|Government cancels contract for court reporting unit|
Guardian Senior Reporter
Published: Dec 02, 2013
The government has terminated the contract of Ludell Theophilus, who worked as a consultant in the Court Reporting Unit since 1999.
Last month, Theophilus reportedly received notice to vacate the Bay Street premises by December 31, nine months before her contract was set to expire on September 30, 2014. Government canceled the contract due to alleged breaches.
The move now raises questions about the future employment of the 22 court reporters who work for Theophilus’ company, LET Consultancy, when the contract expires. The remaining 18 reporters work for the public service.
Bahamas Public Services Union (BPSU) President John Pinder told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that he is working to ensure that the private court reporters transition to the public service before the end of the year so there are no disruptions in the court.
Pinder said that reporters provide an essential service. He said more workers are needed for the new courts set to come on stream next year.
Privately contracted workers carried out industrial action in September over unpaid wages and the uncertainty of their careers.
The pay issues were resolved but the workers voiced concern about their future when Theophilus’ contract comes to an end.
Theophilus, the first Bahamian to qualify as a court reporter, managed the public services reporters and her staff until this year.
That arrangement ended in January 2013 when Enith Darling was appointed as acting director of Court Reporting Services. Royanne Morrison and Judith Clare were appointed acting deputy directors.
However, they have not been paid for their services. Pinder said Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson has assured him those pay issues will soon be rectified.