Staff force night court shutdown for second time
Court staff forced a shut down of night court operations for the second time in two weeks in protest over unpaid wages. The support staff, who have allegedly not been paid in five months, did not report to work on Friday evening and have promised not to return to work until pay issues are resolved.
Unless replacement staff is found, the move could cause a continued disruption in operations at the Nassau Street Magistrates Court Complex, which hears traffic cases and small claims civil cases. On Friday, Magistrates Ellen Serville and James Moxey were unable to hear new cases and continue trials. Magistrate Serville noted that she had no staff, but Magistrate Moxey did not sit. Instead, an announcement was made that there would be no court and litigants would be contacted with a new date.
Staff failed to show up at the Nassau Street Magistrates Court Complex on November 16, but returned to work the following day after receiving assurances that they would receive their money, according to a well-placed source.
However, the workers did not get their money at the end of November and they have reportedly been told it is unlikely they will be paid in December.
One of those staff members toldThe Nassau Guardianthat the workers had hoped government would have acted in good faith by at least paying some of the money owed. The worker said,”Christmas is coming and we were hoping for something, if they couldn’t pay all.”
The worker noted that the courts bring in revenue through fines and warrants cancellations.
According to a source, sometimes staff work past midnight after completing full shifts in other courts.