Don’t village mayors have rights as government employees too

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Dear Editor,

Interesting reading your editorial on the Prime Minister and comments about Samoa being a dictatorship.

There are varying degrees of dictatorship and there are different types of dictators, the latter including Idi Amin, Mugabe and Saddam. 

Closer to home Bainimarama has, at times, been given that label because of his actions in limiting freedoms (of various description) in Fiji. 

In our case, the P.M’s actions have caused divided opinions between those who support them and others, including the overseas contributors, who have lambasted the P.M. for name calling.

Your stance on this issue depends on what you think about the different components of what happened; the actions by Luatuanuu’s youths, name calling by the P.M., the response by the police, the village’s response to the name calling, and lastly, the sacking of the village mayor. 

My letter focuses on the sacking.

What intrigues me is the acceptance by pulenuu’s of their fate once they have been sacked. From memory, I am not aware of one sacked village mayor threatening to take the government to court over unfair dismissal. 

If the village mayors are employees of the government, what rights do they have as employees and where are these rights articulated? 

Is there an employment contract between the government and the mayors which stipulates acceptable behaviours and those which are deemed to be sackable offences? 

If there is such a list, it would be good for the public to know about it. Just like the case of the cohabiting members of the Samoan police force who are not allowed to work together in the department. 

In that instance, this condition of employment has been clearly spelt out by the P.M., and now we know. 

If village mayors are employees of the government, don’t they have a right to be told what their unacceptable behaviour leading to dismissal? 

I know that a non performing public servant, a government employees, goes through a lengthy process involving performance reviews, etc, etc, before he/she is given the boot. 

That process appears not to be followed here and I am interested to know why not. Where is the due process in this sacking or has it been followed and I have no idea what it is?

I have asked my mates at the makeki and their responses range from the serious (I don’t know) to the most popular one (e pule lava sikafuge ile la o loga va’a). Can somebody please enlighten me on this?

 

Vai Autu 

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