The fate of President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall now rests in the hands of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who is the minister responsible for the Civil Service, after McDowall was unceremoniously removed from a senior acting job in the public service last October.
Barbados TODAY understands that the matter, which has been a major sore point between the union and Government since then, was referred to the Prime Minister last Tuesday at the conclusion of negotiations led by the Head of the Civil Service.
And even though the union emerged upbeat from those discussions, with the matter now on Stuart’s desk, the political pressure has shifted away from the Prime Minister and on to McDowall, who has in recent weeks been leading industrial action against Government.
It therefore remains to be seen how Stuart will handle the matter, given that the NUPW currently enjoys the full backing of all of this island’s major trade unions in this present fight in which it has been claiming victimization.
The NUPW has been arguing for McDowall’s reinstatement to the post of Health Planner 1 on the grounds that he is the most qualified and senior officer in his department. However, there’s also the matter of compensation for the early termination of his acting appointment.
The senior post in the Ministry of Health has been vacant since November 30, when the female officer who replaced McDowall was sent back to her original clerical job in the Treasury Department.
In the meantime, McDowall has been reverted to his substantive junior position.