CSA President criticises government’s timeline for completing salary negotiations

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CSA President criticises government’s timeline for completing salary negotiations
Mary Isaac.

Civil Service Association (CSA) President Mary Isaac has said that a two-week time frame for which government wants to conclude salary-cut negotiations with unions and associations representing public sector workers may not be enough.

Speaking to media, Isaac said there are many issues that could arise within that period which may cause the negotiation process to drag on and extend way over two weeks.

The government, through a letter dated June 19, 2014 from Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony, agreed to a request from the unions to initiate a Government Negotiating Team (GNT) to negotiate its proposed five percent wage cut.

Dr. Anthony’s letter stated that negotiations would include talks on “salaries and conditions of work” and “expenditure reduction and wage adjustment.”

The letter had stated, “…in an effort to compromise to find a solution to the issues at hand, the government reiterates that it is prepared to activate the GNT, appoint a chairman, commence negotiations immediately, provided that we agree to the agenda indicated above and as suggested by the unions and associations, agree to complete negotiations within two weeks after the commencement of negotiations.”

But the CSA president said while the matter is an urgent one, it needs to be done right.

“How come all of a sudden somebody is asking for the negotiations to take a two-week period? Suppose there are issues that need to be discussed past the two weeks? Right now I cannot say it is going to take two weeks, or a month or a year. Usually, government negotiations drag and drag and drag. The prime minister may be saying that now. In one week time something happens, he takes off on a flight somewhere… Suppose it’s like last year, where the lawyer has to go here and there? You never know,” she stated.

“…It is urgent that we do the right thing. Not just something but we do the right thing. We look at this from a holistic standpoint and we do what needs to be done and I do not know that it is the trade unions that have to take care of the country’s deficit. It is not.”

Isaac also addressed rumors that government may be planning to institute the five percent wage cut as soon as July month-end.

“We have also been hearing that instructions have been given to take the five percent in July’s salary. So when that is done, then the members I am sure, we will come back and we will decide what needs to be done because as far as I know, the members will not allow anyone to interfere with their salary without consultation [and ] without them agreeing to it [and] without them having been given sufficient time to reorganise their finances. So the members will get back together and decide what happens from there,” Isaac said.

The CSA held a prayer service with its membership and a general meeting to discuss the proposed wage cut at its office in Sans Souci on Monday June 23, 2014.

The association has rejected the government’s five percent salary cut.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Only this lady can bring back some semblance of good governance in Saint Lucia. May the Lord be with you miss Isaac and keep it up. Please run for office

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  2. The CSA might as well work on an "I OWE YOU" since there is not enough money to pay and none can be borrowed. Let's see who holds the cards.

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  3. Govt got no right to touch anyone salaries without consent. INCREASESTO ORDINARY PEOPLE DO NOT CAUSE RETRACTION IN ECONOMIES ITS CORRUPTION BY POLTICIANS PEOPLE OPEN UR EYES AND SEE THAT.

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  4. F...ers you all taste power, got corrupted and now still want to fool us? No more...17 0 flabeau. And all the noise makers for their massa Kenny need to run run and hide. All those who sc...Their way to where they are, will have to hide - pieces of sh..i have never seen so much waste and arrogance. Kenny and co GET THE F.. OUT - GIVE US A BREAK

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  5. The 14% increase was championed by the then opposition Kenny and Tony. WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT. KING is way more honest than Kenny and anyone in labor. THEY ALL ARE CROOKED AND CORRUPT. WE NEED THEM OUT - OUT.

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  6. MARY ISSAC YOU ROCK LADY. YOU ARE THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON IN SL RIGHT NOW. GO SUCK ON THAT KENNY AND CROOKS

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  7. A prayer service smh batiz! Everyone has an agenda and so does that Mary . I fear what the IMF will do . Kenny maybe arrogant but he is a leader , that 14% INCREASE GIVEN BY THE UWP WHILE THEY WERE IN POWER STARTED OUR TROUBLES .

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    • Well God have placed Kenny back in power to solve the problem he created when he and the unions forced King to give a 14% increase. We call it KARMA. TAke this in your Rass.

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  8. Stand your ground CSA. They campaign to get reed of you to bullshit the workers of this country with montroupe and monrose. God saw it differently, Just put god first in everything, and see what will come out of it. No witches or warlords has any authority on our country in the name of JESUS. KENNY HAS TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. The idiots on slap talk about the IMF but didnt the IMF meet with the CSA and the Opposition as well? Would they be well aware of the IMF recommendations? #educatedjackasses

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  10. At best, Kenny is a buffoon or at worst a dishonest meddler. But cuts to salaries are coming whether Isaac, unions etc like it or not. So don't pretend that the civil service have no part to play in the debt situation because even the IMF have now come and said this is the case. Mary, do not drop yourself to Kenny's level - tell the people the truth.

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  11. You hold the cards CSA. Use every negotiating tactic in the book to get what you want. There is not even a law to force you to negotiate. Let him call a state of emergency. It is government theft to unilaterally cut your salaries. There is a fundamental constitutional provision against theft of property and property rights. Use it.

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