caswell

The Caswell Franklyn Column – Interviews Not Necessary

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

BU shares the Caswell Franklyn Nation newspaper column – he is the General Secretary of Unity Workers Union and BU Contributor.

NOT ALL BLACK AND WHITE: Interviews not necessary

[…]

Since I started writing this column, I have always been mindful of the need to stay relevant. The last article article dealing with certain rules in the Public Service generated many queries from workers who seem uncertain of their employment terms and conditions. Mind you, I don’t want to cast myself in the role of the Dear Christine on workers’ rights but it appears to be what readers want.

Related articles

The facilitator/chairman of the talks between Government and unions representing or misrepresenting customs workers, as the case may be, promised appointments. In order to give effect to that promise, the Chief Personnel Officer published circulars advertising vacancies for posts ranging from Assistant Comptroller to Customs Officer III.

Those circulars created quite a stir among officers because they felt that these posts should be filled by the persons who have been acting in them. Before you jump to the conclusion that they are being unreasonable, consider that some of these persons would have been acting or employed temporarily in these posts in excess of ten years. To my mind, an interview is used to determine if a person can do a particular job. Performing the job satisfactorily for ten or more years should be more than sufficient evidence than an interview for authorities to conclude that a person is suited for that job.

It is a serious indictment on the Personnel Administration Division if after ten years performing a job, they still need to interview an officer to determine his competence for the same job. They would have been renewing those contracts every six months over that period based on satisfactory performance. That is probably one of the main concerns of customs officers. It is not unreasonable and their concerns have some support in the Public Service Act.

That act was brought into force on December 31, 2007. It provides at subsection 13 (7) that any person, who had been temporarily employed for three years prior to that date and has the qualifications for appointment, shall be entitled to be appointed.

Subsection 13 (8) applies to appointed officers who had been acting in higher posts for the same period. It states:

Where 31st December, 2007 a vacancy exists in an established office and the person who occupies the office has been acting for a period of not less than 3 years immediately before 31st December, 2007 and is qualified by virtue of the Civil Establishment (Qualifications) Order to be appointed to the office and there is no other person whose qualifications render that person more suitable for appointment, the person shall be entitled to be appointed to the office.

A person’s eligibility for promotion under that section would have been established since December 2007. If there was someone else more suited that person should have been identified long before ten years had passed. It would be unreasonable, and most likely illegal, to ask an officer to submit himself for interview for his job, in these circumstances.

The next question on your minds should be: What about appointments for the other persons who do not meet the requirements of subsections 13 (7) and (8)? Their salvation be found at subsection 13 (11) and at paragraph 9 of the Recruitment and Employment Code.

Subsection 13 (11) provides that no established office in the Public Service shall be allowed to remain vacant for a period of more than one year except the Governor-General on the advice of the Service Commission allows the vacancy; or the office had been frozen by the Minister. We can safely assert that neither of these eventualities occurred.

I have been asked by many of the persons involved for advice on how to proceed. As a trade unionist, I have advised them that their second best option should be to fill out the application forms and then proceed to court for a declaration that the persons who had been acting for years are entitled to be appointed without interviews.

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44 Comments on “The Caswell Franklyn Column – Interviews Not Necessary”

  1. ac September 6, 2015 at 6:18 AM #

    Amm i believe the word “shall” can be misleading/ when / to/ forming a definite conclusion of legal “intent” the word can be characterized as ambiguous in its interpretation and one must be careful in their conclusion to declare by sole interpretation that the word ‘Shall ” has the intent and purpose of conclusiveness.

    Like

  2. Caswell Franklyn September 6, 2015 at 6:25 AM #

    David

    Everything after the word “occurred” was edited out of what I submitted:

    We can safely assert that neither of these eventualities occurred since there were persons acting in many of these post for periods up to nine years.

    Further, paragraph 9 of the Recruitment and Employment only allows the Public Service Commission to fill short term vacancies for a period of not more than 12 months. Nonetheless persons have been allowed to act in vacant post for many years in defiance of the Public Service Act. That would have given the officers involved expectations that they would eventually be confirmed in the post.

    Like

  3. David September 6, 2015 at 6:42 AM #

    @Caswell

    Why do you think it was edited? What is the reasoning?

    Like

  4. balance September 6, 2015 at 6:45 AM #

    AM #

    “Amm i believe the word “shall” can be misleading/ when / to/ forming a definite conclusion of legal “intent” the word can be characterized as ambiguous in its interpretation and one must be careful in their conclusion to declare by sole interpretation that the word ‘Shall ” has the intent and purpose of conclusiveness.”

    Ac – You pilloried Ms Mottley for her LEC at least she has a qualification from the mother country; where did you get yours from? Hush your mout do. Keep up the good work Caswell. That is why we are in deep potter in all spheres of governance in the country; the people in charge don’t know and those who know flout the laws to suit their agendas.

    Like

    Like

  5. Caswell Franklyn September 6, 2015 at 6:47 AM #

    David

    I suspect that it was edited to accommodate the ads at the bottom.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  6. balance September 6, 2015 at 6:47 AM #

    “David September 6, 2015 at 6:42 AM #

    @Caswell

    Why do you think it was edited? What is the reasoning?”


    I prefer to reason that an honest mistake occurred which resulted in the deletion; other than that another example of a country heading down the drain.

    0

    Like

  7. ac September 6, 2015 at 6:55 AM #

    Shall be entitled

    That act was brought into force on December 31, 2007. It provides at subsection 13 (7) that any person, who had been temporarily employed for three years prior to that date and has the qualifications for appointment, shall be entitled to be appointed.

    The act also clearly imposed several requirements as necessary to be consider as ‘entitlement”

    Qualifications
    Time held in the post.

    which therefore means on the basis of time held in the post it is not enough for the employee be promoted as the law indicates that the process requires a necessary requirement a consideration of the employees qualifications which shall give the employee a granted privilege to be consider for the post,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. David September 6, 2015 at 7:43 AM #

    @Caswell

    The graphic artist would simply have had to reduce the size of your picture.

    Like

  9. FearPlay September 6, 2015 at 7:51 AM #

    So, does this interpretation of the act mean that the acting PM will have to fill out an application and be subjected to the interview process should he decide that he wants the job of PM? And, based on past performance, his application could be rejected because of poor or lackluster fulfillment of the post while acting for the past seven years ??

    Like

  10. Bush Tea September 6, 2015 at 7:58 AM #

    The press has ALWAYS been part of the conspiracy against the people. Editors edit in line with what they perceive the ‘authorities’ would be happy with….
    Usually they do not want to upset anyone in authority; Sometimes, they fear the ridiculous legal libel system we have in place; Sometimes they fear the growing influence of the writer….

    Why wunna think OCM grabbed VOB and Nation from the very start of their anti-Barbados campaign? Without these two brainwashing us, even Bajan Brass Bowls would have realised that we were being had…
    Now with BU it becomes clear that we HAVE been had.

    Bushie NEVER writes any letter to any damn editor. They have been known to edit articles to reflect the very OPPOSITE to what a writer originally said – using their editorial privilege.

    Thank God for David (BU)….

    Like

  11. David September 6, 2015 at 7:59 AM #

    Didn’t Sinckler admit during the Customs impasse a few weeks ago the lack of appointed officers was a legitimate issue that was better handled if Customs Officers transition to the BRA?

    On 6 September 2015 at 11:51, Barbados Underground wrote:

    >

    Like

  12. ac September 6, 2015 at 8:12 AM #

    What Sinckler say is Right and correct. However YOU are missing the point the governing rules which are effective and necessary to the completion of process to fill the post which Sinckler comment did not address// but for whatever reason Union refused to address but purposed to negate as a correction to the process.

    Like

  13. David September 6, 2015 at 8:15 AM #

    Thine hignorance surely knows no bounds.

    On 6 September 2015 at 12:13, Barbados Underground wrote:

    >

    Like

  14. Artaxerxes September 6, 2015 at 8:21 AM #

    @ Caswell

    There is an individual with whom I am familiar who is acting in a very important senior position in the Immigration Department. He is of the opinion he would not be appointed in the position.

    Recently, Immigration advertised vacancies for two post in that department, one of which required applicants to possess a degree in social sciences, while the other required a degree preferably in “immigration.”

    This automatically eliminated the individual.

    Like

  15. ac September 6, 2015 at 8:30 AM #

    Whatever! always easy to insult , nothing new or learned here.
    So where is your input to correct comments that you do not agree could it be that having nothing of a political suasion to dispense you reference callous meanderings to throw insults to do sufficient damage to dissuade differing comments,
    Surely your ignorance to dissuade by way of insults has been ineffective, maybe it is time to throw in the towel and pursue a patch of Fair and Balance one which allows opposing views to be aired without fear of slime and vindictiveness by you and other commentators

    Like

  16. Bush Tea September 6, 2015 at 9:29 AM #

    Bushie calls it as he sees it..
    An idiot is an idiot.
    AC is A C***
    Dompey is an ass…
    Bushie is not in the business of polishing brass bowls….
    Um is a whacker the bush man has … not a mop

    Like

  17. ac September 6, 2015 at 10:00 AM #

    Clown go rest yuh ole a.ss do! Who cares what you think amm just the old fogies in your age range those are your supporters and follower ,others just look and laugh from the side lines and enjoy your repetitive antiquated objections to every thing Brassbowl..BTW can you tell ac which comes first .the chicken or the egg jac asss

    Like

  18. de Ingrunt Word September 6, 2015 at 11:12 AM #

    David, annoying though the editor’s marks are to every writer, often editing is a benign mundane act.

    I read the original piece and then when I saw your “Why do you think it was edited? What is the reasoning?” I reread both.

    “We can safely assert that neither of these eventualities occurred” can stand on its own along with the previous context.

    It is understood clearly without “…since there were persons acting in many of these post for periods up to nine years.”

    Surely that addition provides more impact but its omission is not sinister. This seems a fairly simple and innocuous act of editing.

    Like

  19. Caswell Franklyn September 6, 2015 at 11:23 AM #

    de Ingrunt Word

    I complaining about the paragraph that follows the point that you are making. It started with the word, “Further”. That paragraph made one of the most salient points in the article.

    The Public Service Commission does not have the power to assign persons to act in a vacant post for more than a year. The point that the paragraph was making is that the PSC is acting contrary to the law.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  20. Dompey September 6, 2015 at 11:11 PM #

    I am a member of one of the largest healthcare union in the country, and I am therefore cognizant of the fact that it is binding in our union contract that any person acting in a vacant position for more than six months is entitled to that position. The fact that the person acting in this tenative position has done so six month proved that he or she is qualify to do the job. And more likely than not the persons who are chosen to act in these tenative positions are chosen on the basis of their experience and time in service.

    Like

  21. de Ingrunt Word September 7, 2015 at 12:16 AM #

    Ok Caswell, gotcha. I did not realize that the “further…” was part of the missing text from the article.

    Your article was crisp, detailed and complete even with that ‘further’ omission. You write very well.

    On the original reading I came away with the clear perspective from your strong indictment that the gov’t had contravened their own regulations in every way.

    You gave the type of chapter and verse narrative that allowed any disadvantaged worker to reference the regs and be properly seized of the ammunition for action as you advised.

    Thus the editing still was meaningless I think; for all intents and purposes it was at best still innocuous and at worst clumsy or incompetent as they achieved nothing more than to plant seeds of further concern re their integrity.

    So more power to you. You write as the expert you are. A man steeped and deeply marinated in his craft.

    Like

  22. Dompey September 7, 2015 at 10:39 AM #

    Caswell Franklyn

    Public Service Act

    States: “That any person who had been temporily employed for three years prior to the date and has the QUALIFICATIONS for appointment shall be entitled to be appointed.”

    Caswell, you’re yet to tell us what the Public Service Act means by Qualifications for appointment in your interpretation, and whether or not it means academic-qualifications or does it not means time in service based on years of experience?

    Yes, there are those persons who have the on the job training based on years of service, but their lack the necessary academic credentials which the job demands in the long term.

    But am I not right in assuming that based on the demands of the job, and the inability to find the right person to do the job at the time, employers usually look to the person who has the necessary experience to do the job, but who their know does not possessed the academic-credentials to do the job?

    So the right a fair thing to do would have been to post the job with the right kind academic job descriptions in mind, but offer the employee who has been acting in this tenative position, but who lacks the necessary academic credential a shot at the job?

    Like

  23. Caswell Franklyn September 7, 2015 at 11:39 AM #

    Dompey

    Qualifications in this context means the qualifications set out in the Civil Establishment (Qualifications) Order, 2001. For the most part, it sets out the academic qualifications needed to fill every post in the Public Service. Generally, a person is not allowed to act unless they have the qualifications to fill the post.

    >

    Like

  24. Caswell Franklyn September 7, 2015 at 11:52 AM #

    de Ingrunt Word

    Thanks for your compliment.

    You are correct, the Government seem to believe that rules don’t apply to them. They do whatever they like. The problem is that the average Barbadian seems to be afraid to stand up against the Government to secure their rights.

    >

    Like

  25. The Observer September 7, 2015 at 12:24 PM #

    @Caswell,
    Excellent contribution. It is indeed refreshing when contributors demonstrate a high level of knowledge or even complete mastery of in the information they are presenting.

    Mr Caswell, let me give you a hypothetical.

    Individual A is qualified, but is appointed to the position due to political connections, cronyism or nepotism. Individual B is also qualified and even more so, Wouldn’t opening the position up to an interview process remedy the initial wrong? Assuming that the best man got the job in the first place may be a flaw in current thinking.

    Perhaps this was the original intention of resetting the clock. The best candidate is given another opportunity to be selected. Of course the ills of political connections, cronyism, nepotism and favoritism may still be present.

    (In truth, in your own way, you did touch on the first point; however, i felt that you did not fully develop such a scenario and ignored the human failings of the those in charge).

    A second point: the person (A) may have been appointed because of a perceived strength in solving a particular problem. Another candidate may be better suited to handle more diverse problems as they occur.

    Like

  26. Caswell Franklyn September 7, 2015 at 12:39 PM #

    The Observer

    What you suggest makes sense but unfortunately that is not the case. The situation is that the best people occupy the positions in what they call a temporary capacity, some being temporary for more than ten years. They now want to fill these positions permanently but they want to install their cronies and political yardfowls and disadvantage the people that were doing the jobs all along. To do this, they arrange interviews, the outcome of which are predetermined.

    >

    Like

  27. Sunshine Sunny Shine September 7, 2015 at 1:46 PM #

    Caswell, can you enlighten me as to how a government worker would be able to stand-up for their rights in a system that, more often than it should, procrastinate when it comes to the rights of workers and determine your rights on the basis on political loyalties? You know that in the public sector and private sector of Barbados there is a system of fear created to ensure that workers remain subdued and reticent. And with the unions over the years allowing themselves to be compromised by bribes, political promises and ‘gifts'(you being the exception of course), what is a worker to do in a system like ours. Speak to me hon.

    Like

  28. Bush Tea September 7, 2015 at 2:16 PM #

    @ SSS
    Bushie can’t wait to hear Caswell answer your question.

    The CORRECT answer is for him to launch BUP and develop the organisation to the point where sane patriotic Bajans can take control of national affairs and address these issues of cronyism, graft, bribery and sleaze…..
    But Caswell will probably tell you about going to unions, lawyers, court and such shiite..
    In short, about jumping from the frying pan and hoping for the best….

    Like

  29. Dompey September 7, 2015 at 2:26 PM #

    Caswell Franklyn

    I do appreciate your clarification regarding my above questions, however, how are we to determine whether or not the people who now occupies these existing positions weren’t themselves politically appointed? Now, intelligent minds would concluded that ten years is too long to occupy any tenative position, so one has to question that motive behind such appointments.

    And isn’t it in fact clear that these existing tenative positions aren’t DLP connected because if their were why would the present administration seek to remove those persons who are known DLP supporters to install family and friends?

    Like

  30. Bush Tea September 7, 2015 at 2:33 PM #

    WOW!
    …brilliant question there by Dompey.
    Caswell’s wicket looking shaky as the Domps attacks the offside with a vicious yorker…

    Bushie awaits another slow motion replay as Caswell struggles to get into double figures…….

    Like

  31. Caswell Franklyn September 7, 2015 at 2:37 PM #

    SSS

    My Union has been able to achieve satisfactory outcomes through the courts for some of our members. We have also been using the Grievance Procedure to defend the rights of workers. In one such case we made a complaint against a very senior officer, who had been sexually harassing a subordinate and the system worked as it should. He is no longer a threat to the lady.

    These successes are few and far between because of fear but things are happening.

    >

    Like

  32. Caswell Franklyn September 7, 2015 at 2:46 PM #

    I am not interested in the political allegiance of any worker. My concern is that they were in these jobs and had been performing satisfactorily for ten or more years.

    The motive behind these interviews is a simple case of blackmail. Officers do not want to transfer to the BRA so the interviews would somehow produce officers that are BRA friendly.

    Like

  33. Bush Tea September 7, 2015 at 2:48 PM #

    @ SSS
    ….quod erat demonstrandum🙂

    Like

  34. Walter Blackman September 7, 2015 at 3:15 PM #

    Caswell Franklyn September 7, 2015 at 12:39 PM #

    “To do this, they arrange interviews, the outcome of which are predetermined.”

    Caswell,
    Not in every case. The system is more versatile than that.

    In 1988 (note the year and who is PM), the Government of Barbados advertised the position of Supervisor of Insurance in the local newspapers. The advertisement stressed that qualifications related to actuarial science would be a definite asset.

    The applicants had to go through a series of interviews. At the end of the interviewing process, there were two candidates left standing, in alphabetical order:
    BLACKMAN, Walter
    HINDS, Joycelyn

    Wismar Greaves ended up in the job. CLICO, here we come.

    Like

  35. David September 7, 2015 at 3:20 PM #

    @Walter

    Do you know what were the qualifications of Greaves besides raising chickens?

    Like

  36. Walter Blackman September 7, 2015 at 3:39 PM #

    David September 7, 2015 at 3:20 PM #
    @Walter

    “Do you know what were the qualifications of Greaves besides raising chickens?”

    David,
    Wismar Greaves had no qualifications in insurance or actuarial science.

    The “chicken man” was actually Carlos Belgrave.

    Like

  37. Caswell Franklyn September 7, 2015 at 3:43 PM #

    Walter

    At that time you might have been a Dem and more than qualified for the job but even though you were a Dem, you did not enter the inner sanctum. If you did, they would have been able to tell that you had a bald pooch. So you did not quite qualify for the job.

    Like

  38. The Observer September 7, 2015 at 4:00 PM #

    Hahah. I see that you have a humorous side as well.
    I did not comment on your contribution on “dominant” on a next posting; but this last one is even more humorous..

    Like

  39. David September 7, 2015 at 4:37 PM #

    Thanks Walter, mixing up people. Didn’t Greaves have a good stint with ICB? Isn’t he the deputy Chair of the NIS.

    Like

  40. Walter Blackman September 7, 2015 at 5:53 PM #

    David September 7, 2015 at 4:37 PM #
    ” Didn’t Greaves have a good stint with ICB? Isn’t he the deputy Chair of the NIS.”

    David,
    Wismar Greaves ended up as CEO and Managing Director of ICB. I am not sure about him being Deputy Chairman of NIS.

    In the farcical game that the government continues to play with CLICO policyholders and their stolen premiums, he, as a former supervisor of insurance, has now been named as the deputy chairman of NEWCO, the company that is supposed to replace CLICO.

    I keep wondering aloud: What if CLICO is restructured into NEWCO and NEWCO folds up in a year or two? What would the policyholders be able to do or get if and when that happens? Wouldn’t that be a perfect escape route for the politicians out of the CLICO mess?

    Stay tuned.

    Like

  41. David September 7, 2015 at 6:39 PM #

    @Walter

    The BIPA appears to be in favour of thw restructuring plan therefore one must assume they are fully apprised of the risk.

    https://www.facebook.com/bipabarbados?fref=ts

    Like

  42. Walter Blackman September 7, 2015 at 8:14 PM #

    David September 7, 2015 at 6:39 PM #
    @Walter

    “The BIPA appears to be in favour of the restructuring plan therefore one must assume they are fully apprised of the risk.”

    David,
    It would indeed be unbecoming and disrespectful of me to make any unflattering remarks about the efforts of the BIPA at this time. The biggest risk the BIPA faces is that it might have been given a front row seat invitation to witness and participate in the burial of its policyholders’ hopes. I said hopes, because that is all the policyholders are left with.

    However, similar to the little dog in the nursery rhyme, I must “laugh to see such fun” that results when fools try to play the part of wise men.

    Let us look at this CLICO problem from a very basic and simple standpoint.

    If I were Prime Minister of Barbados, and thought that at least one Barbadian had common sense, I would have been forced to provide that one Barbadian with four elementary pieces of information:

    1.The present value of CLICO’s total liabilities
    2.The present level of CLICO’s verified assets
    3. The level of statutory reserves CLICO ought to have
    4. The level of Statutory reserves CLICO actually has

    David, have you seen or heard any of this elementary data coming from the PM or the MOF?

    The Prime Minister accused the Judicial Managers of paying themselves “dizzying millions” from CLICO’s remaining assets. Why couldn’t he tell Barbadians the exact figure?

    If, despite the fact that CLICO possessed “dizzying millions”, the company was still forced into Judicial Management, how can he convince me and you that the government intends to inject $53 million dollars in the new company and that will be enough to solve the problem? Who pulled this 53 million dollars out of a hat?

    If you were to look closely at some of the high level personnel involved with NEWCO (or NLICO or whatever it is called), you will discover that they are people who have come to the end of their careers and have very little to lose, reputation wise. We have already discussed Wismar Greaves, the deputy chairman. From all reports, Clennel Goodman, the chairman, is a RETIRED banker. George Hutson is a former MP and cabinet minister who the Prime Minister wants us to believe lacks the ability to serve in the senate or in his cabinet. So, for the time being, we can view him as a RETIRED politician.

    Finally, if you had listened carefully to the recent utterances of Dr. Ralph Gonzalves, PM of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on CLICO, you would have come away convinced that Dr. Gonzalves was accusing the Government of Barbados of deviating from its promises made to him and other prime ministers by trying to use this inadequate and unilateral approach.
    If they could deliberately try to bamboozle their prime ministerial colleagues from the OECS, do you think they would think twice about tricking and outfoxing the BIPA? I certainly don’t.
    As I said before, stay tuned.

    Like

  43. Dompey September 9, 2015 at 4:22 AM #

    Walter Blackman

    Knowing little of what has transpired with Clico dealings regarding its policyholders, and based of what I have read of your statement with respect to this matter, there is obviously a pressing need in Barbados on the part of the legislative body to enact some kind of Securities-Fraud legislation which ought to address some of the investment fraud which appears to be widespear there.

    Nevertheless, I am not quite sure as to why would an executive state of head needs to be injected in a matter which ought to be turn over to the Special-Branch or any other agency charged with such responsibility in Barbados to determine whether or not there is any or enough culpability on the part of Clico which warrants some kind criminal prosecution? Bearing in mind of course, if such legislation does exist on the books in Barbados and if not, law-makers ought to be a little more cognizant of the checks and balances!

    Like

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