Court orders reinstatement of Williams-Buffonge to the position of Acting Principal of Antigua State College

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REAL NEWS- The former Acting Principal of the Antigua State College, Dr. Na-Ajele Williams-Buffonge, has been reinstated by the Industrial Court to her position, a source tells REAL News.

In keeping with the Court Order, the source says she was reintroduced to her staff this week, by Director of Education Clare Browne.

Sources say her reinstatement took effect on October 1st, which was a Saturday, and so Williams-Buffonge returned to head the institution as of Monday, October 3, which has caused Jacqueline Richardson to revert to the position of Deputy Principal.

The matter stems from an altercation between Williams-Buffonge and then Education Minister Michael Browne two years ago. At the time, REAL News reported that the two had gotten into a confrontation during a telephone conversation, and Browne felt he had been disrespected.

The Minister was said to have reported the incident to the Ministry’s management – Permanent Secretary Rosa Greenaway and the Director of Education.

They looked into the matter and subsequently prepared a report, which was forwarded to the Public Service Commission (PSC), which sent the College official on paid special leave, as of February 24, 2020, while an investigation was launched.

Reportedly, the Court found that the Commission had failed to observe a crucial step before it took the action, and therefore was at fault.

In addition to the reinstatement, the source tells our News Room that punitive damages were considered, but she is not sure whether they were awarded to Williams-Buffonge.

While the incident took place during Williams-Buffonge’s tenure as Acting Principal of the College, her substantive post was then Head of the Department of Arts (formerly the A-Levels Department).

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Congratulations on your rightful reinstatement Dr Na-Ajele Williams-Buffonge. I can’t begin to imagine the stress and strain it must have put you and your family through.

    I hope that the time that you’ve been away from your prestigious position, that an extensive compensation package is forthcoming as well – especially when you think of all the important ongoing training courses that you may have missed out on.

    This suspension should never have taken place in the first instance.

    Again, well done for fighting the good fight! 🙏

  2. This win is for all the civil servants who have been victimized in education by the former minister of education. God sees it all! That young lady is not only intelligent but a visionary. She is a people person , who loves people and is a breath of fresh air. Now the college will start going places. Good Luck Dr. Bufong, this win is not for many but for all.

  3. Wow! I am noticing a pattern- Serpant, D’Giselle, Forde, the man from Transport Board and now her. You guys need to join together and do a Class action suit against that minister and let the minister pay for the pain and suffering that he has caused on all of them. And the sad part the government always pays. Let him pay, if he doesnt he will continue to make strife with others. He does his own thing. Even in Carnival. Cabinet says no! He says yes. He feel he is better and bigger than the top dawg.

  4. Well Lord
    That PSC is a joke How can they function when some of them are so old and almost senile
    I know nothing about ASC or this particular debacle, but I know that thanks to Cabinet ministers’ having influence on PSC, there are many triangular pegs in round holes in our top management within the civil service
    People get used like workhorses (whipped overworked keptdown unrewarded) and then get tossed aside because they one day offend these thin skinned politicians or these dumbass technicians/administrators
    Oh well, I guess the struggle continues
    Congratulations to those that fight for justice!

    • Well said! The PSC is in fact a joke. We will continue to hear of similar cases in the upcoming months.

  5. Brix. What compensation are you talking about? Dr. was placed of special leave with full pay. Don’t think that it will hurt the politicians or the Gastón Brown administration but we the tax payers. Secondly the court never stated that she was not disrespectful but that the Public Service Commission failed to observe a critical step. So she was probably disrespectful and got off on technical grounds. Within the government system there are too much people getting paid and just sit at a desk doing absolutely nothing. If a civil servant is found to be lazy, not a good worker they are just left to do as they please or transferred from one department to another or from one ministry to a next and next. Delinquent teachers are transferred also . I know one case where a delinquent teacher was transferred to the ministry and ended up in upward position.
    This type of stuff doesn’t happen in the private sector.

  6. ABLP CAN NEVER DO ANYTHING RIGHT: THEY ARE THE MOST VINDICTIVE PARTY IN THE WORLD ONCE YOU DO NOT SUPPORT THEM.

    THEY THINK ANTIGUA WILLED TO THEM.

    I COULD NEVER EVER SUPPORT THEM. THEY SUCK THE BLOOD OUT OF YOU.

    GET RID A DEM.

  7. Hopefully this matter is now fully resolved to the good doctor’s satisfaction and well being and she can move on with the business of educating our Antiguan and Barbudan children. Many times for us adults disrespect involves our egos and solutions are about punishment and humiliation and the victims are our young people of our country. We are all truly better than this.

  8. When we begin living in a place where there is no longer room for freedom of speech and you can no longer disagree with another. There is a major cause for concern. There have been so many issues with the former minister and his “ego” that it is quite apparent in the minds of others what truly happened. Persons like spinless people because they are able to push them around and in the end, the politicians leave the person to stand in the heat. The Public Service needs to protect their civil servants from this kind of abuse. When they see these kind of issues between ministers and Civil servants they must take the blinders off and see the deep seeding issues. If this was a one-off incident, I probably would be convinced. But when you have several issues with the same minister. TYAL!! 900 French man cant lie! Different people, same minister.

  9. Excuse my ignorance! Since when does a minister directly direct or speak to a civil servant on a telephone call. Isn’t it the Permanent Secretary that directs directives to the civil servant?

  10. Well, I am glad she is back in this position. Dr. Bufonge genuinely cares for the students. She has found time to meet and greet all her students from all departments. It is the first time I have ever seen so many students excited to see their principal and students posting her on their status. She is so approachable, and she listens. We now feel valued. We spoke to her about the mosquitos that were eating us alive, the next day she got someone to fog out the college. I nearly dropped down dead when she came to our football match yesterday. We see the change dem and love it.

  11. This Antigua News Room should ban all publications concerning the death of Nigel Christian. For God sake the case is before the court and people out there are trying to influence the jury to dismissed the case against the three accused. Stop making his death a political matter. Leave it alone until the court decide. Nigel Christian murder is not more important than the other murders on the books or before the court. We need justice for all. Matters that are before the court should be left for the judge and jury and not the other way around.

  12. Imagine been sent home because the minister “felt disrespected”…What’s wrong with these politicians, these people who have to come to the people every election begging for a job ,servants of the people

  13. OMG! What does this minister have to do to get fired! What secret does he have for the pm? This poor lady! And the thing that hurts is that people who do no work always want to make trouble for those who are dedicated, talented and innovative. Everywhere he goes, chaos follows. Will he have to kill somebody before they get rid of him?! Unbelievable!!!

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