Under what conditions can a contract be terminated?Friday, October 15, 2021
It is puzzling that some people employed in the public service, especially those in senior positions, seem to have some sort of tenure for life in their employment contracts. It is shocking to learn that former Minister of Education Ruel Reid and former Caribbean Maritime University President Dr Fritz Pinnock have been receiving full salaries for over two years since their arrests for fraud.
At what point can a contract be terminated? If someone is arrested, isn't there grounds for termination if they are unable to continue their contract?
Even if one is presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law, unpaid leave should be an option for the short term if he or she is unable to work. The employer should have the right to make a decision about the continuation of the contract in the best interest of the organisation and its reputation and image.
Why is Government so different? Why can't these individuals be paid what is due to them and be terminated?
The recent allegations of about inappropriate expenditures at the Ministry of Education is yet another in a series of news reflecting poorly on Dr Grace McLean, acting permanent secretary in this ministry. McLean was around during Ruel Reid's term as minister and questions were raised then about her role amid inadequate responses to the commitee in Parliament and the auditor general.
Why does someone have to act temporarily in a position for as long as two years and more? Isn't this enough time to prove one's competence?
McLean is now on leave and we know that it is, most likely, paid leave, but why can't she be fired and paid her due and, if criminal charges are required, allow the law to take its course?
What is written in these contracts that makes senior public servants untouchable? Is there fear of what they know?
How long should the public continue to pay for government inefficiencies as if there is no viable alternative?