KSAC fires worker who contested poll

Claudienne Edwards

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


THE Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) has fired Ann-Marie Evadne Thomas, the procurement officer who unsuccessfully contested the St Andrew South West constituency seat in the December 29 general election as an independent.

The seat was won by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

Town Clerk Errol Greene told the Observer that Thomas, by engaging in a political activity, breached the Staff Orders for the Public Services. According to Chapter 4. 4.2.6 of the Staff Orders: "Officers are expressly forbidden to engage in any type of partisan political activity in any elections at any level."

Thomas, who was a procurement officer for goods and services at the KSAC, had been a temporary worker for more than a year.

An Observer nomination day report said that Thomas was turned away from the nomination centre at the Greenwich All Age school three times before she fulfilled all the requirements for nomination on her fourth visit to the centre.

The Jamaica Labour Party candidate who also contested the St Andrew South West constituency seat was Victor Hyde.

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Rachael Evans
1/11/2012 - 5:49 PM
As an employee of the KSAC – temporary or not – and in any event she has been there for one year continuously – she is no longer considered temporary under the Public Service employment guidelines – she had the responsibility to ascertain whether or not her participating in the general elections would have affected her job. Recall Vandoo Palmer - he had to resign his position at the National Works Agency back in 2006 I believe when he announced--- announced – that he was going to be running for the PNP in Central Manchester. Both Joan Gordon Webley and Camille Buchanan had similar situations but they were ‘saved’ because their jobs were not considered Civil Servants (Mr. Williams was to meet with them). Pero, what rule goes for one goes for all. I am sorry young miss, but remember next time to check before you act. Good Luck finding a job. Please, authorities do not make an exception in this case or you will be doing so for the tenure of the organization unless smaddy wid a big foot like Mr. Greene steps in. Bloggers avail yourselves of the rules, practices and precedents before making nonsensical comments.
British Deportee
1/11/2012 - 5:41 PM
Farruk B, it's a good thing that you had not tailored the rules; otherwise we all would be naive & confused like the supposedly uninformed "victim". And then we wonder why lawyers are so wealthy! Then again, the mere fact that the now unemployed MP hopeful needed three chances to convince polling officers that she knew what she was doing, tells me that emotions, & not knowledge were the driving force behind her campaign. Best wishes, my dear; you’ve become JA’s newest celebrity! One love!
wanda woeman
1/11/2012 - 5:28 PM
That 's why I always look both sides of the street, even when I am crossing a one-way street, because we can never tell who is driving out there.
Jakan 2011
1/11/2012 - 2:10 PM
@ silas marner, only those in decision making (top positions) are required to resign their posts before running for a party and I doubt strongly that running as an independent would affect those higher up persons . What is definitely certain nomination as an independent is not partisan for it is not representing a political party. She merely exercised her Constitutional right. The KSAC made a boo boo.Moreover, how about progressive discipline. She is entitled to at least a warning at first
Noel Richards
1/11/2012 - 2:07 PM
silas marner, it is true that ignorance of the law does not excuse, but it has caveats. Were the rules in this case made available to the lady? If not, she can't be held accountable for knowing them, that is embedded in the understanding of "Ignorantia juris non excusat". In every case there are particulars that have to be determined. The legislature can't pass a law, make it's content unavailable to you and then hold you accountable for it, not in a Democratic society.
Reneto-Adams Walks-On-Water
1/11/2012 - 1:37 PM
Jakan says, give the woman back her job; or is it give back the woman? After all, this is Jamaica, so why should rules apply to her. She ran as an independent they say so the rules that govern political activity and public service should NOT apply to her because she did not run as JLPNP. Running for office, she should have known the rules. Ignorance is no defence. Good luck to her with the job hunting.
Peter Lawrence
1/11/2012 - 1:31 PM
This does not make sense unless Ann Marie was set up as an agent provacteur to play a victim for losing her job as a talking point. She was a Civil Servant(tho' temporary ) worker yet was willing to lose her deposit for what?Persisted 3 or 4 times. If she got away with it then other civil servants (Police, et al) cvould point to precedent. in other words Ann Marie engaged in a deliberate act of corruption in the civil Service, and how much chance she had to beat PSM w/out a party backing?
My Views
1/11/2012 - 1:19 PM
Noel Richards: You speak as an unlearned indiv. It is the employees responsiblity to do all the checks with the employer prior to pursing outside activities. Why are you so quick to bring politics into this??
Farruk BMA
1/11/2012 - 1:13 PM
No wonder Jca is so indisciplined and cant progress. The rules is the rules, weather you know them or not. Argument done.
Linda Hudson
1/11/2012 - 1:11 PM
Shame on KSAC for having such backward thinking. Staff orders? There is little need to order staff around in this day and age. KSAC should seriously consider putting an employment contract together and get rid of it's ludicrous 'staff orders'.
Cosford Roberts
1/11/2012 - 1:01 PM
I suppose that that regulation is one that was written during the colonial days. I think that the real issues are whether as an Officer she demonstrated political bias in the performance of her duties, and whether her constitutional rights as a citizen have not been violated by the KSAC. The lady should take the KSAC to court. My advice is that she should be given back her job and the KSAC should revise that regulation.
Lynden Mattocks
1/11/2012 - 12:49 PM
This lady may have erred based on the staff orders. The Supreme law of our land- the Constitution should, however, make it the right of any citizen of this country who wishes to offer himself for service the way she did able to do so. WE KNOW THAT SHE TRIED ' A THINK'. That should be her right whether we like what she did or not. GIVE THE LADY BACK HER JOB!!!
Cassandra Clarke
1/11/2012 - 12:14 PM
I agree with you Jakan.
Linval Campbell
1/11/2012 - 11:37 AM
This is one of our big prolems,we have no respect for rules,laws or orders. If the rules states that she could not contest because of the position she holds at the KSAC and she breached the rules, we cannot then use sentiments to ask that she be given back her job.The Staff Orders rules for all Public Service workers are known by all and although she was told that it could not happen she still went ahead.Rules must be adhered to!!!!
Fitzgerald Brown
1/11/2012 - 11:25 AM
This is sad KSAC. Why do we encourage folks to participate in the political/electoral process if they are breaching a rule if they offer themselves. Why do we always assume that somebody holding a political office will be partisan ?
Shame on you KSAC !! Give the woman back her job.
J the Jamaican
1/11/2012 - 11:18 AM
Visit i need a job jamaica facebook page to see if you can get another one.
1/11/2012 - 11:01 AM
As Jamaicans, we tend not to read fine prints. Was she aware of this clause or was this an informed choice? No discrimination wrapped up as justice served. We need to educate our people about all these hidden laws that are pulled out after the fact. True there is no excuse for not knowing but we are largely an oral society so JIS and the media need to do more educating to avoid not knowing being given as excuse in cases such as these. At times only those who write the laws really know they exist
Anthony II
1/11/2012 - 10:48 AM
I salute the Anne-Marie Evadne Thomases around. Her tenacity in getting on the ballot indicates that she should bounce right back from this 'minor' setback. Instead of seeing the virtues in her actions, some person incapable of thinking (of which we seem to have a surfeit in JA) decides to teach her a lesson. Her actions on Nomination Day were a case study in commitment to a cause and a rejection of any stumbling block (again, too many in JA) that stands in your way! Hats off to Anne-Marie.
tickyticky fish
1/11/2012 - 10:29 AM
@ Ann-Marie Evadne Thomas I hope you run for Mayor of Kingston.
Earl Davis
1/11/2012 - 10:25 AM
If the woman breached the code/rules of her employer she should be let go. These things are not suggestions but rules!!!
tickyticky fish
1/11/2012 - 10:24 AM
How com di Mayor of Kingston ran in the election and Ann Marie caan run a wat kind a fool fool man dis is give back di woman har job yuh mek likkle power run up inna yuh head lacka yuh a drink white rum. Ann- Marie ran as an independent, by firing her you have violated her Constitutional rights, is there any lawyer in Jamaica?
Authnel Reid
1/11/2012 - 10:12 AM
Jakan:Miss Thomas breached the Staff Orders for the Public Services by getting in volced in politics. So she must pay the price. I hope hoever that the rules is enforced across the board-no double standards

Better Must-Come
1/11/2012 - 9:59 AM
@ Jakan, Ms Thomas was fired for engaging in POLITICAL ACTIVITY. It matters not if she ran as an independent or under the umbrella of a political party. Miss Thomas ought to have know the conditions of her employment before she made her decision. Too often we try to get by, by bending the rules and claim ignorance as an excuse. She should have read her contract of employment or consulted with her Human Resource department first.
silas marner
1/11/2012 - 9:52 AM
A lot of questions will be asked, the biggest of which is if the rule is being interpreted correctly. One thing is certain Noel Richards, is that ignorance to the law is no excuse; so it is her he duty to know what laws govern her employment. Furthermore, from my memory of the civics, she was suppose to resign her government job before her nomination. Do they teach civics anymore? I doubt it. Civics, history and the geography of our nation and its surroundings, are lessons we must all learn.
Jakan 2011
1/11/2012 - 8:49 AM
Give back the woman her job, you idiot! She ran as an independent and not for any party. Is there a lawyer in the house? This mighty fool needs disciplining. See what our problem is? Some people get an inch and they arrogate a mile to themselves. Now this town clerk has appointed himself a lawyer and a judge. Seems he can barely read but wants to interpret law. What an pompous idiot!
I wonder what kind of AG Mr Atkinson is going to be for this definitely is for his office
Noel Richards
1/11/2012 - 5:51 AM
Was she aware that it was against the rules? Was she expressly told that she should not run for political office as a condition for employment with the KSAC? If not, this firing does not look very clean. I hope she is not being used as an example to discourage Independent candidates, or being used by someone to embarrass PSM, or worst case scenario, she is being punished by the PNP for contesting PSM's seat.
0o k
1/11/2012 - 5:27 AM
Well I hope she contest the Local Government Elections!