Former Opposition Leader, Arnhim Eustace, left, and his former secretary, Rishatha Nicholls. (IWN file photos)

MP for Central Kingstown, St. Clair Leacock, who advised Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace when he appeared before the labour board over the non-payment of severance to his former secretary, Rishatha Nicholls, says Eustace should pay the former employee.

Speaking on radio on Friday, Leacock, however, said that had Eustace written Nicholls a “stronger and firmer and detailed letter of the cumulative issues” that led to her dismissal, “she would not have had a leg to stand on”.

In the letter of dismissal last March, Eustace said he was firing Nicholls, for failure to write up a vote book, the disappearance of monies donated to political activist E.G. Lynch, and loss of confidence.

The Labour Department last year ordered Eustace to pay Nicholls EC$16,199.99 in severance.

Eustace appealed the ruling, and a hearing originally scheduled for last Tuesday has been postponed to March.

Leacock said that he has had a good relationship with Nicholls.

“… but I am not here saying that in its context to curry favour,” Leacock said in a call to the radio programme.

MP for Central Kingstown, St. Clair Leacock was Eustace's advisor when he and his former secretary appeared before the labour board. (IWN file photo)
MP for Central Kingstown, St. Clair Leacock was Eustace’s advisor when he and his former secretary appeared before the labour board. (IWN file photo)

“But that does not mean that Rishatha has not been conducting herself in ways, at times and in many instances, in which the Leader of the Opposition could feel uncomfortable.

“… I wish not to enter further into the merit and or demerit of what is happening. And maybe I should say it tonight. Left to me alone, I would give Rishatha Nicholls her money and let us go away, because this thing is going to drag on ad infinitum and I don’t see any good outcome coming to the New Democratic Party out of the whole matter,” said Leacock, who is a vice-president of the New Democratic Party, which Eustace heads.

He, however, added that paying severance to Nicholls, “doesn’t mean that the Leader of the Opposition didn’t have an argument.

Leacock said he has 30 years of experience in industrial relations, both as a former human resource manager at VINLEC and manager of his own business.

“If we had written a much stronger and firmer and detailed letter of the cumulative issues that were involved with Rishatha Nicholls, she would not have had a leg to stand on.

“But I don’t feel there is any need for me to go to the public and paint anybody one way or the other. I think that is where the fundamental matter was. It was not detailed in a cumulative way.”

Leacock said that Nicholls spoke to him after she was fired last year.

“The first thing that she did after she was fired, she went on the radio. I said, ‘Why did you have to do that?’ And in fact, I attempted to broker a peace between both parties and see if we could have just give Rishatha some gratuitous payment and end that story there,” Leacock said.

Recently, Nicholls has telephoned various radio programmes about the economic and other impact that her dismissal has had on her and her family.

Eustace has declined commenting on the issues, beyond saying that if he loses the appeal, there are other options, including going to court.

Nicholls told I-Witness News on Monday that Eustace should listen to Leacock.

“If he is the advisor, he is the one Eustace should take advice from,” Nicholls told I-Witness News.

2 replies on “Opposition Leader’s industrial relations advisor says he should pay severance to dismissed secretary”

  1. Not only did Leacock threw Mr Cooke under the bus; he threw Mr Eustace too.

    Why would Mr Leacock say such a thing on the public airwaves? Is this not an issue you really want to keep your thoughts to yourself as the Vice President?

    Imagine one of the ULP members coming on the airwaves and saying he believe that Gonsalves should have invited Eustace to the meeting for the disaster relieve. It would never happen in a million years. They may have certainly disagreed privately but saying so in public, hell no!

    18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

    19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am [he].

    20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

    21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

    22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.

    23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

    24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.

    25 He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?

    26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped [it]. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave [it] to Judas Iscariot, [the son] of Simon.

  2. More and more we see the type of dictatorship and bully-ism in the NDP party. God bless the Comrade for his strong, and stable leadership. Eustace continue to stagnate the party by holding on to power. Time for him to pass the baton yet those who try to tell him openly will be fired. In most parties around the world, you lose one election there is a change in leadership. I’ve always believed there are more competent people to lead the NDP than the current doom and gloom leader.

  3. Arnhim should pay the woman and get the story out of the history book. Members of the NDP should not help Ralph with internal issues. No ULP member can do that or history may repeat itself – Glen Jackson (it is alleged) found that out.

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