Public Service Association pushes for changes to Civil Service Act

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The Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association said that it will be seeking legal advice as it continues to press for a change to a section of the Civil Service Act of 1984. Sandra Williams, general secretary of the union, has argued that section 2 (A) of the Act conflicts with certain sections of the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda and was deemed unconstitutional by a judge in 1993.
That section of the Act states that, “A civil servant may not: (a) in any public place or in any document or any other medium of communication whether within Antigua and Barbuda or not, publish any information or expressions of opinion on matters of national or international political controversy; (b) be a polling agent or counting agent under the Representation of the People Act or an election agent or an assistant to an election agent of a parliamentary or local government candidate.”
Williams said that during the February 1993 case involving Elloy Defreitas, a public servant who marched against a sitting government and was fired for doing so, this section of the Act came under the microscope and Justice Redhead ruled that it goes against the Constitution. She also pointed out that Cleon Athill, former director of youth affairs, was almost charged under that section of the law in 2015, when she took part in a demonstration.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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