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Kimberley Agard wins race for top NUPW post

Kimberley Agard wins race for top NUPW post
President-elect of the National Union of Public Workers, Kimberley Agard (centre) with a show of support from members. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

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Kimberley Agard is the new president of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW).

After the votes were tallied on Thursday night at the Dalkeith, St Michael headquarters, Agard finished with 393 votes to 183 for Fabian Jones.

Charles Bostic easily won the first vice-president post with 426 to 127 for Daria Cave.

John Parris brushed aside David Denny 436 to 122 to be elected second vice president, and with 401 votes to 159 for McLita King, O’Brien Smith is now third vice president.

This meant Agard’s full team was swept into office and they will join general treasurer Pat Humphrey and deputy general treasurer Roy Greenidge, who were both unopposed.

In her acceptance speech, Agard thanked everyone who took part in the process, but acknowledged there was a lot of work to be done.

“You all know how much it means to me and how much it means to my team,” Agard said, “you know how hard we worked towards this particular result.

“The work is now about to begin. We now have a hard task ahead of us, but we know that we are fit for the purpose and that we will do what we have to do to bring NUPW back to the place where it should be.”

Kimberley Agard wins race for top NUPW post
Applause greets the announcement that Kimberley Agard won the race for NUPW president. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

Earlier, losing candidate Jones left before the final votes were tallied, calling into question the integrity of the ballot.

“At this point I am leaving because I don’t feel a sense of confidence in this process any more. There is what I consider an unassailable lead and this is not just about not doing as well as I thought; with a process that has been called into question several times, which has called the integrity of this election into question. I believe that with all that has happened, some adjustment should have been made to the process.”

Jones alleged someone who was close to a candidate was “all up in the election machinery, in an intimate way” and for “integrity to thrive” some adjustments should have been made. He suggested even with a recount, “the numbers in the box won’t change”.

But acting general secretary Wayne Walrond defended the election process, saying there were people of “honesty, integrity .  . . and we had a process the roots were adhered to in terms of fairness and transparency; everybody acted above board”.

He said someone being dissatisfied with the result or making allegations was not enough for it to be overturned. He said they would need proof.

“Clearly if there is evidence, obviously it would be justified to look at the process and review the process. We cannot operate on emotions, we cannot operate on innuendoes and therefore I have not seen [any] evidence to suggest that the results were not fair.”

A new national council will have to be installed and one of the main tasks will be the status of Walrond and acting deputy Richard Greene who have not been appointed. (SAT)