The Public Service Union (PSU) has raised its hackles over the reported transfers of several immigration clerks who may need to assist in the ongoing investigations over the passport and visa scandals. President Marvin Blades says that in the first instance, protocol has not been followed.
“In regards to public officers, public officers are transferred as part of the subject to transfer all public officers. However, there is a transfer period and there is a transfer time. In regards to clerks, clerks are transferred regularly across the public service. If you are transferred within, say, Belize City and you are from Belize City, then transfer can happen at any time. However, what we are concerned about that you have been transferred while there is an investigation cut pending. So, that is one of the things we have an issue with. Also, the Prime Minister mentioned that the Auditor General will be doing her investigation, Now, I’m pretty sure those clerks will be needed for that investigation. So, why is it so important to move them now?”
Marvin Blades adds that the Cabinet has no power to authorize such transfers.
Mr. Marvin Blades: “The other thing that we are having a concern with is that the Minister publicly stated that the Cabinet publicly approved the transfer. It is not the remit of the Cabinet to approve transfers. The Public Services Commission does that, alright? In that case what does the cabinet know what’s the best interest of a public officer. It also states in our regulation that transfers must be for the benefit of a public officer and for the public service. Maybe they look at the public service interest, but I’m pretty sure the public officer was not looked at. Also, transfers must not be for punitive measures. You can’t transfer nobody fuh punish dehn. So, if these people are there for you to punish them, that is a no-no; that should never have happened. So, we are telling public officers, if they have any grievance against it. There is a Section in the regulation that states, we can write on your behalf to the Public Service Commission to make a decision on these transfers”.
The PSU was also informed of developments in another union which Blades spoke about.
Mr. Marvin Blades: “Just this morning we heard about it through a member from CWU…from Sharon herself and we were not unaware of it, but definitely we bring it up to our sister from another union from BWS. We weren’t aware that there were terminations”.