The tensions brewing between the ministry of Health and the Association of Public and Environmental Officers has come to a head, culminating in the suspension of 371 Public and Environmental Health Officers effective July 1, 2022, for a period of two months without pay. This disciplinary action was communicated via a letter and a list of affected personnel from the Personnel Management Office.
In a letter signed on behalf of the permanent Secretary at PMO, Mr. O. Barrow expounded on the reason for the suspension:
“This is to inform you that the Public Service Commission has approved the suspension of 371 (Three Hundred and Seventy-one) Public and Environment Health Officers from duties for a period of 2 (two) months without salary, with effect from July 1, 2022. This is a result of non-compliance to resume duties after a long period of unauthorized absence.”
It could be recall that on June 25th 2022, Mr. Muhamadou Lamin Jaiteh, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health sent out a press release in which he conveyed what he called the Ministry’s final warning to the Association of Public and Environmental Officers urging its members to resume work and urged unit heads to write down the names of any staff members that failed to show up for work. Mention was made of administrative action to be taken against any striking personnel who refused to show for work by Wednesday, June 29th.
This is a developing story, and Kerr Fatou will endeavour to reach out to the parties concerned and update the public on this monumental public and environmental health issue.