VERY URGENT ----- TODAY!
REF: SUMMARY DISMISSAL OF STAFF XXX
of XXX Children And Youth Centre
Advisors and Members
The Management Committee of XXX Children And Youth Centre
24 May 2000
Dear Sirs and Madams,
Two days before I called Mr. XXX the Chairman of your Committee at about noon time, asking for a brief meeting with him to discuss about the sudden dismissal of your staff Miss XXX, but was denied. I asked him to reconsidered my request and call me back on the same day since your Committee will have a meeting two days later and I need time to process if it is necessary for me to go for other channels. As I still received no call from him until late afternoon, I called up Dr. XXX. XXX called me back later re-iterated the saying of Mr. XXX concerning the dismissal of Miss XXX. I fully understand that the case is not easy to settle as everybody is saying his own version of what happened and stating his interpretation, sitting down and sincere discussion is the best method. Seeing there is no chance to discuss face to face, I have no choice but to write to you, to tell you what I know, and of course, you know better than me about your Centre, what I know may be wrong. Wishing sincerely your Centre continues to serve the community well, I hereby state my observations below, and hope that you could do something to enhance the better running of your Centre. Please excuse me if my account causes you feeling uncomfortable.
I discovered that your staff Mr. XXX , working as one-quarter part-time Supervisor since 1994 until now, is now also working in the XXX as probably a full-time employee. I doubt this is not an appropriate arrangement since he receives incomes altogether as 1.25 person from two agencies subsidized/funded by public money. This is abnormal unless special permission is granted. Does your Centre know about this? If not, why? I have brought this to the attention of the XXX and Director of Social Welfare, copies of my letter are attached. For your information, Miss XXX's written account of Mr. XXX's works is attached.
Last March MissXXX made a verbal complain about Mr. XXX's absence of work to Mr.XXX. Is there any investigation so far? If not, why? If there had been one, your Centre would know about XXX's work in other agency. If Miss XXX was summary dismissed for just a trivial cause as ˇ§taking some fruits without consentˇ¨, why your Centre did not deal with other much more urgent and serious mis-conduct, such as absence from duty?
Miss XXXwas summary dismissed verbally by her superior Miss XXX the Officer-in-Charge on last Friday (19th this month) when she arrived at the Centre. The charge was that two days before she took away 12 small-sized water-mellows and 24 apples without consent of her superior. This is totally ridiculous and incomprehensible. The Office-in-Charge knew Miss XXX took the fruits on the very same day, and she even discussed with her how to deal with having not enough fruits for a picnic, that means a silent consent from the Officer-in-Charge, and especially all the staff including the Officer-in-Charge herself did take some fruits, and what happened was that all other staff present in the Centre choosing and taking fruits and Miss XXX just followed what they had been doing, so there was a very good reason that a consent was granted for everybody if a consent was really needed. The Officer-in-Charge said every staff had got her consent except Miss XXX. This is totally ridiculous and is a lie for sure. When did the consent was grant, if there is one? That could only happened on the same day, as not all of the staff knew beforehand that some fruits would be delivered to the Centre on that day. Therefore if consent was made, this could only happened on that day, and Miss XXX was already there, how could she did not know that every staff was asking the approval of the Officer-in-Charge. So there was no such happening that every staff had asked the consent of the Officer-in-Charge before they took the fruits. If consent were really asked and accepted, why was only Miss XXX was singled out and left out, and no one including the Officer-in-Charge herself reminded her to ask for consent. If there was a fault, the Officer-in-Charge should bear part of the fault. And, did the Officer-in-Charge herself had asked for consent to take the fruits? I doubt.
Furthermore, why there is no warning first, but a summary dismissal? According to the pamphlet A Concise Guide to the Employment Ordinance issued recently by Labour Department, it reads ˇ§Summary dismissal is a serious disciplinary action. It only applies to cases where an employee has committed very serious misconduct or fails to improve himself after the employer's repeated warnings.ˇ¨ (p. 29) Taking some fruits with the knowledge and with the silent consent but without formal consent from the superior is only a very minor fault if this is considered a fault, and there was no warning. It is very clear that the summary dismissal served to Miss XXX is contrary to the Laws in Hong Kong. Miss XXX has a very favorable case to get back her loss, both reputation and income, through legal procedures. And I believe she is preparing to take legal actions.
I understand that tonight you will have an Executive Committee Meeting, Miss XXX wish to give her statement and defence about the charge on her. She would be most grateful if she could submit her written statement to you by hand during the Meeting, and her written statement should be returned at once, as her written statement would be used later in legal proceedings. Therefore we feel sorry that her written statement could not be sent to you before the Meeting. Please give Miss XXX a chance to present her defence to you before you reach any decision, thank you so much.
I believe everyone of you are learned persons with great contribution to the society, I trust the decisions of your Meeting tonight would be very sound and fair and would be beneficial to both your Centre and the society.
Ms. XXX's account of the Officer-in-Charge's performance and working relationship is also attached for your reference. Ms. XXX said to me that she did not make any complains about the Officer-in-Charge before since she was afraid of getting revenge.
My heartiest blessing and wishes to you everybody and your Centre.
FUNG Chi Wood
My letters to XXX and Social Welfare Department
Miss XXX's account of Mr. XXX and Miss XXX (written in Chinese)