Sat | Feb 27, 2021

ATL Pension Fund loses appeal in dismissal of former general manager

Published:Friday | January 15, 2021 | 7:15 PM
The Court of Appeal handed down its unanimous judgment Friday upholding a decision of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal that Catherine Barber was unjustifiably dismissed in 2011.

The ATL Pension Fund has lost its appeal in the matter of the dismissal of former general manager Catherine Barber.

The Court of Appeal handed down its unanimous judgment Friday upholding a decision of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT) that Barber was unjustifiably dismissed in 2011.

The ruling means that Barber will have to be paid compensation to the value of 260 weeks of her salary.  

The pension fund company is part of Gorstew Limited whose former chairman,  Gordon “Butch” Stewart, died earlier this month.  

It’s the latest court defeat for the group in cases connected to the payout of almost $2 billion in pension benefits between 1998 and 2008.  

In April 2011, ATL fired Barber claiming that she was “dishonest” in backdating permissions for the payouts, an assertion the courts and the IDT have rejected.  

In 2015, the IDT ruled that Barber was treated unfairly as, among other things, ATL did not grant her a hearing nor did it open disciplinary proceedings.  

ATL had also claimed that it did not have to grant a hearing based on the criminal charges brought against Barber and two other ATL executives for allegedly distributing $1.7 billion of interest and withdrawal surpluses to members of the pension scheme without the consent Gorstew. 

However, those charges were thrown out in 2014 when a parish judge upheld a no-case submission against Barber and two other former ATL executives, Patrick Lynch and the late Dr Jeffrey Pyne.  

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