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7 PSA officials suspended

By LARA PICKFORD-GORDON Saturday, January 19 2013

THE rift between Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke and members of his executive continues in the New Year with seven executive officers of the association being suspended with immediate effect.

Duke issued a release yesterday announcing that after the PSA’s General Council meeting on Thursday, first vice-president Rosanna Robinson, Treasurers Dimitrius Harrison and Raymond Butler, deputy general secretary Ready Bedasie, industrial relations officers Yvonne De Peiza, Paula Prescott and Alim Abdul-Hakim were suspended in accordance with PSA Constitution Article 82 (iii) as amended June 26, 2008 for violation of the PSA’s Constitution. The suspended members were to appear before the General Council January 31 to answer allegations of violation of the Constitution. The release said, “the General Council will resist all attempts to destablilise the Public Services Association through acts of indiscipline as well as we stand in defence of the Public Officer’s interest and welfare.” Contacted yesterday Duke said the officers had been suspended with pay and the process was “redemptive” since the officers had an opportunity to be heard. He said one of the officers (he did not name which one) spoke at the meeting.

“At the end of the day, they felt they have to give them the next opportunity to be heard.”

Duke said more than the 15 members required for a quorum were present.

“The General Council is quite clear the behaviour and action displayed by these persons will not be tolerated. They want to ensure that the behaviour is properly understood.”

Newsday contacted one of the suspended members and was told that the members were seeking legal advice before commenting.

Last November Justice Joan Charles ruled that the 2010 suspension of Robinson, Bedasie, Harrison and Butler was illegal, null and void. The PSA was ordered to pay legal costs and had to pay compensation to the suspended members. Prescott and De Peiza were also reinstated last year.

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