Public servants can join in - PSC

Monday April 11, 2016 Written by Published in Environment

Public servants wanting to join Friday’s anti-purse seining protest march have every right to do so under the Cook Islands Constitution, says Public Service commissioner Russell Thomas.

 

As the march is to be held at 4.30 pm and outside of public service working hours there is nothing preventing government workers from taking part, he confirmed.

Thomas quoted from Article 64 of the Cook Islands Constitution which guarantees every Cook Islander the rights to; (a) Freedom of thought, conscience and religion (b) Freedom of speech and expression (c) Freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

He says public servants won’t be discouraged in any way from participating in the march, “as long as it’s not within government working hours.”

Thomas says the Cook Islands Constitution is quite clear and neither heads of ministries nor senior staff can caution their staff about participation in the protest march.

A cautionary email was sent to public servants by Commssioner Thomas in the lead-up to the April 2015 protest march, warning against the use of government resources and time to support the anti-purse seining movement.             

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