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

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace says he has “no comment” on the ruling of a tribunal which on Monday upheld the ruling of the Labour Board and gave him one month to pay his former secretary, Rishatha Nicholls, EC$16,199 in severance.

“They have taken a decision, I have no real comment on that, at this time,” Eustace told I-Witness News on Tuesday.

But Nicholls told I-Witness News Monday night that she was pleased with the development.

“The ruling was basically upheld — the hearing officer’s report, or the hearing officers decision, and so I have to be compensated for my years of service,” said Nicholls, who was fired last year March after 11 years of service.

Eustace, who has argued that Nicholls is not entitled to severance because she was dismissed with cause, had appealed the ruling of the Labour Board, which last May ordered him to pay severance to Nicholls.

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Nicholls told I-Witness News that she represented herself before the tribunal, while lawyers Bertram Commissiong, QC, Mira Commission, and Maia Eustace — Eustace’s daughter, appeared on behalf of Eustace.

Nicholls said that the tribunal ruled that she was entitled to severance “by virtue of the section of the law”.

“Because there was nothing that said Miss Nicholls did something to be dismissed in the manner in which I was dismissed,” she told I-Witness News on Monday.

“All along, and I keep saying from the very beginning, that NDP (the New Democratic Party) needed to clarify the matter,” she further said.

“They refused to and it had to end up the way it is — almost a year, going to three sessions of the Department of Labour for them to know they wrong.”

Eustace is head of the NDP, but Nicholls’ salary was paid by the government — in keeping with the established arrangements.

“… I have been saying all along, you can’t be doing these things to people,” she said in reference to her dismissal.

“You have to be more responsible than that. So, I am grateful that at least I could have gotten an independent listenership than just the political way,” she further told I-Witness News.

“I just want to thank God, that at least that leg is over. I am grateful to him that I could have at least stood up and represent myself…

5 replies on “Eustace loses appeal, ordered to pay severance to former secretary”

  1. I cannot comprehend the approach management style of Mr. Eustace.
    This bothers me as he is the leader of the main opposition party in the country.
    A leader must adapt proper managerial skills and must be able to apply them when necessary.

    Mr. Eustace appears weak and feeble and seems not able to make sound business practice decisions.

  2. The caption of this news story is misleading and some persons are likely to get the wrong impression. Its must be noted that the dismissed lady was a former employee of the Office of the Leader of the Opposition and not Mr. Arnhim Eustace, in his personal capacity. This Office is funded through the Government’s Consolidated Fund paid by the taxpayers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Therefore the severance amount of $16,199 will also come from the same consolidated fund of the Government, and not from Mr. Eustace’ pocket..

  3. Just pay her and move on. I have never respected the way that Mr Eustace handled this thing and it seems I was right all along. You cannot hold secrets for people in public offices, if she stole let us know, if she was discriminating let us know, if she was watching bold and the beautiful instead of doing her job let us know. I have always said that there should be no secrets in any government office and it seems like that has came back to bite the office. You may have wanted to save her some embarrassment by not releasing the way she was dismissed and she used it against you.

    Just pay her and move on, it has already gone the way it did. She used the kindness that was shown to her by not releasing whatever she did, and used it against you in court as means for improper dismissal. Just pay her and move on. More important works needs to be done and talk about than this situation.

  4. Urlan Alexander says:

    I am glad that Mrs Nicholls have been given her severance. Maybe if Arnhim had disclosed the cause for which she was really fired it would have been another matter. In the end only Arnhim and Mrs Nicholls know the reason or reasons why she was dismissed.

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