Acting Town Clerk Carol Sooba says she will try to expedite the release of wages for Nnesha Hinds, who has worked in the Mayor’s Office for over eight months without pay.
Sooba also told a news conference on Thursday that Hinds has agreed to a demotion after accepting that the new appointment is at a level at which she can function and then later advance.
Up to yesterday, Hinds, 20, who was appointed as of July 1st, 2014, had not yet been paid.
“Since that date, I have been turning out to work at the Mayor’s office. However, despite efforts made by the councillors and appeals to the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development and to the union, I am told that my file is still with Ms Sooba,” Hinds had written in a letter published in the February 14th edition of Stabroek News.
“I am further told that Ms Sooba, Town Clerk (ag) has given no reason for refusing to pay me for eight months. I have had to suffer the pain and hardship of facing the last Christmas penniless, and it seems I will be facing a similar embarrassment for Mashramani this year. I am sending this letter to the media and the President of Guyana and ask that all citizens with a sense of decency and fairness speak up against this gross injustice.
Nowhere else in the world could someone work for eight months, find transportation to and from work, feed and clothe herself and not be paid without an explanation,” she wrote.
On Thursday, Sooba said Hinds is now functioning as a General Clerk 1 in the Mayor’s office, where she had been working as a General Clerk II.
However, both Mayor Hamilton Green and City Hall’s Personnel Officer Paulette Braithwaite say Hinds is fully qualified for the previous position she held.
“Whether Ms Hinds agreed or not to accept employment at a lower level is completely irrelevant [as] she was employed by the Council as a Clerk II to fill a vacancy,” Green told Stabroek News.
Hinds, it was noted, applied to fill the post of a General Clerk II after the resignation of the previous holder of the post. The Mayor stressed that Hinds was fully qualified to hold the post of Clerk II and had provided original certificates to confirm her claimed accomplishments. This assertion was confirmed by Braithwaite, who said Hinds, as far as she can remember, is in possession of five CSEC passes and as such is fully qualified for the post of Clerk II.
Hinds’ situation is similar to the plights of two nurses, Sandra Hanover and Sharon Chase, who were not paid for five months after being appointed by the council. The women resorted to publicly protesting last month in order to get their salaries and they were only paid in full in January. Sooba was also accused of holding up the payments to the women.