CSA suspends wage talks with GNT

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CSA suspends wage talks with GNT
Mary Isaac.


The Civil Service Association (CSA) has written the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) to suspend all discussions until the issues facing firefighters are properly addressed.

President of the CSA Mary Isaacs told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) today that the move is one of solidarity and discussions will only reconvene until these issues are resolved.

“We are still standing in solidarity with the fire officers. We don’t think it is right to continue our negotiations while our brother union is in so much distress,” she told SNO.

The CSA had written and faxed the GNT on Monday informing them of the decision. A meeting was scheduled between both parties yesterday, September 10, but did not pull through, based on the decision.

“We have put that on the back burner. I suppose they are going to wait to see when government is going to resolve the current impasse and when that is done, hopefully we can return talks,” Isaacs added.

Asked whether she is aware that the other trade unions may have taken the same approach, Isaacs said she is not sure what they are doing to show solidarity and is not interested in the usual lip service.

“What I am more interested in is the actions that have been taken and how this situation is going to resolve itself going forward.”

Isaacs said it is hoped that the St. Lucia Fire Service Association (SLFSA) will be able to make representation for its members and commence its own wage negotiations with the GNT, whenever the CSA recommences theirs.

Asked to comment on her meeting with the SLFSA, Isaacs said: “Some of the issues that stood out at the meeting are the abuse that has been going on for so long; the abuse of power particularly, the poor management, sexual harassment, and it is just not one person is the problem… Their concerns are very legitimate.”

Isaacs also stated her disappointment with the move taken by government on the issue so far, and also made reference to the announcement of Chief Fire Officer Leslie Fontenelle’s secondment.

“If your first act is to reward the person who has been inflicting so much damage on the workers of the fire service, I don’t know what message you are sending. I do not know how that is helping the situation?” she questioned.

The CSA was the first trade union body to publicly support the SLFSA since the commencement of its strike on September 1. The CSA has met with the SLFSA and offered its advice, as well as facilitated meetings being hosted by the SLFSA at its main conference centre located in Sans Souci, Castries.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. “One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing” -Socrates
    Problem
    All due respect to the CSA Members, however, with a 14.5% increase during an economic trough and the negative compounding effect of the inevitable introduction of a 15% VAT, you all should have known that the default rate on the increase would be above normal. This was a given when the Govt had to borrow money to pay for the increase. The increase sheltered you all from the 15% VAT but the new tax system did not meet or exceed expectations and therefore adjustments are unavoidable. The Real Increase should have been about 4-6% because of the financial crisis that was being experienced at the time. Thus, the extra/bonus 8.5 -10.5% needs to be adjusted based on reality. The Unions did a good job back then by cushioning the impact of VAT for its members in the form of a Tax Credit of up to 10.5%. Now the members must realize that the full tax credit is not sustainable and must be adjusted accordingly. A 10% VAT on Electricity cannot be absorbed by the private and hospitality sector and the poor people sector and is therefore not part of any solution.

    Solution
    1. 5-10% cut in payroll cost
    2. Cost saving measures introduced Govt-wide
    3. NPV of all project should be re-evaluated for positive financial and non-financial benefits
    4. Salary freeze for the next five years
    5. Govt sponsored Maths Lessons for the Youth both in and out of school
    6. Develop a system to rent private and crown lands for food and banana production – this will reduce the food import bill and generate foreign exchange – with incentives
    7. Govt to manage the above-mentioned food and banana industry in the same way SLBGA used to be, only in an updated manner
    8. Introduce a Business Levy on turn-over so that all companies can pay something into the consolidated fund whether they make a profit or not
    9. Expand the short-term employment and training programs- need more Nurses and Maths Teachers – some can go overseas and work for 5-10 years
    10. Re-finance the Govt Debt and introduce new pension payment rates – do not wait for bankruptcy to resolve these two areas
    11. Have a Deficit Mitigation and Management Plan going forward
    12. We need a bi-partisan, multi-term budget/governance plan for the country the same way we agreed to stay with Taiwan, so we can better manage our scarce resources
    13. We need to articulate our Foreign Policy – the world is changing fast and we need to know where we stand in a global setting

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  2. I've never seen a more incompetent bunch of politicians like we have in SLU, both gov't and opposition. Nothing is a problem until it reaches crisis proportions; for a long time I've read about the problems within the fire service but governments don't seem to care. I love my country and want the best for it, sadly the leaders don't share the same passion for it and treat it like a football. Keep doing your job Mary, as the Labour Party attack dogs hound you on face book.

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  3. I honestly don't get it, is mary francis representing herself, or was she elected to represent the best interest of the people who voted her in, I am a civil servant and I have thought long and hard about wht being a membe of the csa means and as far a im concerned I think il write a letter to stop them taking subs off my salary cuz is pure shate tht woman doing. choopss!

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  4. Some people just want to see Rome burn. This is the self same CSA which insisted on the activation of the GNT but is currently finding all reasons to forestall its progress. I remember that this negotiation was initiated by a 5% wage cut. The problem still looms ominously over our heads but we simply dodge our obligations. I guess if you pretend it isn't there, it will disappear. All of our current problems were sown 20 years ago and we are currently reaping the fruit. We continue to plant.

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  5. There a many ways to skin Kenny an Tony and hats of to you Mary doing just that whilst skinning him make sure that LaCobs is not to far away he needs to be skinned too and whilst doing that give the fire men the tools so that they can skin the fire chief in public and teach them to skin him slow and To you BOOGBEFF I will be skinning you after

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  6. LOL Mary is such a Fox what a wonderful strategic move whole them by their nuts Mary and dont let go untill the people get what rightfullly theirs

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  7. Is there one organization where there isn't complains of favoritism when it comes to promotions and training? Is there one person in a position of authority who at some point has not been accused of being arrogant? Aren't our union and association leaders displaying some level of arrogance? "We have a right to protest and we will do so even if you have taken some actions to address our concerns." "We not negotiating, you must give us all we want". Way to go!! Hooray!! Good time for everyone to make their demands. Come on private sector, demand that you get a fifty percent tax break.

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  8. No surprise Mary, if a terrorist group were to threaten the government of St Lucia you would stand in solidarity with the terrorists.

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  9. I like this its about time we put the government and those in authority in their place. Some times they fail to realize that we are the ones who put them their and can take them out if needs be. I love this Mary Lady such a strong character continue to do good its appreciated.

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  10. I think if we fire the old ones and bring in new ones then nothing gets resolved. Rather, in time the new ones will be the ones to cry fowl over this stench with the passage of time. If only the politicians care about the people of this country then they will act speedily to bring the country back to its normalcy. For once, do not try to cover the mouths of the already oppressed..

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  11. Kenny fiddling in England while St.Lucia burns... Mary your myopic mind just fails to see the bigger picture. The sheeple are listening and acting on everything you say,baah baah baah. keep pulling the wool over their eyes, it is clear you have a personal agenda. Carry on smartly.

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    • I supported this lady initially but she is over playign her hand. Wasn't it those same brother unions that turned on you only 2 years ago.

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  12. I think its time that the the leaders begin leading by example.Good leaders see themselves as equal with subordinates although they have the final say.Good leaders are willing to see their workers accomplish much and to give them what is eue to them.Most supervisors/leaders forget quickly that they once started at the buttom ladder and had to fight their way up.Thus, if your subordinate has burnt the midnight oil(study) to obtain knowledge in a field it will not be for himself but for the betterment of the organization and the society at large.So supervisors don't withold the promotion from them, if they have the potential, teach them, remember someone taught you first don't let the knowledge choke you.Also be reminded that what was learnt years ago has now been updated.Give them a chance, respect them let them know you are concerned about them and watch what will happen. I am of the opinion that things will change for the better.Lets pray and ask Godbto guidebour thoughts and to approach every situation with an open mind and a positive attitude.
    We can do it, yes we can.

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  13. are u serious if it was u being disrespected by ur boss over looking you for promtions and only giving promotion based on favoratism i want to know if u would stand for it. or if it was ur pregnant wife disrespect by ur boss would u just turn your head n say oh well. thats y goverment will never regard urll as anything or anybody but just c urll as votes for them to make it big time. wake up. it is for the next set of firefighters coming into the profession that these firefighters now are making thing right so these injustices dont continue. wake up!!!!!.

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  14. What I'm about to say might not be popular, but oh well. There are plenty people out of work. I say fire them all and hire those who are willing to work. I know you will have to train them, but hey, the ones on strike don't give a shit about the damage they're doing to the citizens of St. Lucia who need their help.

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    • Yes. Fire them and bring in more ambulances while making room in the hospitals for the injured and the near-bar-bar-q victims. Don't we have a country bookie government masquerading as if made up of intelligent movie super-heroes? Go ahead.