I never called anyone lazy—Rowley

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing heavy crit­i­cism for his com­ments that some pub­lic ser­vants have been col­lect­ing a salary even though they “pro­duce noth­ing when the day comes,” Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley has now is­sued a state­ment deny­ing that he ever ac­cused the Pub­lic Ser­vice work­ers of be­ing lazy.

In a state­ment is­sued on his Face­book page, Row­ley said, “I nev­er used the word lazy nor did I ac­cuse all pub­lic ser­vants nor did I ac­cuse the Pub­lic Ser­vice of be­ing lazy.”


He wrote, “I spoke specif­i­cal­ly about the use of GPS on the mo­tor­cy­cles which should al­low the man­agers to be able to ac­count for the where­abouts of their of­fi­cers. I al­so spoke of the use of a di­ary in ear­li­er times to al­low work­er pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and where­abouts to be mon­i­tored and that this re­sult­ed in more pub­lic ser­vice by of­fi­cers on the pay­roll.”

Row­ley clar­i­fied, “Clear­ly this was a dis­course about where­abouts and not nec­es­sar­i­ly about lazi­ness. This seems to have es­caped the men­tal grasp of many who jump on what they want and that is a man­u­fac­tured con­tro­ver­sy. In­ci­den­tal­ly, since I nev­er used the word “lazy” it is wrong for the Guardian to pig­gy­back on an Ex­press sen­sa­tion­al­ism by us­ing re­port­ed speech in the Guardian ed­i­to­r­i­al when the word was nev­er used. I won­der if the Guardian even both­ered to lis­ten to the speech or just sim­ply copied an is­sue from the Ex­press.”

In his speech de­liv­ered on Wednes­day dur­ing the hand­ing over of 200 po­lice mo­tor­bikes at the Po­lice Acad­e­my in St James, Row­ley said some pub­lic ser­vants were be­ing paid even though they did no work.

Fol­low­ing the cir­cu­la­tion of Row­ley’s speech, pub­lic ser­vants lashed out at Row­ley vow­ing to with­hold their vote be­cause of his dis­re­spect.

Pres­i­dent of the Pub­lic Ser­vice As­so­ci­a­tion Wat­son Duke, for­mer Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion Min­is­ter Car­olyn Seep­er­sad-Bachan all chid­ed the Prime Min­is­ter for his com­ments. They said the pub­lic ser­vice was in dire need of trans­for­ma­tion.

The for­mer head of the pub­lic ser­vice Reynold Coop­er while say­ing that some work­ers lacked pas­sion, ad­mit­ted there was a need to re­form the ser­vice and even re-think the re­cruit­ment process.

 - Radhica De Silva

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