Categorized | National News

Failed Promotion Promise Upsets Correction Officers

The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services Association President Anthony Butler said his organization feels completely disrespected, as promised promotions within his organization are still pending.

Considering the promotions were promised by the previous administration, Mr. Butler yesterday told The Bahama Journal that this makes it more troubling.

Before the May 10 general election, former Prime Minister Perry Christie announced that officers within the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and the Bahamas Department of Corrections will receive promotions.

Since the former prime minister’s announcement, only officers within the RBPF and RBDF received promotions.

Former National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage charged that the process for promoting corrections officers is more complicated than the others.

However, Mr. Butler isn’t convinced by Dr. Nottage’s statement.

“Everybody who works for the public service, promotions go through the public service and the Public Service Commission. The commission has the authority to promote at a certain rank,” Mr. Butler said.

Mr. Butler added that there are numerous internal issues he believes need to be addressed by the government, but he said with a brand new administration in place, the association does not wish to make moves “prematurely.”

“At the end of the day, as correctional officers, we want that respect. It appears that the past administration didn’t give us that respect. We are always last in everything,” Mr. Butler lamented.

“Our morale is low. You can imagine, we were waiting on our promotions and ironically I discovered that no promotions were sent down for us. So we have some internal issues that really need to be addressed,” he said.

“It appears as though our own is holding us back.”

In a previous interview with The Bahama Journal, Mr. Butler explained that the one major contributing factor to the officers’ low morale was the fact that only “a chosen few” had been selected for much needed training since the prison’s transition from a punitive to a correctional facility.

Mr. Butler, at the time, noted that it was even more disturbing that over the past year, he has made countless attempts to reach out to former National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage to resolve pending issues, but had yet to get a response.

Over the past year, only 90 of its 140 corrections officers have been promoted. These promotions were retroactive to 2014.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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