Firefighters step up strike action; former SLFSA president issued letter from commission

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Firefighters step up strike action; former SLFSA president issued letter from commission
Several stations are being affected by the sick-out.
Several stations are being affected by the sick-out.

About 80 to 90 firefighters are continuing their strike action against government and the St. Lucia Fire Service today.

Spokesperson for the team, Damien Jn Baptiste, told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that the protest will continue today and beyond until some tangible decision is made on a way forward.

The firefighters are demanding a meeting with government. More firefighters have also pledged to join forces with their colleagues as they seek to have the authorities resolve their issues.

It was also confirmed that former President of the St. Lucia Fire Service Association (SLFSA) Shane Felix was issued a letter from the Public Service Commission yesterday, informing him that disciplinary action will be taken against him.

Felix… suspended

A source told SNO that Felix  has joined the protest action. It is unclear whether any sanctions will be taken against Felix and for how long he will be away from the fire service.

The source also revealed that the letter entail plans for disciplinary action to be taken against Felix and is based on accusations that he (Felix) being disrespectful to a senior fire officer.

The source added that Felix could also be disciplined for a recent disagreement between himself, the fire chief and deputy fire chief, over the relocation of the SLFSA office.

Felix had refused to have the SLFSA’s office relocated, but fire officials had subsequently changed the locks. Felix has been given until September 25 to respond to the commission.

The group of firefighters met at the Mon Repos Multi-purpose Centre on Monday to deliberate on the issues affecting membership of the Fire Service Association and the department.

In the end, members agreed that the issues have been allowed to fester for too long by the authorities and has been on strike since Monday. The Dennery and Vieux Fort Fire Stations have seen most of its members joining in the protest action. A temporary team is in place.

The firefighters have said they are fed up with the management of the Fire Department and are concerned that the recommendations of the COI into the fire service have not been implemented.

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53 COMMENTS

  1. The ministry wrote to all doctors informing them that they are NOT to give any fireman sick leave unless its ABSOLUTELY necessary

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  2. The Commission of enquiry has only made recommendations. But there is substantial evidence to support the issues that they are facing which is documented and we only focusing on the recommendations. Let us know some of the contents and particulars.....The kinda tings I hearing some of those fellas should be in jail already. A rude awakening for the St Lucian public who are now be shown that our civil right can be trampled upon at will. Lucians unite

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  3. I agree with the firemen/women if they're fighting for something. But to strike just bcuz COI recommendations are/were not implemented is wrong. After all, it's a RECOMMENDATION, not gospel.

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  4. Southern Bolom supports the Firemen 100%. Management and government forming the ass and treating the slaves, sorry workers like dirt.

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  5. The general public should stand with firefighters. These are the people who cut accident victims out of vehicles, extinguish fires, respond to shootings and stabbings. THEY SAVE LIVES.How can they do their work effectively if they are miserable and unhappy? This is in no way an attack on the senior fire officers however, being a good person doesn't equate to being a good leader. #IstandWithShaneFelix

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    • there was no attack on any senior officer, this is an allegation. right now they will clutch any straw they can, smoke screen. Lets get down to some real issues,who committed fraud,sexual harassment and abuse of authority.

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  6. Welcome to the Land of Absurdity. After months of asking for some sought of intervention from the public service commission as per the findings of the comission of inquiry, when they finally act its towards the complainants. My goodness this place never ceases to amaze me. Talk about the tail wagging the dog.

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  7. bullies..change the locks on the door.locked out the fsa.
    Then said "we will move them"..the voice aug 28 2014. Well burd there is so much bullying a man can take until he revolts..enough is enough let the fire burn!!"!

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  8. So much of the history of the struggle between good and evil. can be explained by, Time and again those who profess to be good seem to clearly outnumber those who are evil, yet those who are evil seem to prevail far too often. Seldom is it the numbers that determine the outcome, but whether those who claim to be good men are willing to stand up and fight for what they know to be right. There are numerous examples of this sad and awful scenario being played out over and over again in the scriptures.

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  9. based on what I saw on TV, I saw a deputy fire chief as a real Bully. Almost as if I am the boss so what.....In this modern day, that is a management style!!! He definitely needs training. Go fire men!!!

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  10. The Minister for National Security must act now!! Taxpayers monies was spent on the COI the work was completed and recommendations were made. What is taking the Minister so long to act on the recommendations.

    I support the action by the firemen and women they must be couragous in the fight for justice.

    United we stand, divided we fall.

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      • Its people like you that pave the way for others to walk all over them. Time and time again Mr Felix informed the public about the ills of the Fire service as far as management is concerned. Tax payers paid for an inquest on matters affecting the firemen. Recommendations were made which were completely ignored. Now action is now being taken against Shane. SHAME! Shame on the government , shame on the management and shame on you!!

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  11. i think its in St.Lucians nature to be critical in a negative way. you stand up for what you believe whilst they sit their behinds and bicker they have a problem. when you don't say anything they still bicker.... *man and the donkey theory*

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  12. well, well, well no matches will be lighted at my house for cooking until they solve the problem. lucians be careful!! if your house catches a fire whether it is electrical or not, chances are you will not hear the siren.
    the firemen have firegunya and as a result is on sick leave.

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  13. I believe that the association has a right to stand up against injustice, however I alos have a problem with the lack of discipline displayed by Mr. Felix over the past months. His organization is a discipline one and his conduct should reflect such.
    If Mr. Felix and the association have issues with the management and Government, then it is for them to approach these issues in a way that is respectful. One way is through the courts. The association should and could have filed an injunction against the Government and the Fire Service Administration to have their issues address. From all I can see it would appear that is some personal issues between Feilx and the authorities.

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    • It is people like you when injustice is taking place that keep silent to give reasons for bad administration. Next time you vote ask you rep will they build a new court house. The present one has a pit toilet but it doesn't bother you or me. Association give the view of it member so if he reflected their position of indiscipline.

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    • 80 to 90 firemen on sickout and you are still blaming Mr. Felix. Are you saying that they are robots following an ill-discipline head? I think you are totally wrong.