PSU angry over transfer of member from SVGCC
November 11, 2016

PSU angry over transfer of member from SVGCC

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Public Service Union (PSU) says it is “deeply aggrieved” and “outraged” over a decision by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) to transfer one of its members and has vowed to use “all means necessary” to ensure the correction of what it calls the “injustice” to that person.

A release issued by the PSU on Tuesday said the Board of Governors of the SVGCC had transferred {{more}}Akelia Brown from the post of assistant registrar Quality Assurance and Examinations to that of a lecturer, Division of Technical and Vocational Education at Arnos Vale. The release, signed by union president Elroy Boucher alleges that the transfer was “spiteful, vindictive, discriminatory and is intended to victimize the worker and instill fear in the other workers.”

According to the release from the PSU, on June 28, the PSU met with both the management of the College and the chair­per­son of the College Board to discuss problems relating to the health and safety of the staff operating from the administrative building at the Commu­nity College. This meeting stemmed from complaints from some staff members that they were developing different levels of respiratory illness as a result of operating from within the administrative building and other offices at Villa.

“At the conclusion of the meeting, both parties agreed that all affected staff will be relocated to another area on the main compound of the College until it can be determined that the administrative building posed no health risk to the staff. In fact it must be noted that the Assistant Registrar had already been relocated from the affected area.

“The PSU is convinced that the transfer of the Assistant Registrar was spiteful, vindictive, discriminatory and is intended to victimize the worker and instill fear in the other workers for expressing concerns regarding health risk in or from the work place that could impair their health and well-being,” the release from the PSU said.

According to the release, an inspection of the Villa campus of the SVGCC was done by the Environ­men­tal Health Department at the request of the medical officer of Health.

“The findings of this inspection show that there was mold growth in several offices inclusive of the accreditation office and the sick bay. In concluding his inspection of the building, the environmental officer stated that ‘the existence of mold growth in an indoor environment can lead to upper respiratory tract infections to those who are exposed’,” according to the release.

The release said the Public Service Union is calling again on the Board of the Community College to return Akelia Browne to her substantive post of assistant registrar – a post which she has held since 2012.

The PSU is also calling on both the management and the board to ensure that the working environment is safe and that workers are not exposed to hazards that can adversely affect their health and well-being.

“The PSU reiterates that it will use all means necessary to ensure that the injustice meted out to Ms Browne is corrected and that the workers at the Community College, Villa operate out of a safe working environment.”

Chair of the Board of Directors of the SVGCC Dr Simone Keizer-Beache and director of the SVGCC Nigel Scott are both out of State; however, SEARCHLIGHT was able to reach Dr Keizer-Beache, who said the SVGCC will not respond to the release from the PSU at this time, but gave the assurance that the SVGCC is always working to ensure that their students and staff have as healthy a working/learning enviornment as is feasible.