Tuesday 17 September, 2019

Airport guard's suspension 'fair': He was 'discourteous' to Ministers

The Airports Authority is standing by its decision to suspend an estate constable for two weeks without pay over “discourteous conduct”, in connection with an incident which occurred in September at the Piarco International Airport, involving two Government Ministers.

The disciplinary action against Kelvon Alexander, a member of the Authority’s Security Force, came after an incident in which he informed Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Minister Dennis Moses that he and Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis that they could not exit the Duty Free Area by way of an access controlled door.

The suspension letter dated November 16, 2018 noted that Alexander was correct to advise the Ministers that they could not exit the Airport via that door, but made reference to CCTV footage where it claimed that he was unprofessional and discourteous in the manner in which he treated with the Ministers.

The Authority said the contents of a report submitted two days after the September 20 incident failed to offer a “satisfactory” explanation for his behaviour.

“Public figures, such as the two Honourable Ministers, regularly transit the airport and their photographs are prominently displayed at Centralised Security Check Point.

As a member of the airport’s security force you are expected to be able to recognise members of the Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago and to facilitate their requests or enquiries in a courteous and professional manner.

Your conduct has caused considerable embarrassment to the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago.”

In a statement on Monday afternoon, the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago addressed the matter in light of the circulation of the suspension letter signed by Superintendent Avril Day-Brassey.

The Authority said it is satisfied that the conduct of the officer in question was in fact “discourteous, injudicious and fell below the standard of professional judgement and customer service expected of members of the security force.” 

The Authority said it is satisfied that its process in this matter and the decision arrived at were fair and just, adding that the suspended Constable is free to seek redress in this matter if he feels aggrieved.  

The Authority added, however, that it is not prepared to discuss details of the officer’s conduct during the incident in question nor is it willing to comment on aspects of the officer’s personnel file that were considered in arriving at this particular penalty.  

The Authority concluded by stating its commitment to ensuring that all airport users are treated in a courteous manner and that quality customer service is provided by all members of its staff. 

 

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