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Grenada: Labour Commissioner fired after months on the job

March 2, 2023
Photo: CMC

CMC – After three and a half months on the job, the first woman to serve as Labour Commissioner has been fired because “she did not work out to be a good fit with the staff at the Ministry of Labour”, it was disclosed on Thursday.

Labour Minister Senator Claudette Joseph told a press conference that the Public Service Commission terminated the two-year contract of Valerie Thomas who began serving in the post from November 12, 2022.

“Upon review of the state of the relationship as requested by the Public Service Commission, it was decided by the Commission and the Ministry that it will be best for us to go back to the drawing board in our search for a Labour Commissioner that fits with the personnel,” Senator Joseph said.

She did not say what triggered the review.

Joseph, who is also Attorney General, said Thomas also did not fit in with the Dickon Mitchell administration’s general outlook as it seeks to take steps to improve the labour climate in Grenada for workers, employers and the members of staff at the Labour Ministry who are delivering on the services to stakeholders.

“So, we have ended the relationship and we will go back to the drawing with a new Labour Commissioner to be announced in the not-to-distant future,” she said.

In the meantime, Deputy Labour Commissioner Sparkle Greenidge Courtney will perform the functions of Labour Commissioner , in accordance with the Employment Act.

Thomas was in the middle of her probationary period when she was fired with immediate effect, on February 28. Based on her contract with the government, she will receive one month’s pay in lieu of notice.

A graduate of the Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies, Thomas specializes in Labour Studies with an emphasis on Negotiations, Labour Administration, Labour Dispute Management and Tripartite Dialogue.

A news release issued by the Government Information Service to announce her appointment said her professional career includes employment with one of the largest trade unions in Trinidad and Tobago and highlights a sterling record of success before the Industrial Courts. Thomas also has experience in the Grenada Public Service, having worked for more than 17 years in General Administration and Human Resource Development.

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