Firefighters remain on strike; association seeks dialogue with PM Anthony

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Firefighters remain on strike; association seeks dialogue with PM Anthony


Despite the recent announcement made by Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony on the secondment of Chief Fire Officer Leslie Fontenelle to the St. Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA), the St. Lucia Fire Service Association (SLFSA) said a majority of its members have chosen to remain on strike, until certain details are clarified.

SLFSA President Shane Felix told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) today that a meeting was held yesterday with members to discuss the prime minister’s response to the issue, where a unanimous decision was made to continue the strike action.

Felix said the SLFSA is currently preparing a formal correspondence to be dispatched to the prime minister, which is basically requesting dialogue with him.

He said once this request is granted, the SLFSA executive will make representation on behalf of its members.

“We don’t know what the conditions are, so before members go back to work they want to know what conditions they are going to be working under,” he told this publication.

While he was reluctant to disclose some of the clarifications for which the SLFSA is seeking, Felix said it has to do mainly with having a clear understanding of Fontenelle’s secondment, among other serious issues.

The SLFSA met with Minister of National Security Victor La Corbiniere last Friday where La Corbiniere put forward proposals to settle the issue. One of those proposals was to have the ministry assist the SLFSA with electing a new executive.

The minister had recognised the association as a bona fide organisation that represents the rights of firefighters. Felix has lauded the minister and his ministry for seeking legal advise on the legality of the association and coming forward to assist.

Meanwhile, Felix had said members believe that the PSC has not dealt sufficiently with the matter and is awaiting their response on disciplinary action to be taken against senior fire officers.

“Whatever it is they have to do, members want to know, just as junior colleagues have been disciplined by the PSC, whether suspended or dismissed, we would like to see the PSC do the same with those senior officers who have been found wanting by the COI,” he stated.

Felix have stressed that in all the correspondence between the SLFSA and the PSC, it was noted that the association is seeking to have persons disciplined for the allegations confirmed about and not just merely have the recommendations from the COI implemented.

The SLFSA will meet again this afternoon with its members at the Civil Service Association (CSA) Centre in Sans Souci, Castries.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Really
    Please tell Lucians where in the Constitution of St.Lucia is the Fire Service mentioned. If u succeed then u have a point if not then u don't know what u are talking about

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  2. Another job 4 one of the boys:Can somebody please tell me where and when Mr.Fontinelle received specific training in Aerodrome Firefighting and Rescue to be considered a consultant? When ICAO will conduct a survey someone will get embarassed. And by the way based on the conditions set between SLASPA and the Government,the so called consultant of SLASPA has a degree of supervision over the assets and staff of the Airport. SLASPA is contributing 50% towards the purchase of equipment and staff salaries of the Airports.

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  3. Trade union and association leaders have suddenly decided to take on the role of opposition in this country. They have decided that they should determine what policies must be implemented, who should head departments and ministries. The SLFSA was elected to represent the interest of its members and has the right to take whatever action it deems necessary to meet that responsibility. The GOSL was elected by the general public and it to has the right to take whatever action it deems necessary to protect their interest.

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  4. I cannot agree with Fire Officers more than that. Their actions are not unjustified. Seconding the CFO to SLASPA does not make the situation better. Will he not be dealing directly with Fire Personnel? It is the same group of men who he used to discriminate against he will be given directives. So there will still be animosity. For those of you who disagree with the action that Fire Personnels have taken, let me say to you that no organization should have a leader who discriminates, forges profiles to get his friend promoted,has an unforgiving spirit and the list goes on running it. A leader must be firm, fair and friendly. I don't think he is neither fair nor friendly.

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  5. The fire service is an essential service, they are in Breech of the Constitution. When you are bargaining you do not put the lives of people you swore to protect in peril. Then to add insult to injury after the manner in which you are doing this is wrong, you want an explanation and you want to have a national address? Really? Well I see a white administration in the Fire Service future. You all look for it.

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  6. Y'all Lucians just don't get it when workers have their rights and are exercising them, that is until y'all rights are trampled on! Bravo, fire personnel!

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  7. At our meetings I always try to put some sense in these fellers head. But no, they eh listening to me. They want to run the department like is still the 70′s and 80′s, because when they joined the department that’s how the chiefs use to behave. They want to maintain the same foolish behavior. They fail to realize is human beings they are dealing with,big men and women, not school children. Gov’t sending them on human resource management courses and supervisory skills courses but they coming back more daff than ever. I knew this was coming cuz they fail to realize that the young people of today are not the people of yesterday and will not tolerate that nonsense. Management fail to realize that times have change and people minds are more open. We now live in an age where everyone knows their rights. I tried to convince them that what used to work yesterday cannot work today, but they want to fight fire with fire. They have their “click” whom they give all the acting appointments, overseas courses , etc, and in return the guys report to them everyday to let them know what is going on in the dapartment. They reporters usually go as far as making up stories on other personel to discredit them so as to not be regarded for acting appointments, ect. This kind of crap that is encourage by management in the department. I can go on and on and on but I will stop here for now. One think I can guarantee is that if there is not a drastic change of attitude by management in the Fire Service, the depart will be in for some more trouble down the road.

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  8. Fire their assets. Get new ppl to work. So many unemployed folks and u all forming the ass. You got what you wanted and you want to know the terms of Fontenelle new post? What does that have to do with you all? Fire their assets!

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  9. You all start to get on my nerves.What the hell you all want again? You all got a moral victory go back to work and continue to negotiate.So you all don't work ,putting people lives at stake and you all want pay.Come on now.I will never endorse that nonsense anymore.

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  10. Fire Felix and the rest. They need to work on contract, two years and apply again. They've removed Leslie, what more do you want? Chief fire officer?You Mr. Felix DREAM ON.

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  11. Well, well, well. Shane Felix and his boys appear to be trying their best to hold the country to ransom. They're going for the last drop of the country's blood even if they have little to offer in return. The government has played games with the Fire Officers' Association.

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    • thats why the country don't need any fire officer, your house can burn and you would not need a fire officer.. you can get a hart attack and would not need an officer... whats about the government his boys and his transfers

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  12. "until certain details are clarified?" What the HELL does this mean? Once again, the Mad Cow says . . . FIRE THE WHOLE LOT OF THEM! So, if they do not get all what they ask for then they hold the country ransom? Fire them!!!

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  13. They got what they wanted, but still holding out with new demands. These guys should be going back to work. If the demands which was agreed upon isn't followed, then strike again. But right now, they need to return to work.

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