Dec 11, 2013 News
– Minister ‘never received union’s letter’
By Zena Henry
The 72-hour ultimatum demanding that the Local Government Minister withdraw the appointment of the “unqualified” government-imposed city Town Clerk Carol Sooba has restarted, since he did not receive the union letter warning of legal proceedings if the controversial appointment is not rescinded.
The Guyana Local Government Officers’ Union (GLGOU) had cited legal action when the government, specifically the Local Government Ministry, “unconstitutionally and unfairly” appointed the least qualified candidate to the senior post of Town Clerk; over the recommended and qualified candidate chosen by the government-convened interview panel.
President of the GLGOU Dale Beresford told Kaieteur News yesterday that the Local Government Minister had notified the union that he was not in receipt of any letter pertaining to the unwanted Town Clerk. Beresford stated, however, that another letter has been sent to the Local Government Minister while another, he (Beresford) hand-delivered.
Beresford has stated also that should Sooba’s appointment remain, the government can look forward to industrial action, among other acts of resistance. It was charged also that support has been sought from regional and international bodies involved in union movement activities. He said that locally, the union met with other union representatives such as the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) and they too are expected to speak out on the issue.
Beresford is also expected to receive support from the Public Service International (PSI) which represents some 120 million workers, the Caribbean Public Service Association (CPSA) representing 17 Caribbean nations and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
In the December 6 letter to Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud and forwarded to several senior officials and government ministers, Beresford stated the union’s concern over Sooba’s appointment to Town Clerk for the city of Georgetown.
He said that the interview panel, of which he was a part, and chaired by the Local government Permanent Secretary Collin Croal, recommended Mr. Paul Clarke for the post of Town Clerk as he “met the requirements set out in the advertisement, and also performed considerably well at the interview. The panel was impressed with his all-round academic, managerial abilities and attributes. Mr. Clarke’s strategy and vision for the Municipality was quite impressive and was exactly what the Municipality needed to be injected at this time of crisis.”
“Your choice for the position of Town clerk, Ms. Carol Sooba, who was the least qualified, placed third, of the four applicants for the position. Her performance at the interview was unimpressive, and Ms Sooba failed to answer simple questions and in some instances the chairman of the panel had to further simplify the questions put to Ms Sooba. The person who scored second was Mr. Royston King. An examination of the score sheets signed and counter signed by all of the members of the panel will validate this. Further, Ms Sooba in her last application, falsified her qualifications from three (3) subjects in her last application (June 2013) to six (6) subjects in November 2013, and further, did not produce to the panel as was told to do, her certificates. As if that was not enough, Ms Sooba threatened the panel and her behavior was quite unethical and unprofessional to the members of the panel. Ms Carol Sooba was NEVER recommended by the panel for the position of Town Clerk.”
The union has demanded an investigation into the falsification of Ms Sooba’s qualification, as was brought to the attention of the chairman of the panel. The union has further requested copies of the applicants score sheet, an analysis for the making of the appointment and a report of the chairman’s report.
The Local Government Minister has indicated however that the recommended applicant failed to disclose that he was dismissed by the IDB and therefore Sooba was next in line since she was the second most qualified applicant. City Hall has further refused to work with Sooba and maintains that they will not accept her appointment.
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