The General Council of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) will tomorrow begin the process of identifying a successor for longstanding general secretary Dennis Clarke who will retire at the end of next month.
And NUPW president Walter Maloney said today the person who is chosen must “be prepared to give not less than ten years to move the organisation in a particular direction that allows it to grow.”
Maloney, who will also be leaving the country’s largest public sector trade union next year, made it clear that the 70-year-old institution would adhere to democratic principles in finding a new boss.
Addressing a press conference at the union’s headquarters in Dalkeith Road, St Michael, he noted that like the Barbados Workers’ Union which last week elected Toni Moore to take over from Sir Roy Trotman, the NUPW is at the “crossroads”.
“It will be quite a task to replace Clarke, but I do believe we can find someone within the organisation or elsewhere that will be able to fill Clarke’s shoes. As for myself, I will be moving on after March next year and I will hope that whoever is elected as president will be able to work with the executive and the newly elected general secretary,” he said, noting that while he and Clarke have not seen eye to eye on every issue they had a good relationship and respected each other’s positions.
“Come tomorrow, the general council of the NUPW will be holding a meeting at union headquarters where a note paper from the executive will be sent to the general council asking them to confirm the procedure for the election of a new general secretary. Once that is done then hopefully we will start the process of looking, searching or determining who should be the new general secretary of the NUPW.
“We do things very democratically within the NUPW. It is not my call, it is not Dennis’ call to bequeath anything to anybody, but the system that we use in the NUPW is that the general council will meet tomorrow, they will look at the note paper the executive sent to it and they will decide if that is the way to go. They can either agree or disagree, but if they do agree, then we will start the whole process of trying to fill the shoes of Clarke.”
Meanwhile, Maloney said the union would be continuing its 70th anniversary celebrations with several activities over the next three months, including a service of celebration on October 15 and a December 11 awards dinner and cocktail to honour individuals who have made significant contributions to the NUPW and the country.