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Sep 28, 2017

Hiccups Found after Immigration Promotions

Mark Lizarraga

Earlier this year, there were rumblings in the Immigration Department after twenty-nine officers were slated for promotion despite concerns about their worth. Minister of State Beverly Williams assured News Five at the time that there would be no issue and that there was no discrimination. Months later, immigration staff is complaining about not having received increased pay commensurate to their new level, not to mention accompanying benefits. Immigration Director Diana Locke says it is something she continues to work on, but she has to balance Government bureaucracy with what she calls an uncaring Public Service that refuses to look out for each other.


Mark Lizarraga, Pro-tem Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“We’ve heard recently from staff members who have been complaining about having received a promotion and not having received their pay. This, of course, we all know is not the very best for morale if you are trying to insist that your staff be professional and that they comply to this new environment. You would expect that they would be properly compensated and compensated in a timely manner. Is this true?”


Diana Locke

Diana Locke, Director of Immigration

“Yes, it is true and it is an issue that I have been taking up. Prior to arriving at the department, there were many, many persons. Of the one hundred and, perhaps, sixty-five or seventy-five immigration officers there were a significant amount of persons who had not been completed with their performance appraisals. There were persons who had not been given their increments. There were appointments that had not been completed after six or seven years. These are all HR issue which I hold dear to my heart because that’s one of my fields. And if you cannot give people what they are due then you cannot expect for them to give you support. So this is an area that I have been at it and at it and it’s a very frustrating and slow process. We have recently had transfers. We are still waiting for payments of transfer grants of housing allowances. These are the things that affect officers. I much prefer we do what we need to do and I have raised this matter to the C.E.O., I have, from time to time, brought it to the attention of the finance officer because they control these payments at that level. The Ministry takes care of the administrative matters and the financial matters of the department. So, I can only report to them and hope that these matters can be addressed. Yes, there are some delays on the part of some officers, but I do feel, and I’ve always felt this for a long time, way not only at immigration, that we have a public service that is not caring. They don’t care about each other and I don’t think they don’t care too much about the service that we provide and we need to change that.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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