Fedee addresses issues surrounding closure of Radio Saint Lucia

By SNO Staff

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Fedee

The cash-strapped Radio Saint Lucia (RSL), which was shut down on July 31 amid government’s plan to reduce debt, will be merged with the Government Information Service (GIS) and some of its displaced staff will have “opportunities” to be employed at that new entity, according to Broadcast Minister Dominic Fedee.

The station was closed due to $3 million in losses and hundreds of thousands in unpaid taxes over the years.

Fedee told media ahead of the closure this week: “We’ve also indicated that we will do everything possible to also get the employees employed where needed in the civil service and also in various statutory bodies where there is a position.”

“I know for example, in one instance, I have personally called the Tourist Board to look at someone for marketing because I know that that individual is very good,” he added.

According to him, staff were to receive their letters at 2 p.m. on July 31, “indicating that the station will be folding up.”

The minister addressed several matters which have been circulating in the media concerning the closure, one of which was the issue of his failure to meet with the Civil Service Association(CSA) – bargaining agent for employees at RSL. Fedee said that he has never received a formal invitation for a meeting from the CSA, despite claims from the organisation that it had requested one.

In late July, President of the CSA Yvonne Edwin had said that the union has unsuccessfully pursued an audience with the minister, citing a May 17 correspondence addressed to Fedee, seeking an urgent meeting to discuss the ongoing RSL issue.

As to his involvement in the negotiations and other matters surrounding the closure, the minister said: “I think that ministers are to allow their boards to do their jobs and the board has been doing just that. And I have received my briefs from the board on the various matters and developments pertaining to this issue and that’s how I think it should go.”

He added: “If there is a stalemate or there is a contentious issue which they would like me to intervene I’m still waiting for official correspondence or a communique to indicate ‘well, we’ve reached a stalemate with the board, and therefore we would like a discussion.’”

The CSA earlier this week, had a ride around in the city on trolley trains bearing placards. The minister, in response to this, said: “So today’s protest raises more questions than answers and I certainly will not be deterred by it. But certainly I wanna let you know that we the government we’re doing everything possible to make sure that we satisfy the moral imperative.”

He questioned the CSA’s motives for its “protest” action earlier this week.

“The fact that the NIC contributions of the staff have not been paid for years, aren’t you concerned about that? You’re gonna do a protest while your members, their NIC contributions, have not been paid for many, many years? What have you been doing all along?” Fedee said.

“So this concerns me and I question the motive again and it is worrisome to see this kind of behaviour, and what I have indicated is that our government will do everything possible to bring those NIC contributions up to date, to make sure that we do right by the employees,” he said.

According to him, the RSL board has written to the CSA to detail what will transpire after the July 31 closure.

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12 comments

  1. Audi Driving Labour Supporter

    Leave it to St. Lucians to want to keep a radio station that no one listens to, and makes no money and employs hacks open. In four years, you can elect Jufali so he can reopen a useless radio station.

    (0)(2)
  2. Another part of Saint Lucian identity thrown to the dogs.

    (0)(1)
  3. That's not you'll time tonsteal guys line.
    NOT YOU'LL ROLE.

    (0)(0)
  4. The whole thing is a good way control what is released in the public domain. It is also a good way of controlling what aspects of our culture is celebrated and emphasized and what is not. I don't trust Fedee with such an important portfolio in his charge. He was the one who saw no place for kweole beyond our shores. I wonder what else St Lucian he has low regard for?

    (3)(1)
  5. Yeah recommend the biggest uwp hack to the tourist board. Dominic time will tell..

    (6)(2)
  6. The only thing Fedee said which I do not agree with is his recommending someone for a job at the Tourist Authority. I think that's not his role even though it appears on the face of it to be a very good gesture. We all know the nasty nature of politics and how good intention can always be interpreted otherwise by political pundits just for some mileage.

    (9)(1)
  7. Demonic Fadeaway...tanto tanto. You alone must eat? Don't worry, Karma is headed your way

    (9)(9)
  8. What is Fedee's qualifications for him to be able to manage and run a radio station.

    (5)(13)
  9. “Why try to beat a dead horse” I do agree of shutting down RSL, if the formula is not working anymore we need to CAN it, maybe it worked in the past but today it’s not. This is costing taxpayers too much money. Time to restructure and rebuild our system of doing business

    (18)(7)
    • The advertising dollars that were going to RSL will now go to private radio stations helping them to thrive. Government should not be in the business of competing with the private sector as this is grossly unfair. I hope that the private stations will now step up their respective games.

      (5)(1)

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