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posted 19 Oct 2015, 21:17 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 20 Oct 2015, 07:59 ]
The National Health Workers’ Union (NHWU) warns all health workers of SWRHA not to participate in any fraudulent elections advertised by persons purporting to be the leadership of our fast growing union.

The ringleaders will all be very familiar to health workers having demonstrated their disruptive behaviour over and over. This clique is claiming to be the leaders of our union although the two main players have resigned from our union.

Nigel Small submitted his resignation with “immediate effect” on 28th February 2015 (see attachment below). Andy Acosta “tendered” his resignation with “immediate effect” (confusing isn’t it?) at SWRHA branch meeting on 22nd August 2015 (see attachment below).

In Acosta’s case our General Secretary, Dave Smith responded ensuring that his resignation was indeed final to which there was no reply within the allotted time frame (see attachment below).

The group has been peddling lies that the National Workers’ Union to which we are affiliated is attempting to take over our union. What utter rubbish!!! It is the NWU which utilized its own resources to fund our union particularly in the early months.

Even now the NWU has spent more money on the NHWU than it has received as fees (dues). Audited financial figures are due within three months after the end of the financial year in December.

None of those who now wish to claim our union ever put one cent other than dues which we all pay. Financial reports on ALL revenue were presented to our branch meeting on 29th August 2015. All of those who now claim financial impropriety were present. Every single question was answered and the report accepted.

At an emergency meeting held on Monday 21st September a sub-committee was appointed to structure how a nomination and election exercise to elect shop-stewards and branch officers should be held with tentative dates suggested.

Although this three member committee (Carlanne Rhea St. John, Avion Bruce and Kern Webb) has not yet met the clique has decided to hold a bogus election on Wednesday.

This election committee is expected to propose a whole range of procedures that can ensure a free and fair exercise so that all members throughout SWRHA including those in the health centres, Area Hospitals and extended care facilities can participate.

For a proper election to be held there must be, among other things:

A listing of members entitled to vote;

Properly advertised nomination period and its attendant forms, time and place;

Election Day: how, where and when ballot boxes will be placed; bearing in mind that SWRHA members are not confined to SFGH and that many members work shift.

The counting of votes and selection of a cadre of people to oversee this democratic exercise: presiding officer; poll clerks for mobile boxes etc.

Indeed, an independent election committee must be in place wherein none of its members can simultaneously be candidates to become branch officials

This is in keeping with the commitment given by the NWU that health workers will be responsible for building a union in our own image and likeness. The objective is to ensure that there is full transparency in the process as demonstrated in the NHWU election of shop stewards for the Medical Orderlies, which was held on Friday 6th February 2015.

That process provided for proper advertisement including mass texting to those eligible to vote, a nomination exercise was conducted before the voting so that voters would be able to analyse all the candidates.

Voting was done by secret ballot and ballot boxes were provided in positions and at times as determined by the Orderlies. Election personnel were supplied by the NWU so that there would be no conflict of interest. Voters’ lists were also provided.

Compare this process to what is carded to take place on Wednesday!

We, as health workers, have all expressed our disgust over the years at the level and type of representation we got. This is the first time in our history where we have had the type of meetings and interaction with officers who KNOW what they are about.

Today most of us now know why the PSA could never represent health workers; we have also been educated on the benefits of having a collective agreement so that we will no longer have the agony we suffer hoping to get a salary increase. We also have available to us proper research material and training opportunities from experienced and competent trade unionists.

We have already won one victory at the Ministry of Labour for a member who works at the Mortuary. We have other disputes lodged at the Ministry. This is the progress which the clique is trying to stop.

Isn’t it a bit co-incidental, that at the very time when the NHWU has started to expand its membership and make an impact among health workers, we have elements introducing bacchanal and mauvais langue and trying to obstruct health workers from marching forward.

They want to be big fish in small pond, while we want Recognised Majority Union status and a Collective Agreement 

Comrades your union’s office is at #4 Hart Street, San Fernando. Branch meetings are held on the fourth Monday of the month. Your union is strong and commands the respect of management, trade unions and officials at the Ministry of Labour. This we have achieved based upon our affiliation agreement with the NWU.

Let us not be sidetracked by those who see the union as a vehicle for advancing personal agendas and individual interests!

Gerry Kangalee,
20 Oct 2015, 07:51
Gerry Kangalee,
20 Oct 2015, 07:49
Gerry Kangalee,
19 Oct 2015, 21:19
Gerry Kangalee,
20 Oct 2015, 07:53