenchment programme in the Public Service of Barbados in 2018 and earlier this year violated Article 1 of Convention No 135, in failing to provide protection for workers’ representative whose services were terminated; and that the breach could create an unacceptable precedent in developing acts inimical to the interest of the trade unions in respect to the employment of workers’ representatives.

In addition they are arguing that the action could be considered as a threat against the labour movement. (BA/PR)