|NIB union head: Director should get chance to defend himself|
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Nov 14, 2012
Public Managers Union (PMU) President Winston Moss said yesterday National Insurance Board (NIB) Director Algernon Cargill should be suspended until allegations outlined by NIB Chairman Gregory Moss are examined.
However, the union president added that the director should be given a fair opportunity to defend himself.
His statement came after several claims were made against Cargill in a 22-page letter written by the chairman to Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson.
The letter was posted on popular website bahamaspress.com.
Cargill’s attorney, Alfred Sears, confirmed on Monday that Cargill is seeking legal advice regarding the matter.
“Once he would've presented his side and the board has looked at what they would have uncovered as it relates to their investigation, then [the board] should make a decision based on that," the union president said.
The letter outlines a series of very serious allegations against the director.
In the letter, Gregory Moss notes that while the board has voted to terminate the director, the minister has indicated that Cabinet would have to sanction that decision for it to be implemented.
But the union president said it is far too early to talk about terminating Cargill’s employment.
"It is unfortunate that the information was leaked from the board level to Bahamas Press talking about termination. But termination should really come after all avenues have in fact been investigated and whoever is accused is given an opportunity to defend themselves,” he said.
“Only then should a decision be made. That's the union's position on any situation of that nature."
The PMU is one of the unions representing NIB staff.
Cargill has served as director of NIB since 2008.
In late May, the Public Managers Union and the Union of Public Officers took a vote of no confidence in Cargill, but he has continued to serve as director.
However, Winston Moss said the relationship between the staff and the director has improved slightly in the months since the general election.
“The morale picked up somewhat after the election. We’ve had several meetings with the Minister of Labour Shane Gibson and he indicated to the management here that they must meet with the union,” Moss said.
He said the union now meets with members of the NIB executive once a month.
“That’s encouraging. I’ve seen some change in him,” said the union president, referring to Cargill. “He’s been a little more receptive to compromising positions. So the morale has improved.”