Gray rejects hiring favoritism claims
For The Nassau Guardian
Published: May 08, 2013
ACKLINS – Claims of political favoritism have emerged regarding last week’s confirmation of government part-time workers in Acklins and Crooked Island to full-time status with full job benefits.
Most people involved worked for central government as janitresses and clerks and were employed with no permanent status for many years.
Roston Cox, chief local government council member for Acklins, told The Nassau Guardian eleven people received letters of confirmation and eight new jobs were created.
Cox, who is serving a second non-consecutive term in his post, explained that local government in Acklins had nothing to do with the selection of the people who received job letters.
There have been complaints in the community that only supporters of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) received job letters.
“The council office in Acklins submitted a list of all those persons who have been working for years with no status. The list included supporters from both political parties, and we recommended that everyone be confirmed,” Cox said.
“But the minister and the public service commission seem to have made their own decision as to who should be confirmed on their jobs, and who the new jobs should go to.” When asked about the claim of political favoritism, Cox said blatant political appointments must cease because such actions have an adverse effect on the community.
V. Alfred Gray, minister of agriculture and marine resources, who is also the MICAL MP, rejected the claim that people were advanced for political reasons.
“That story about FNM’s being left out and not getting jobs is not true. I really don’t know who voted for me. I gave jobs to the people I thought needed it most,” Gray told The Nassau Guardian.
“All of the persons (who) were hired are from my constituency and all the persons who submitted applications for jobs got jobs; nobody got jobs who did not submit any application. Now, I don’t think I should have to go around asking people if they need jobs. Everyone knows his needs better than me.”
Gray added that a number of people were given new jobs in this move throughout The Bahamas, from Grand Bahama to Inagua.
“There are thousands of workers who need to be regularized but we are only able to do a few hundred this year,” he said.
“The process will continue next year as funds become available.”