Discussions between the Civil Service Association (CSA) and the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) could take longer than expected, CSA President Mary Isaac has said.
Isaac told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an interview today that talks could go on for a few more weeks or longer, especially since meetings between the two parties have been moving at a slow pace.
“I don’t think they are negotiating in good faith to begin with, so that might take longer than we anticipated,” Isaac told SNO.
Isaac said the reason for the delay is mainly because the CSA was told that anything with financial implications will not be considered.
“When you come to negotiate, you suppose to negotiate in good faith, but from the onset if you are saying that nothing with financial implications will not be considered then I don’t know where that is going,” she stated.
The CSA president said almost everything has financial implications.
“You want risk allowance, there is a financial implication,” she explained. “So people supposed to get certain allowances and they are not getting it. So how can you just say anything with a financial implication cannot be considered?” Isaac questioned.
The CSA head told SNO that despite the current circumstances, her team will continue to try and negotiate in the best interest of its members.
“We will see how we can come to some agreement at some point, where they will stop saying that…In my mind that doesn’t make any sense, that is not a mature negotiation, but I don’t see that as a negotiation.”
Isaac had told SNO in a previous interview that the CSA will not be rushing to finish talks, but is more focused on getting a good deal for public servants island wide.
Government have suggested that discussion between the GNT and all trade unions should not take longer than two weeks and that the entire discussion on better conditions should wrap up in two months time.
The first meeting between the CSA and the GNT started on August 26. Both parties will meet again tomorrow to continue discussions.