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Robinson: The PSA is no one-man show

By Sasha Harrinanan Tuesday, December 18 2012

PSA First Vice-President, Rosanna Robinson, has denied claims by PSA President Watson Duke that she and several others re-instated members of the union’s Executive Council are “provocateurs and trouble-makers,” interested only in removing him from his post, and achieving stardom in the process.

“There is no truth to that, not at all. Everything we’ve done, including asking Mr Duke to resign, has been guided by our union’s constitution, which at its heart is all about active democracy and all-inclusiveness of each and every PSA member,” Robinson stated.

During a telephone interview with Newsday yesterday, she in turn accused Duke of having “delusions of grandeur” over the importance of his role as President compared to the Executive Council, the General Council and the Conference of Delegates.

“The PSA is not meant to operate as a one-man show, with Mr Duke making decisions and expecting everyone to just go along with them. Take the decentralisation matter. The Executive is supposed to arrive at a consensus, but he never called a meeting about it.

“He just sent out letters informing at least four re-instated officers that ‘we decided’ they were to report to various PSA offices across the country. Who is this ‘we’ he referred to? None of us ever discussed decentralisation with him, yet Mr Duke is busy sending people to all over,” Robinson said. That’s why the executives in question wrote back to the PSA president, asking for clarification on the grounds for such a decision. Robinson explained plain white paper and envelopes were all she had on hand when writing Duke about the issue.

“Contrary to what he is claiming, the envelope was addressed to “PSA President, Watson Duke.” We acknowledged his post as president and were simply seeking clarity, not trying to make the union ungovernable. Not at all.”

In Duke’s press conference at PSA headquarters on Abercromby Street, PoS two days ago he claimed to have been offered money by “dissident members” if he were to resign with immediate effect.

“Not so at all,” Robinson declared, telling Newsday she had no knowledge of any such offer being made to Duke. “This is the first time I’m hearing about that. We all urged him to do the honourable thing, and resign, but we never offered to pay him off.”

Robinson told Newsday it was her understanding that once Justice Charles ordered their reinstatement, the previous injunction would be “null and void.”

“Apparently Mr Duke sees things differently, so I am doing my best to represent our members in their industrial relations matters from my current base of operations.

“I do hope to regain access to my office though,” Robinson stated.

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