The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) is said to be on the verge of industrial action over the non-reinstatement of its president Akanni McDowall to an acting senior post within Government, after he was unceremoniously reverted to his substantive junior position last year.
Earlier today, an NUPW source told Barbados TODAY the union had already issued an ultimatum to the Personnel Administration Division and that the matter was about to come to a head.
The NUPW is accusing Chief Personnel Officer Gail Atkins of failing to honour the decision taken during high level talks late last year that involved the Solicitor General and representatives of the various trade unions, that McDowall must be paid for acting as Health Planning Officer 1 since his removal was deemed to be illegal.
“The CPO was supposed to follow the instructions of that meeting. She did not. We sent her a letter giving her a timeline to follow the instructions. She did not. So technically from there, the union was in its right to start action, but we are trying to give as much time as possible to the Government side to follow through,” one union official explained.
The source also pointed out that based on the agreement reached at the meeting, the CPO was required to reinstate McDowall. However, the source, said this decision had not been honoured either.
In fact, the source said the only action taken was to re-assign the officer who had replaced McDowall in the acting post.
“Following that meeting the union had sent correspondence to the CPO, one of which was for her to follow the instructions of the meeting. That was supposed to be done by last week Monday. The instructions still have not been followed. If the civil service does not follow through in a reasonable time, even after we have given a deadline, the union will have to take steps to get this matter resolved,” the NUPW official told Barbados TODAY.
“The union is going to start ramping up action if the Government doesn’t follow its own instructions,” the source warned.
Calling it political victimization, the union had cried foul over the action taken against McDowall, who has been carrying the union’s fight to the Government on several matters, including its outsourcing of jobs at the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA).