by Linda Straker
- Missing workdays deducted from salary of civil servants who engaged in industrial protest
- Schoolteacher seeking to have her docked salary returned
- OECS Court of Appeal has ordered that PSC be removed as a claimant
More than 2 years after the matter commenced in the High Court of Grenada, the OECS Court of Appeal has ordered that the Public Service Commission (PSC) be removed as one of the claimants in the case filed by schoolteacher Donnelle Marcelle Lusan who is seeking to have her docked salary returned.
At the end of November 2018, the Keith Mitchell administration made good on its declaration to deduct missing workdays from the monthly salary of civil servants who engaged in industrial protest earlier in the said month by withholding their labour for nearly 2 weeks over a pension and gratuity dispute.
At the time, a memorandum from the Cabinet Secretary to all Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Department including the Chief Personnel Officer instructed that there should be deductions for teachers who stayed off the job on 5, 7, 13 and 14 November. For Public Workers Union membership, the instructions were for 13 and 14 November.
At the time some teachers and public officers were deprived of more than EC$1,000 of their salary for the month of November 2018.
Lusan, a secondary school teacher, through an attorney from the law firm Justis Chambers filed a matter in the court seeking the return of the removed portion of the salary. Among the parties named in the lawsuit was the Public Service Commission. The Commission is the body mainly acknowledged by the Constitution as having responsibility for the hiring and firing of public officers. It sought the Court’s permission to have its name removed as a party in the matter.
The High Court supported the PSC request but the attorney for Lusan appealed to the OECS Court of Appeal. On 16 April 2021, the court dismissed the appeal. This, therefore means that the PSC will be removed from the case and the matter proceeds to a trial.