Public Service Association (PSA) president Watson Duke is calling on Judiciary workers to continue their daily protests against impending restructuring within the organisation, over the next four months.
Addressing a handful of workers, who gathered in front of the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain around midday on Monday, Duke called on them to gather for a short group prayer session every hour between 9 am and 2 pm.
“They believe that this is a political stunt or a joke. Until you take this seriously, they (the public) would not,” Duke said.
He suggested that the action, which is expected to continue until the Judiciary introduces the reforms on September 1, would help citizens better understand their plight.
“I am confident we would earn the public’s sympathy. It is one thing to be marching up and down but it is another thing when we come to pray,” Duke said.
The protest action stems from a move by the Judiciary to give effect to several pieces of legislation, which were recently enacted to help reduce backlogs in the criminal justice system.
The PSA claims that the move would mean that over 400 workers, who currently hold acting appointments, would lose their jobs, while almost 200 others would be reassigned to ministries and state bodies which fall under the public service.
In a press release issued after the PSA members stayed away from work for one day, last month, the Judiciary claimed the only jobs being made redundant under the Criminal Division and District Criminal and Traffic Courts Act in September, are those of clerk of the peace and assistant clerks of the peace.
It claimed that those currently holding the positions would not be technically losing their jobs as they all hold acting appointments.
The Judiciary also claimed that it was offering free training to those members of staff willing to apply for the new positions of district clerks of the peace and case management officers.
- by Derek Achong