The management of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is refuting claims by officials of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) that it had fired four finance department employees for no apparent reason.
In a press release yesterday, the hospital's office of administrative services described reports carried in last Friday's edition of Stabroek News as "misleading and erroneous."
According to the release, GPSU President Patrick Yarde and Vice President Karen Van Sluytman chose to mislead an unsuspecting public although benefiting from monthly reports on terminations, resignations, retirements and other staff movements.
Four staff members of the hospital's finance department were on February 28, given letters of dismissal, following what the hospital claims was their unsatisfactory performance during their periods of probation.
According to the hospital, the workers had been painstakingly cautioned and counselled by the Director Financial Services (ag) Mohamed Karimullah. They also had their probationary period extended for a further two months in addition to the initial three months granted at the start of their period of employment.
The administration in their correspondence further cited section 9 of the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act of 1997 as the rule which guided their actions with respect to the workers.
The GPSU, at a press briefing last week attended by the dismissed staff, had accused the hospital administration of victimisation of the workers.
Subsequently the employees had told this newspaper that a senior hospital official had told them that they had been dismissed because of their participation in a demonstration during their lunch hour.
On January 31 the administration had fired Asset Clerk John Lucas.
At that time they had said that Lucas who was on probation at the time, had not been retained because the project he had been working on was near completion.
Another employee, Accounts Clerk Navindra Umadas, had also been transferred to the stores, and dismissed as a result of failing to comply with instructions to move to that section.
On February 28 the services of Accounts Clerk Rohan Parbhoo, Fixed Asset Clerks, Annette Lowtan, Vishwa Pooran and Fixed Asset Co-ordinator Annie Ramnarine were revoked by the hospital's administration.
GPSU President Yarde, had said that the dismissals had been carried out without due process and procedure and were intended to victimise the employees for their actions in protesting for their rights.
The union's Vice President Van Sluytman had further claimed that the employees had not been warned nor given a chance to be heard or to appeal their dismissals.
But the hospital in the release challenged these statements saying the employees had indeed been warned and that Yarde and Van Sluytman's claims were both unfounded, mischievous and without basis in the section of the act.
Yarde had also alluded to conditions at the hospital which he said had caused several resignations.
"If you check the records you will be surprised to see the amount of resignations that have occurred within that institution, the amount of services that were terminated because people just show total disregard for the relationship and they left the job."