Fire officers look set to reject wage-cut proposal as SLFSA meets to discuss “burning issues”

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Fire officers look set to reject wage-cut proposal as SLFSA meets to discuss “burning issues”
Fire Service members. * File photo
The general feeling is that members will reject the wage-cut proposal, says SLFSA president.

The executive of the Saint Lucia Fire Service Association (SLFSA) will meet with its members on Thursday (June 26) to discuss a number of “burning issues” it hopes to iron out soon.

Topping the list of issues to be discussed is the five per cent wage cut proposal by government, SLFSA President Shane Felix told St Lucia News Online (SNO) today (June 25).

He said based on personal discussions, the general feeling is that members will not accept the proposal. However,  Felix said he will follow protocol and present the proposal to members so that it could be properly discussed and a formal decision made.

Felix said Thursday’s meeting will be the first to discuss the wage-cut proposal.

The SLFSA had proposed to meet with its members earlier this month based on a recommendation from government, but was barred from doing so by the top management of the Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS). The SLFS officials had said that the association cannot hold an emergency meeting with its members unless the SLFS receives seven days notice prior to the date of the meeting.

Meanwhile, another “burning issue” to be discussed is the government’s lack of response to the recommendations coming out of the Commission of Inquiry (COI).

“Most importantly the lack of respect and recognition from the authorities … despite confirmation in a Commission of Inquiry report submitted to the governor general one year and two months ago. So the association will decide on the next step based on the lack of response from the authorities,” Felix told SNO.

Asked about his thoughts on the move made by the SLFS to have a back-up team of fire officers from St Vincent and the Grenadines in the event of a strike action, Felix said this is a worrying trend and shows the disinterest in solving the issues.

“Basically what is happening, rather than the authority dealing with the issues, which are very serious in the fire service, they are finding ways to put the association and its members down,” he argued.

The SLFSA president said during the meeting, he will also put his members on high alert that senior fire officials have already started to monitor the fire stations to ensure that there is enough fire officers on duty. Felix said he’s concerned about the way these issues are being handled by senior officials, who were placed there to serve.

Apart from these issues, the SLFSA will also discuss with its members, plans for a new brokerage company to take over the association’s medical and life insurance policy.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Kenny knew the economy was so bad why did he employ all these cont sul tants and other jobs for the boys and now he want to take 5 per cent off people's salary if he wants 5 per cent h e should take 15 from himself and his ministers

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  2. What is the reason for taking a percentage from Public Servants that they told u the didn't want in the first place

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  3. There has been massive rejection of pay cuts across the board but can they force the government to keep their pay as is, without layoffs, even if it doesn't have the money to pay. The rejecters should keep in mind that the government has choices such as retrenchment, which can adversely affect their best interest.

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  4. Once the 5% wage cut is enacted, what happens next. Aren't the persons being ask to make that sacrifice entitled to an explanation as to what will happen next, and for how long we are expected to make the sacrifice.

    Is that too much to ask. God, Please Put a Hand. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, I meg of you. Hard working St Lucians need you now more than ever. The youth of this country is being strangled

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  5. "A FACT" I think you should be ashamed of yourself...as the saying goes..."SAY POU OU DORMI EN POULA YAY POULE, POU OU SAV SI EE KA WONLFAY".

    Why should we accept 5%? What benefits do we stand to gain? When will KENNY stop taking the 5%? And will the cover the 76 million he has to pay back?

    From the time Kenny came in POWER is pure stress all over so shut your TRAP! People are no longer illiterate! His CONSULTANTS and his cohorts have to go first and then you will see the benefits....All the NICE and SMILE people are being over paid...Check that!

    He was quick to say Civilian servants are efficient and Hard working in 2012... now the shoe is on the other foot. Let it SQUEEZE him.

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    • The benefi you receive is keeping your job as well as reducing your burden on st lucia as a whole. You should try working elsewhere in the world and you'll really start to see how hard your working day is.

      I agree on the consultants and they should take it first. As for Kenny, his opinions change with the wind.

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  6. So as it stands, not one organisation is willing to accept any pay cut. All of them are just saying no. If I were a public servant I would start thinking about accepting it.

    Make no mistake, as all of you are paid on borrowed money the axe WILL fall, so you can accept it and keep your jobs or there will be worse. Everyone knows that civil servants are largely unproductive and 20% personnel reduction would not harm front line services (because they are crap).

    The PM could also just make everyone apply for their job again and then lock them out. A wise politician might give the youths a chance to get in at the lower level, they would be grateful for the job.

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    • Its people like you that fuel Kenny's barbaric dictatorship hold on this country.
      "Everyone knows that civil servants are largely unproductive and 20% personnel reduction would not harm front line services (because they are crap)."
      And who made you an authority on productivity? How dare you say something like that? The civil servants did not single handedly put this country in the mess it's in today , so they should not be singled out to clean the mess.

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      • My experience of dealing with them. Also compared to other countries I work in.

        You need to do some reading my dear. IMF says st lucia's problem is based around recurring expenditure, which is wages. There have been inflation busting rises in the last few years, which is a significant problem. The taxes have to rise to pay for them.

        I take it you are a civil servant which is why you are being defensive.

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