City councillors took no decision to employ the nurses

Dear Editor,

Much has been said and written about the non-payment of salaries to nurses at the City Hall. More recently, my attention was drawn to page 6 of the letters column of Stabroek News of December 24. In his letter, Mayor Hamilton Green would have the public believe that he sought the intervention of the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development on this issue to no avail.

To say that I am disappointed that the Mayor failed to inform the nurses and the general public that I did respond to his appeal would be an understatement of the fact. I am dismayed. I did inform the Mayor that any Ministerial Order to the head of the council’s administration, ie, its Town Clerk (ag) to implement a decision of the council must be an order to comply with a valid order.

But in fact, nowhere in the council’s minutes of its statutory or extraordinary or special meetings for the period October 1, 2014 to present which I have perused, is there any record of a council approval or decision to employ the nurses who are the subject matter of the contention. On the contrary, there is evidence of a discussion among city councillors of the recommendation of the Personnel and Training Committee of the council that the nurses be employed. If indeed the council did concur on their employment, it needs to be corrected and captured in the council’s records. The Town Clerk (ag) cannot be asked to act on the intent of the council, only on the legitimate decisions of the council.

I ask of the Mayor that he moves quickly to correct this anomaly so that these nurses can be employed by the council.

Yours faithfully,

Norman Whittaker

Minister of

Local Government and

Regional Development

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