Firefighters disappointed with Senate president’s statement

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Firefighters disappointed with Senate president’s statement


Members of the St. Lucia Fire Service who recently returned to work after an almost two-week-long industrial action against government, have expressed disappointment with the statement made by President of the St. Lucia Senate Claudius Francis, which seeks to suggest that they should not be paid.

A member of the Fire Service, who requested anonymity, told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) today that all firefighters who took strike action are surprised by the statement made by Francis, even though this matter was already discussed with Deputy Prime Minister Phillip J. Pierre and a team of government ministers, and a decision was made in that regard.

The fireman told SNO that executive members from the St. Lucia Fire Service Association (SLFSA) who attended that meeting told its membership that government officials assured the association that was not a matter of contention and brushed aside any thoughts of a reduction in salaries.

“The association said they have never talked along the line of deducting anybody’s pay,” the fireman added.

However, Francis said in a recent television programme that his statement was not specific to the Fire Service, even though the topic of discussion was specifically related to the strike action taken by the firefighters. Francis had said that in his opinion, persons taking strike action should not be compensated for time spent away from work.

The senate president had also said: “You are now telling the 290 that remain… God bless their hearts…that not only are they being rewarded, but that for those of whom they worked are going to get the same remuneration as they did? I think that is a slap in the face to those who stayed on.”

The fireman told SNO that the fact that government allowed the issues to fester for years, they should accept responsibility for it too.

“If they consider cutting firefighters pay then they would be doing it on the basis that they were responsible for us getting to industrial action and making us suffer from the action,” the fireman asserted.

Industrial action is usually the last resort, he reminded.

Members of the public have voiced their opinions on the issue. Some say they believe that a cut in the firefighter’s salary is necessary because they did not provide service during the time spent away from work.

Others believe that once industrial action is taken by any union or association, they should prepare themselves not to receive any pay. A few persons also supported Francis’ statement.

On the other hand, persons argued that in a democratic society people are allowed to take industrial action and this should in no way affect workers’ salaries. Some said that deducting firefighters’ salary is sending a message that people don’t have the right to protest and have their grievances addressed.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe we need to deduct Government Ministers wages when they don't act in the interest of the country. Do we pay a Minister for spending time in his constituency instead of spending time doing what the taxpayers payers pay him for, which is attending to the business of the people? If you tell me that doing work in the constituency is part of their job, i would say no. Because people are appointed as senators to do Ministerial work and they recive a salary just like all other Ministers. They are also given allowances for the constituencies. What about deducting wages when officials or employees are studying?

    What exactly is Claudius saying? Even where Claudius is concerned, should he be recieving a salary when the house is not in session? What work exactly is Claudius doing when the Senate is not meeting? What is he saying? What?

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  2. To me that same guy was supporting strike when his party was in opposition so I take it he never thought of that idea then. They need to arrest people for their tongue to. My opinion

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  3. Please ask Claudius since when St.Lucia has 390 firemen or any number close to that. Is he deliberately misleading the public or are his "credible sources" not so "credible" after all. One would think that a man in such a position would get his facts right before he speaks,but then again we all know what "position" does to some of us.

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  4. Actually, Saint Lucia's Labour Laws make no provision for striking workers to receive compensation.

    The mere fact that workers get paid subsequent to carrying out industrial action is a concession in itself. The government acts in good faith.

    The firemen need to act with the law and be fully aware of their rights under the law. Right now the public opinion is not in their favor so I humbly suggests that wise counsel is sought before any further moves are made.

    Think in the interest of the country my brothers.

    If not, in the long run you will get the very short end of the proverbial stick.

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  5. As a St.lucian, Claudius Francis has a right to his opinion. In which society will you ever get every one supporting an issue and non against !!
    We should read carefully and analyze what the gentleman said before we cast derogatory statements that are fueled by political biases. ....

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  6. Kenny put the Kennynomics on the firemen to shut up the public so things can get back to normal but they should not be fooled he has no solutions

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  7. Claudius need to take a hike because his government promise the fire officers empty promise just to get them off his back

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  8. He should have learned how to keep his large trap shot. The fire people have surprised me with their tame reaction and anonymity. They have suddenly become a bunch of pussycats on that man's stupidity. Meow! They passed the opportunity to make some noise and get some public support.

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  9. You dont pay the people for the damage appliances and now dont pay the firemen are you crazy, you keep feeding the public bullshit and run round stories just to not pay them their monies to which their appliances got damage by the power company and now not pay the firemen... have you gone for a psychological evaluation lately.

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  10. no work no pay? what is this m hearing? dont these people know the strugles of slavery and how we reach where we are now? cladius francis u are such a fool.i lost all faith i had in you, the guys want betterment and they are fighting for it and u are making such statements? wat if it were your son in that situation huh? remember grantl adams, bustemante,george charles etc remember the coal strike we had in st lucia? wasnt it for betterment? you fool. yall politicians want to threaten people to keep us afraid well yall go c in yall ass. yall want to cut boundaries and hire more parliamentarians and ministers and this and that and next ting yall sayin yall ehh have no money? yall not payin public servants acting salary and yall creating all kind of post.get ready for the mother riot in st lucia yall go see.

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  11. the sad part of is not what he said , he is a jackass , we all know that. But you mean to tell me to secure 160 to 170 thousand people in the country we only have 390 fire officers. what bs is this and any given moment we can have an additional thousands due to our tourism product..... LUCIANS wake up our politicians have been asleep at the wheel since the 90's, probably before that as well

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    • The truth is there are only 259 active fire officers. 278 in total but 19 are either on pre retirement leave or suspension or study leave. He is deliberately miss leading

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  12. hate mongers. Anything that seems to disrupt the follow of SLP government is a no no. They don't care about the country or the sufferings of anyone. As long as their party remain sound and safe in power is all that matters.
    What hypocrites-

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  13. claudias dont come and try and hide what you said no matter how you try to rearrange your words, that is exactly what you meant to say if your comment was not specific to the firemen then why are you mentioning them . they are the last set of people who initiated a strike so even if you directed it to someone else it still ends up on their back cause they are the ones who went on strike

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  14. so if represented by a union...and it is agreed that the members go on strike...it would be unfair to deduct from salaries. this is a democratic country. and the ability to peacefully protest against injustice is our right.

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  15. No work, no pay. If you feel the need to take a stand then be prepared to make some sacrifices.

    STOP TRYING TO HAVE IT ALL.

    Maybe the Yutes should be employed instead.

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