Watson Duke

Over 14,000 public servants will go to the polls on November 23, as the long-awaited date for the Public Services Association (PSA) national elections has been set.

The election date was called by PSA President Watson Duke who will be seeking a third term in office as President.

The elections were stalled in 2017 by a team led by Head of the Concerned Public Officers, Curtis Cuffy, Solomon Gabriel’s Team Fixers, and another opposing candidate due to discrepancies on the electoral list.

The application for injunctive relief claimed that the PSA’s constitution had been violated and that the list of voters for the election is fundamentally flawed.

It is stated that on October 5, a special general meeting was held and a decision taken which enabled then non-financial members to pay their dues and to be treated thereafter as eligible voters.

Which is contrary to Rule 7 of the PSA’s constitution states that non-financial members are prohibited from voting and Rule 20(b) of the election rules provide that a person shall not be eligible to vote unless he was a financial member for a period of 12 months prior to the date of the election.

In the last election, a total of four teams opposed Duke.

One team has already shown their eagerness to contest the President chair – Team Sentinel led by former General Secretary and Industrial Officer, Nixon Callender.

“We are satisfied that the General Council of the Public Services Association has finally set a date for the elections, which is on Monday the 23rd of November 2020, to finally give members an opportunity to elect an executive including a president of their choice,” Callender said.

He added that they have concerns based on the timelines of the ministries of government and departments will grant the necessary approvals in a timely manner for the PSA to house their polling station at their various departments and ministries as these timelines can have a devastating consequence on several other timelines leading up to the PSA election date which is constitutionals.

“We asked that all over 14,000 members of the PSA should come out and vote. This is your business. This is about your terms and conditions of employment,” he said.

Head of Concerned Public Officer and Presidential Candidate, Curtis Cuffy said, “This PSA election is long overdue. As you recall there were several court matters with inconsistency with the voters’ list that delayed the election also to a subsequent action was filed in the court concerning irregularities in the PSA, no audited financials for a decade no ordinary conference for a decade no budget for a decade for ten years.”

Former General Secretary and presidential candidate, Oral Saunders said that he is relieved.

“We have been under bondage for far too long our union has been suffering from a lack of professionalism and poor representation,” he said.

“We can’t expect to go forward in disunity. We have to do it united as one, we are unlike any other organisation where we have all political entities are within the public service and public officers sacrifice on a daily basis,” Saunders said.