ʽBullied’ court staff voice their frustration – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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ʽBullied’ court staff voice their frustration

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The Dame Lois Browne-Evans police and court building on Court Street (File photograph)

Judicial department staff have declared a vote of no confidence in their management, citing “bullying, harassment and victimisation” in a letter from their union representative filed on Thursday with the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

According to the letter from the Bermuda Public Services Union, and sources within the department who spoke with The Royal Gazette, staff reached breaking point after a colleague was fired this week in the wake of “what we consider to be a flawed probationary review”.

The letter further claimed that “staff, magistrates and judges” had been subjected to unfair treatment on the job.

The string of grievances surfaced at a meeting on Wednesday morning between unionised staff and BPSU representatives, which in turn led to a one-hour delay of the morning plea court session at Magistrates’ Court.

Staff called for “immediate dialogue and brainstorming for the preservation of morale in the department” and requested “effective and credible leadership”, according to the letter sent to the ministry.

The letter, from Lloyquita Symonds, assistant general secretary of the BPSU, also requested “an immediate management services review of the department”.

Tensions surfaced with court staff in August, when industrial action was threatened over a package of austerity measures across the Public Service, including a 10 per cent pay cut.

According to the BPSU letter, a review of the staff member’s dismissal was to be completed by 3pm yesterday.

There was no word last night from court staff whether the employee would be reinstated, and the BPSU did not respond to a request for comment.

The Ministry of Legal Affairs declined to respond to a request for comment.

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Published October 24, 2020 at 1:00 pm (Updated October 24, 2020 at 12:15 am)

ʽBullied’ court staff voice their frustration

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