Preston George, Chairman of the Public Services Association (PSA) at the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital section.

Chairman of the Public Services Association (PSA) at the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital section, Preston George said that he does not trust Watson Duke’s offer of resignation. Duke offered to resign on Monday night and called for a Conference of Delegates meeting to discuss the resignation.

George yesterday said that the resignation was a “farce.”

“If one reads that so-called resignation properly, you will see he has not really resigned,” George said in a telephone interview yesterday.

George said that Duke is only offering his resignation and his cohorts in the Conference of Delegates could refuse to accept it.

Over the past week, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi wrote to Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Farley Augustine about the illegality of Duke being both the president of the PSA and the Deputy Chief Secretary of the THA. In his second letter, Al-Rawi also noted that Duke was appointed to the board of the Salaries Review Board in 2019 and receives remuneration from that post as well.

“The Conference of Delegates that he is calling for, that group, that is not the group that supposed to deal with it,” George said.

George said that the resignation offer was supposed to come to the PSA’s general council and then that body would submit it to the Conference of Delegates.

“If one follows the constitution of the PSA, the executive members of the PSA, they are the ones who should have received his resignation letter and bring it before the general council who would then take it to the Conference of Delegates. So even the process, is being used in a hurry, is a deliberate attempt by Mr Watson Duke to deny the membership of the PSA, that right to choose a president of their choice via elections or appointment,” he said.

Initially, Duke had said that he would maintain his position as PSA president and not take a salary. At the time, Augustine said that was enough distance for him to be on the THA executive. Later, Augustine said that Duke had to choose and then that Duke had three months to make a decision on the PSA. George said that Augustine had no authority to give Duke that ultimatum.

“Who or what give Farley Augustine the declare that he is giving Watson Duke three months? And now the thing keep changing from day to day. The story with Farley and Watson, they continue to change the story,” George said.

“They are very much unstable and that is one of the trademarks of Watson Duke,” George said.

Guardian Media tried to contact Duke and Augustine for comment but neither responded.

Guardian Media also reached out to Joint Trade Union Movement leader Ancel Roget for a comment on the trade union issue, but he said he was in meetings and could not speak.