Veteran trade unionist Mary Isaac has responded to criticisms made by Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony who has publicly criticized the leadership within the public service.
Isaac argues that unless politics is removed from the public service, only then will it become more efficient and productive, noting that this is widespread throughout the system.
The former President of the Civil Service Association (CSA) – one of the country’s largest trade union – told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) on Tuesday (Feb.16) that the government also needs to allow the Public Service Commission (PSC) to function without political interference.
“Stop taking away work from public servants, and giving it to consultants, family, and friends. These are just some of the things that will allow the public service to function properly,” Isaac asserted.
Asked whether she thinks there is a need for the public service to be restructured, the Opposition Senator said before this could happen, more effort should be placed on ensuring that the current system is functioning properly, and in the case where it is not, then calls could be made for its restructuring.
“But you cannot call for restructuring as a result of you not implementing what is already there. The necessary studies would have to be done. I believe some of them have been done. And if you are looking at restructuring too, the studies cannot be done by friends of the government, because people will not take the recommendations seriously,” she explained.
Former Public Service Minister Lenard Montoute had also argued that when Dr. Anthony took office, he took with him individuals from his political platform and operatives of his party and gave them high positions in the public service above other public servants. Montoute said this has since demoralized the public service.
Dr. Anthony had said that the leadership crisis in the public service exists despite its members are “decorated” with various university degrees.