The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) says its president Akanni McDowall is qualified enough to hold a senior position in Government and it is prepared to defend that position if it has to.
Late last month, McDowall was unceremoniously removed from the senior position of Acting Health Planning Officer 1 and reverted to his substantive job as Environmental Assistant 1 with one official telling Barbados TODAY yesterday he did not meet an “economics” requirement for the job.
However, following a meeting yesterday with the Personnel Administration Division, the union remains adamant that this is not the case.
“The National Union of Public Workers would like to state that contrary to information circulating in the public domain, Mr Akanni McDowall is qualified to fill the post of Health Planning Officer 1 based on the requirements of the Civil Establishment Qualification Order 2001,” the union said.
The brief statement pointed out that McDowall possesses a Masters Degree in Public Health and that all other Health Planners in the Ministry of Health had the same qualification.
When contacted for further comment on the matter, General Secretary Roslyn Smith confirmed that PAD officials raised issue of whether McDowall was qualified for the senior post during yesterday’s meeting.
However, she said it was immediately shot down by the union on the grounds that candidates could have either a post graduate qualification in economics, or in health planning or in a related discipline”, in addition to at least one year’s experience in the field.
Smith also argued that McDowall’s Masters in Public Health was well within the requirements.
The union is also contending that the female who recently replaced McDowall as Acting Health Planning Officer 1 is not only junior to him, but others in the public service and therefore must be removed.
And while it has given the PAD until Monday to get back to it with a satisfactory response to its demands for McDowall’s reinstatement, the union has also scheduled an emergency meeting for all shop stewards on the same day – a clear signal that things could quickly turn sour if its does not get precisely what it wants.