Treat him as he should be treated.

This is the advice former Public Services Association (PSA) President Jennifer Baptiste-Primus is giving to new Chief Secretary of the Tobago Assembly Farley Augustine, as public appeals mount for the new secretary in Deputy head of the THA, Watson Duke, resigns as chairman of the PSA.

Baptiste-Primus called Duke’s decision to occupy the two positions a “flagrant violation” of the PSA constitution and the HAT Act.

“Once Watson Duke chooses to be the deputy chief secretary of the THA, he can no longer be the president of the PSA. He has already made this choice. The mere fact that he went through the Swearing-In Process (THA) is a clear indication that he has chosen this political path. However, he wants to have his cake and eat it too, like he has in those years he’s been in the PSA, ”Baptiste-Primus said in an interview on i95.5 FM yesterday morning.

“This situation is absurd and Farley Chavez Augustine, this young man who was lucky enough to have an opportunity and has a massive tenure in Tobago to lead the next four years, I would give him some advice: this situation with Watson Duke, you shouldn’t be spending your energies on a problem that shouldn’t have arisen in the first place. Treat him as he should be treated. Watson Duke has made a choice and the next step is he has to resign (from PSA), end of story. Because if Farley is going to engage in any manipulation of the situation, then what he has promised to do, to govern with a high level of integrity, that will be called into question ”, underlined Baptiste-Primus.

She added, “I just hope for his own tenure that he doesn’t allow Duke to drag him into that untenable rabbit hole he’s going down.”

Declaration of public interest

In a statement on Tuesday, a day after Duke’s Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) won 14-1 over the National People’s Movement in the THA election, the PSA announced that its executive had unanimously ruled that Duke would continue to exercise his constitutional functions as president of PSA. but will no longer receive the benefits and remunerations assigned to the post.

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi wrote to Augustine about this, stating that it would be a violation of the THA law if Duke remained president of PSA while serving as deputy chief secretary of the THA.

According to the THA law: “A secretary or the chairman of the meeting must not engage in a trade, business, occupation or other business for profit or remunerated other than that of secretary or chairman of the meeting”.

Will Duke abandon the benefits of PSA?

Baptiste-Primus said the PSA constitution clearly states that the post of president is a full-time post.

She noted that during her tenure as president of PSA, her workday started at 5:30 a.m. and ended until 10 p.m.

“With this position comes a compensation package. This position requires that the incumbent be accessible to full-time members. In fact, one of the allowances paid to the president’s office is a service allowance and this service allowance is paid in recognition that the president is on call 24 hours a day to serve members of the PSA, ”she said.

“What Watson Duke said is that I am going to give up all the money that is given to me, the salary as president, the travel allowance, the service allowance and I understand a housing allowance. And that’s another thing, Watson Duke lives as president at Woodbrook Number One (One Woodbrook Place), so does he keep keeping (One Woodbrook Place)? He has a Mercedes Benz, so does he keep on guarding (One Woodbrook Place)? to keep it? ”she asked herself.

Baptiste-Primus added, “What he is doing is a gross violation of the constitution. In any case, for such a situation to exist, the statutes of the PSA must be amended. Watson Duke has no authority to say he is going to give up the money and the salary, but he will remain president.

yes men and women

Baptiste-Primus also pointed out that the leader of the PSA represents a membership that includes people of various religious and political faiths. “And therefore, you cannot display that kind of preference for a political party. And when I read the press release, under the hand of the first vice-president of the PSA, I shuddered because there were open recriminations from the PNM….

She said Duke was well aware that he had to choose between the PSA and THA positions.

“I understand that last week on Friday Watson Duke called an executive meeting of the PSA and he told them that the PDP would win the election on Monday and therefore I will submit my written resignation on Tuesday December 7th,” she said. said.

“From what I understood, on Tuesday the 7th, instead of submitting a resignation letter, he called a management meeting and said he would forfeit his compensation but would continue to be chairman , and all his men and women around him said yes, yes, Yay. So Watson Duke is well aware that this situation forces him to resign, but he is not ready to do the right thing, ”he said. declared Baptiste-Primus.

“And I call on all public officials, especially those who love the PSA and want to see the return of democracy to the PSA, not to allow Watson Duke to get away with it. It’s wrong, it’s illegal and even if you have to go to court in the land, I’m pretty sure the court will rule in your favor, ”she said,

Duke is reportedly ill and did not respond to calls or messages from the Express yesterday.