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Fire Left, Fire Right, Fire Center Belize City Mayor fires six employees without cause Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 10 May 2018 00:00

There is a great deal of uncertainty and apprehension at the Belize City Council as six staff members have been fired from the Council and there is word that more are underway.

The Guardian has confirmed that the six staff members received their letters of termination on Tuesday May 8; all the letters are dated a day earlier on May 7. Among those persons receiving their letter was Candice Miller, the now former City Administrator. On Thursday of last week, Miller along with her attorney Magali Perdomo appeared before the council for her to answer to charges by the council of neglect of duties. Apparently her fate was deliberated thereafter and the letter was drafted. In the correspondence it states that she was terminated, “for gross dereliction of your duties.” It goes on to state that she will receive, “all outstanding monies due to you with respect to salary and vacation entitlement up to today will be paid to you.” There is no mention about her contract which she holds. Miller had indicated that she is in the process of taking the council to court and after the termination she will proceed with that.

While Miller is seeking legal recourse, so too is Cecil Jenkins, as when The Guardian contacted him, he indicated that he was seeking such. He stated that he’s been with the council for 12 years and as such, was entitled to severance pay, which he did not receive. He noted that he is the father of four children and sees the actions by the council as outright political victimization.

Another employee, Shana Whyte, a supervisor of parks and playgrounds and a mother of five tells us that she is particularly hurt as she was awarded employee of the year twice, in 2016 and 2017 the most recent was in December of last year. She has been with the council for eight years, in August she would have completed those years. As for her severance, she did not receive what she is due.

Others terminated are Lisbeth Butler who was Manager in the office of the mayor; Whitney Requena who was the Human Resources Coordinator; Prosecutor with the council, Wayne Samuels was also terminated. All the terminations are based on some section 37 of the Labor Act. Quick research shows that the section reads as follows: “All contracts of service, other than contracts which are required by this Act or any other law to be made in writing may be made orally.” Basically the Council is telling the employees who were terminated that they were contract officers but that those contracts were made orally.

Now, there is an issue that at least two of the persons who were fired are members of the Christian Workers Union. We sought comment from the General Secretary, Floyd Neal who told us that the president, Mose Hyde is the one to comment on the matter. We contacted Hyde for comment but he is yet to reply. Hyde read a Krem News item which stated that the union is waiting for complaints to be made to the General Secretary.

And while the CWU waits, we at The Guardian will also wait as word out of the council is that there is a long list of employees who are lined up for the chopping block. We understand that there are as many as 100 employees who may be fired.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 May 2018 12:32