BREAKING NEWS: Public sector unions reject late payment, salary-and-bonds proposal

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BREAKING NEWS: Public sector unions reject late payment, salary-and-bonds proposal
Cyprian Montrope
President of the CSA Cyprian Montrope

CSA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE TO MEMBERS — Members, following from my last communique to you, I wish to bring the following to your attention. Having been involved in four long and intense conversations with the government regarding the fiscal position of the government and the measures which they intend to implement to remedy the situation, our union has been placed in a very peculiar position.

The fact that we are in a partial shutdown and must observe the protocols established by the state with regard to social distancing, has made our ability to meet and discuss pertinent matters about our livelihoods and future extremely challenging.

Our union has finally received proposals from the government. To be precise, we received the proposals on April 19, 2020, at 10:30 p.m. The proposals are as follows: –

– Grades 1 to 6 get their full salary
– Grades 7 to 18 get 50% of their salary and the remaining 50% in bonds
– Grades 19 and above get 25% of their salary and 75% in bonds

Having received this proposal, the executive met on April 20, 2020, to discuss the matter. The executive in their wisdom could not accept such a proposal without first obtaining your approval or counter-proposals.

This decision of the executive was conveyed to the St. Lucia Trade Union Federation (TUF) at a meeting the same day. The TUF adopted the same position as all other unions faced the same predicament.

Later that same day, we met with the government to articulate the position of all the public sector unions on the matter. The government maintained its position and so did all unions.

The government has indicated that they are unable to pay April 2020 salaries on the scheduled payday (April 23) and is suggesting delaying payday to April 30, 2020. The TUF did not agree to that position and asked that salaries be paid April 23, 2020, as per the original schedule.

The meeting ended without any of the unions agreeing to the government’s offer but agreed to continue the conversation on the way forward.

Members, my biggest concern is that given the protocols in place as a result of COVID-19 in relation to social distancing, etc, we are unable to meet you in our usual fashion. I have given considerable thought to the ways in which we can meet our membership in an effort to get your input but have not been able to come up with any viable option. I would, therefore, ask members to suggest innovative ways we can effectively communicate so as to assist in decision-making.

This matter is very serious and our future hinges heavily on the outcome. Your involvement as a general membership is paramount since this decision, in my view, should not be taken by the executive council nor the general council.
I await your urgent response.

Please stay safe and may God bless you.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. I am sick and tired of people being made to feel like they are unpatriotic if they criticize this Gov't. Enough of the we are all in this together, leave out the politics nonsense! The Gov't has done some things right during this crisis and those things should be and are being highlighted. They have also made missteps and these ought to be pointed out too. Criticizing the Gov't at this time is not unpatriotic. During crises, citizens must be vigilant. Anybody can fake leadership during normal circumstances, it is during difficult times, true leadership can come to the fore.

    Now on the issue of public servants. Yes, there are too many public servants and yes, some of them do not do their jobs. Why is this so administration after administration? Because of POLITICS!! These are the people who will vote them in or out of office so no Gov't will do the right things. There are procedures to get rid of bad workers but then the officials will be getting rid of a campaign manager, a relative or a friend. The public service is in the state it is because of the politicians from both parties. So don't expect this to ever change under the current administration or an SLP administration.

    The public servants cannot wait for a week longer to get paid? Why is it such a big deal? Well, if it wasn't such a big deal, then why did the Gov't ask for this week? And why make this request 3 days before payday? It's because of a lack of respect.

    We're all in this this crisis together, yes. We were not all in when the Gov't was squandering money spending millions on fireworks for Independence and tents for the so called Jazz festival. We were not all in when Ministers spend more time travelling and racking up per diem. Now Covid has everyone on Zoom and the work is getting done. We were not all in when when millions were spent on foreigners like Ernst and Young to do things that we are paying our public servants to do and the millions paid to that Permandu and the weeks at Royalton for our workers to tell them what should be done. We were not all in when we paid for horses and built a race track in record time while our hospital is housed in a stadium going on 10 years. Building sporting facilities when we won't even maintain the ones we have. We stopped the laptop program for students because we can't eat computers, I guess we can eat the darn horses. We were not all in when we had a red carpet ceremony to name the OKEU hospital, yes a red carpet naming ceremony, a hospital that couldn't open until Covid got here. You have to be able to sense people's frustrations when they are being told that one month after the country is shut down, that there's no money when money was being squandered. One month!

    Gov't is supposed to be doing what it is advising its citizens to do -make sacrifices, save for emergencies, etc. Clearly that was not being done by this Gov't. Just a bunch of visionless people who can't see past tomorrow and don't plan for the future.
    Persons who think criticizing the Gov't at this time is being patriotic, to heck with you! Keep making the Emperor believe he has clothes on.
    And guess what! If we get rid of this sorry group next year, we will just be replacing them with another sorry group because that's how we like things in St. Lucia. The cycle will continue.

    In the meantime, learn to live on 50% less. Buy 50% less food, pay 50% of your mortgage or rent, use 50% less utilities, don't shop for clothes until this is over, cut back or even better, don't entertain, take care of your health by exercising, use 50% less gas in your vehicle if you own one. Let's make the sacrifices that our leaders won't make but only talk about.

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  2. What are we to tell our children landords busdrivers massy the fuel stations.government bonds.smh.we will not work on credit sir.

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  3. Pappyshow.. not fair to our frontliners and first responders.I support the unions on that decision.

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  4. All in it...is a load of crap from these unions...they behave like JA...and they are the worst performers...and all other pricate sector employees have to work to pay them salaries thru our taxes....u'all full of sh....t...I do not sed an ounce of understanding from them.....tanto tanto....u all will get it ...sooner than later.....one week...n it is an issue.....n u all want clmputers too....SIGH...SMH

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  5. It's amazing that a week delay is unacceptable, however barbers, hairstylists, bar owners have been forced to live off their saving for this entire time, but a week delay is a problem. Then we should say we are in this together. Apparently not, Cyprian you should be ashamed to even post this. Being in this together means being selfless and aware of your neighbors plight, but all yall civil servants are concerned about is yourselves. It's about time civil servants are dismissed for poor performance, yall have been sitting pretty too long, and we the people are left to cope with employees that know nothing about customer service. We are treated like we are being done a favour. I had a friend who left the Civil service because he said he barely had work to do, it was not fulfilling, he said he felt like he was robbing the govt because he work liked an hour a day, he worked at union, but you on here saying yall can't wait a week. Smh yall are lame

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    • So the nurses and firemen and police that at the front line of all this pandemic have to get half pay and bonds. My landlord already say she not accepting bond because ahe sont know when gov going to honor them.

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    • I want to cut the $25 month ly subcription paid to the union. Monrose and Montroupe what are you all unions giving back to your members?
      How much money is in the emergency fund. Suggest to the government that you all will help some members from the union emergency fund. In this way you will show that we are all in this together

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    • No one takes a minute to look at the real picture. No one sees how demotivated civil servants have been. Some are still reporting to office daily despite whats going on. If you take care of your people they will take care of you. Governments of the day need to realize that time after time they continue fail to improve things and manage budgets properly. Too many questionable dealings, setting up friends and family and themselves. Too many St Lucians operate in an unconscionable manner, no empathy, no sympathy, no conscience. Too many digging up roads which are good to repave just to pay someone contract money ...again those contractors, no conscience. Too many consultants on too many projects, for exorbitant pay, while the real talent within the ministries suffers and gets used and banged around yet expected to comply and turn over information, Why do some people feel its ok to retire from the public service after holding high positions, and receiving a pension to still come back on government contracts for the same high salaries? There are too many of them around …Have you people no shame? Ungrateful and selfish. Have you no conscience? What about the younger people in the service, don’t they need a chance to develop and promote too, don’t they need to be able to have a decent salary to get a mortgage? Open y’all eyes and see the situation in the country as it truly is. Look at how covid has forced meetings to be held online, the same meetings which usually ends with thousands of dollars in venue and catering fees to “friends and family” is now being held online, isnt that savings which could have been practiced ? The entertainment allowance, so yes its being paid twice too. The unnecessary driving up and down of certain people to high jack of government vehicles to luxuriously transport people's children to and from school ... when the parents have a vehicle plus receive a travel allowance , come on! The exorbitant mobile phone bills, yet those same people get additional telephone allowances ... so no one is seeing the same phone bill being paid twice …for real? Honestly, maybe covid should pass through the service and a few other places so we can cleanse ourselves, take some people, give people a chance to have something too, too much injustice in this country. In one year the government could have saved so much money by just doing right by the citizens of this country. But some of us too busy playing soucere for politicians and fighting eachother, that we do not realize we contribute to our demise in the long run, let me see y’all go to their homes now for meals. So when some people say civil servants feel they entitled the ones who are benefiting the most are the ones who getting the perks. Not the average civil who wants to send their children to school and have a home to call theirs and just live decently.

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      • Some public servants LAZY as hell anyway...no customer service...they cant get fired...so they do no work...They must realise after they dont work efficiently they government brings in no REVENUE...JUST SUCK THE COUNTRY DRY....

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