Two years after the local High Court ordered the Superintendent of Prisons Lieutenant Colonel John Nurse and the Office of the Attorney General to pay a prison officer his outstanding salaries, the judgment is yet to be honoured.
On September 4, 2018, Supreme Court Justice William Chandler handed down the ruling in favour of prison officer Trevor Browne against first defendant Nurse and second defendant the Attorney General.
Justice Chandler ruled that the claimant Browne was entitled to be paid the salary of an Orderly Officer during the period he worked in that post at HMP Dodds.
The judge also declared that Browne was wrongfully superseded by not being appointed to act in the available position as Orderly Officer between April 4, 2009 and September 30, 2015. Justice Chandler said the claimant merited being appointed to the post of Orderly Officer whenever it next became available.
“It is further ordered that the claimant shall be paid as damages the difference between the salary of an Orderly Officer and the lesser salary that he was paid for all previous periods he worked in the post but was not paid the salary of an Orderly Officer.”
The High Court ruled that this also related to the period which he should have been appointed to act in available Orderly Officer posts but was not so placed. Justice Chandler identified that period as April 4, 2009 to September 30, 2015.
“In calculating the claimant’s gratuity and pension, the period of April 4, 2009, to September 30, 2015, shall be treated as a period during which the claimant acted as Orderly Officer. The Superintendent of Prisons shall immediately take appropriate action to facilitate the claimant being appointed to act in a post of Orderly Officer by the PSC,” the judge ordered.
Justice Chandler also ruled that costs for Browne should be agreed between the parties or determined by the court.
Browne was also granted the liberty to apply to the court.
And today, he told Barbados TODAY that he needs his money badly because he and his family were suffering.
“This is two years now and I can’t get my money that the court ordered. This situation is impacting on me and my family very, very badly,” declared the prison officer who said enough was enough.
Browne, who is currently on suspension from prison duties in a separate case of alleged mutiny at the penal institution, said he resisted going public with the non-payment of his outstanding salaries, but lamented that his funds were drying up fast.
When Barbados TODAY reached out to Prison boss Nurse this evening, he said he had done his part and the payment was now up to others to make.
“All of what we were supposed to do we have done to facilitate such. So, it is just for the relevant authorities to follow through. We have done that,” he said.
Asked what therefore was the delay in payment being made to Browne, Nurse replied: “No, I don’t know. I mean, we put in our paperwork, we put in all what was required of us and then it goes through the system.”
Browne was at the time represented by attorney at law, now CARICOM Ambassador for Barbados David Comissiong while Diedre Gay-McKenna appeared for Nurse and the Attorney General.