PSA fiasco; Judge freezes accounts and blocks union from holding general council meeting

Home*Cover Story*News

PSA fiasco; Judge freezes accounts and blocks union from holding general council meeting

The Public Service Association (PSA) was prevented from convening a general council meeting on Thursday morning, following a late evening ruling by a High Court judge.

During an emergency sitting on Wednesday night, Justice Frank Seepersad granted an ex-parte injunction to a number of PSA members who alleged that the executive of the union had been acting in continuous breach of its constitution.

The injunction which prevents the PSA executive from conducting transactions from certain bank accounts with various financial institutions, remains in place until Monday at 10 am, when a hearing will be convened with all the respective parties.

The injunction also prohibits the PSA’s executive from disposing or diminishing any of its assets, either locally or outside Trinidad and Tobago except to pay salaries.

The union’s executive led by its president Leroy Baptiste, has been accused of “continuously” failing to comply with its constitution and failing to hold elections for nine years even in the face of two previous High Court judgments in 2018 and 2019 by Justices Nadia Kangaloo and Devindra Rampersad respectively.

The PSA members allege that several critical sections of the union remain inactive resulting in the general council and conference not being properly constituted. Without branch elections being held, the members say, they cannot be a part of the meeting.

They further complained that a meeting of the general council was scheduled for Thursday, to be held virtually on Zoom, and accused the union’s hierarchy of wanting to install a new president unlawfully and not giving the general membership notice that they wished to fill vacancies within the PSA.

The injunction application said there was a real risk of the PSA continuing to dissipate the assets of the union if the court did not intervene.