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Mary Isaac’s remarks are “regrettable and unjustified” – government

Press Secretary, OPM

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Civil Service Association (CSA) Mary Isaac

The government has responded to comments made by recently re-elected President of the Civil Service Association (CSA) Mary Isaac who has criticised the government’s handling of the planned salary cuts  and reduction in the budget expenditure ahead of today’s meeting with government and public sector unions. Below is the entire statement: 

The Government of Saint Lucia congratulates Ms. Mary Issac and her team for emerging winners in the recently held CSA Elections. By all accounts her margin of victory over her opponents was resounding.

Government wishes to assure public officers that it will continue to work closely with their duly elected representatives to resolve issues of concern to them and indeed the people of our country.

The government has taken note of recent comments by Ms. Mary Issac in an interview on HTS Television, particularly in respect of the planned meeting with public sector unions today.

Ms. Issac has variously described today’s meeting as a “farce”, “an insult”. She accuses the government of being “disrespectful”, allegedly because of publication of reductions of expenditure in the 2014/2015 Estimates of Expenditure. These remarks are regrettable and unjustified.

It would be unfortunate if Ms. Issac did not attend the planned meeting between the Cabinet of Ministers and the leadership of public sector unions and associations.

For some time now, the Government of Saint Lucia has embarked on consultations to sensitise its social partners to the challenges faced by the government. In February of this year, the government held a retreat with the private sector and trade unions to look at the economic prospects of the country. After that encounter, public sector unions were invited, on Saint Lucia’s initiative, to a meeting with the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in St Kitts to discuss the economic challenges facing the OECS States. Ms. Mary Issac was at that meeting. Indeed, she made a presentation to the meeting.

It would be wrong, legally and otherwise, to convey the impression that the laying of the Estimates of Expenditure in the House Assembly amounted to a legislating of the Estimates. That only occurs on the enactment of the Appropriation Bill which normally happens after the presentation of the Budget. Those who peddle that view seem to be unaware of the constitutional provisions governing the approval of the estimates of revenue and expenditure or conversely, are simply playing politics with our country’s future.

The Government of Saint Lucia reiterates its determination to work closely with public sector unions to find consensus and common ground in resolving the fiscal issues facing the country. What is clear is that the government cannot continue to borrow money to pay salaries and wages or introduce new taxes to meet the cost of the public service in these trying economic times.

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27 comments

  1. Incompetence governance leads to total economic collapse. The majority of politicians in St. Lucia are selfish and opportunistic. Any leader that can't sit and listen to the opinions of the people who elected them shouldn't be leading.

    The Kenny Anthony government uses the dirty tactic of disrupting, discrediting and destroying organizations, individuals and movements that demands equal opportunity and justice for all citizens. I want to commend Mary Isaac for living up to her ideals and principles. She must never allow herself to be bought or intimidated by any administration.

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  2. Has the government denied the proposed five per cent cut?
    I am not aware that kenny or any member of his press team did that.The press release did not address the issue although the proposed pay cut was a major part of Miss Isac's interview.
    This press release was in response to isac's interview and yet the main issue discussed in the interview was not addressed.
    SEEMS VERY STRANGE INDEED.
    According to the release,the government cannot continue to borrow money to pay civil servants.Which means this will stop.
    The release did not state what Kenny intends to do to solve this problem.
    Layoffs and five percent pay cut .Very possible.
    By the way,something seems very strange,even defies logic.Last year Kenny and his cabinet imposed a four percent pay increase on civil servants,(although the civil servants refused it)and this year there is talk of a five per cent pay cut.The government has not denied it.
    What a scenario.Last year,you increase salaries by four percent and this year you cut salaries by five per cent.
    KENNY ECONOMICS AT PLAY HERE.
    Remember the o,o,and o percent increase that was being floated around and denied by the government.food for thought.

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  3. If they think a cut in salaries will improve the economy, they are so wrong. It will only increase 'their spending money'. The middle class is the one running this country, paying ALL the taxes, the rich get all the duty free. People are already struggling to make ends meet, most times no savings at the end of the month and the gov't wants 5 percent! Some households will loose 10 percent of their income. My predictions- an increase in poverty, disappearance of the middle class and the rich get richer. This thing has serious repercussions for ALL public officers regardless of their grade! There are other ways that Gov't can cut on the money being spent instead of this 5 percent wage cut!

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  4. these are one-sided opinions smh.

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  5. i rather suspect anything thats is giving a balance view is not published.Why S.N.o.Over to you.What is your motive??

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  6. What an interesting conundrum. Kudos to the lady for speaking up agains the poor leadership from the government. Isn't she the same one who said yes to a 0% wage increase for CSA members a few years ago, only for those morons in SLP to grant it anyway.

    On the flip size, the majority of public sector workers are unproductive. I guarantee a workforce half the size will give the same output that jokers give. I definitely support cutting down the size of the workforce. Its either that or wage reduction.

    Still on another side we have Kenny increasing taxes, yet giving his friends and supporters jobs and asking others to sacrifice. This has all the ingredients for mass protests and a revolution if you ask me. If only St. Lucians had balls….and brains.

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  7. I hope for our sake what Ms.Issac is saying is not the truth.But i am waiting for the end of the budget presentation to make my conclusion.However i think she should have attended the meeting as a follw up to the one she attended in St.kitts recently.It would have been to have the consultation before any reduction draft in wages for public workers.I hope the the ministers ,permanent secretaries,and all consultants take a 10% cut 5% is not enough.Ms.Mary please publish your workable solutions i am burning to read them.By the way congrats,i see you as a strong leader but you must get the mandate from your membership for bread and butter issues.Good luck.

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  8. As the old saying goes " you get what you Vote for"...

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  9. The government can be taken to court and will most likely lose its case for arbitrarily confiscating the property of the workers. Do your homework.

    Wages and salaries once agreed upon by real or tacit agreement cannot be unilaterally be taken away by one party. Saint Lucians grow a damn spine!

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    • The dictatorial attitude in Kenny makes him think differently. Don't forget he also thinks and acts as though he is the most intelligent person on this land. At this time he would probably think that payment for losing the court case will not come from his pocket. Government, not him, will have to pay out.

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  10. I admire this lady so much even though I was not in support of the pay increase of 4% recently. But this is a different issue altogether. 5% wage cut? And having the audacity to put it in the Estimates of Expenditure before any sort of conversation with the unions? I want to know if the Prime Minister really think we're fools and who in heaven's name is advising him? My goodness - all those top level people in government getting more than enough to survive on; all our economists, accountants, all the crunchers of figures - where the hell are you all!!! Is it that our PM is so stubborn? Who is really pushing the buttons here? I refuse to believe that people like me who work like locomotives from before 8 am until after hours (because there really are some of us who do that!) have to fight just to keep our salaries at the bare level. And for the Grades 1 -5 officers who are barely making it - come on! I think the time for feeling intimidated is over. We cannot continue like this. And you private sector businesses continuing to play observer role on the sidelines, you all better do some lobbying of your own... because you may not have a business tomorrow.

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  11. Am so disappointed with Kenny and Tony. He said better days and St Lucia is at it worse,everyday people are loseing jobs .Shame on Kenny

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  12. If these idiots (Kenny & Tony) think Civil Servants will sit idly by and tolerate his utter disrespect he has another thing coming. He needs to first lead by example and get rid of all the additional permanent secretaries he has hired and all the party hacks who are getting the better days that he promised we the people. Things are hard in the country yet he can find money to pay Jadia's medical bills whilst most St. Lucians can't even afford to pay the $20 fee at VH. He, along with his hacks, their wives and mistresses are thriving at the expense of taxpayers, yet we are the first he wants to target. What about all these worthless embassies that bring in no investments into the country... a bunch of idiots just sucking the blood out of the treasury. People on retirement too brought back on contract and being paid huge gratuities, etc, etc. I am ready to strike as soon as Mary can mobilize our members. Dam u KENNY! U R such a disappointment!

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  13. See Jadia's spin in paragraph 4. Deceiving. I have often wondered if she knows what she writes or does she always fully aware or understand what is given her to read on air or what is published under her name?

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  14. lol. Jadia's only concern is her Job

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  15. The government must lead by example. If things are indeed rough, they too must take a salary cut and also reduce on all their consultants and permannent secretaries. They will always be mad at Mary for standing up and speaking out against them because they expect everyone to be bought and follow them blindly without question. Kenny Anthony and the majority of that Labour party team is no good for Saint Lucia. Its getting worse. Cause if they think a salary reduction and a lay off in governemnt workers will help reduce the country's deficit, they are more stupid. This will automatically lead to less people having money and less people spending as the government employs the majority of middle class Saint Lucian citizens. Once your middle class not spending then the lower class will fade away..small business will close down etc. Already we have seen so many businesses closed down over a span of 3 years. So if VAT didnt help them this wont either. So Mary Issac bravo speak up to them, bravery when it counts " BALLS "

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  16. We may as well face the fact that yes indeed, our salaries will be 5% less come the end of May. It is already in the works. This is the respect that this government has for its workers. Implementing vat at 15%, giving a salary 'increase' of 4% and then cutting back this same salary at 5%.

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  17. Kenny refuses to take a pay cut himself but he expects the civil service to be the ones to make the sacrifices? How can this man be so bold face while him and his buddies live large? Awah Kenny! sort la!

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    • Because St. Lucians are idiots who can't stand for their rights and care only about red or yellow. The idiots lack the capacity to see the bigger picture. 1984 people. War of the haves and the have nots. 99% are the have nots. Deal with it.

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  18. Mary Issac for Prime Minister. I'd support that move. KDA, Ti-Chas, neither is worthy neither cares, neither is genuine. This woman has proven repeatedly that she is about the workers' business, which is what we expect of leaders - which is why she won her post again convincingly inspite of the political attempts to influence the CSA elections. Don't pretend like a political party was not trying very hard to influence those Union elections. I found it interesting that the GOSL response mentions that "By all accounts her margin of victory over her opponents was resounding." What does that have to do with anything? If she had squeaked by would they not work with her? And are they really working with her now or just tolerating her because they realized that they don't have her in their pockets as they too most if not ALL the other unions? We keep praying for you Mary. Be blessed as you continue to strive.

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  19. Jadia understand when someone is expressing their opinion or making a statement. Apparently your government wants to hold people into account for their opinions.

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  20. Blah blah blahhhh

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  21. tired of the politic

    this f**king government have no respect for people intelligence which bill apporpriations have not been appproves by any parliament of and elected government bull shit ofcoutse url gonna cut the samn wages just flipping say that dammn sick and tired of tricks and games. all about image damage control bunch of liars. ofcourse we know the econony bad but you nwed to lead by example all these consultants additonal permanent secretaries increase in travle expense the new vehciles cut from the damn top bunch of greedy ass vinsictive idiots

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  22. Concerned citizen

    We need more Marys in this country. It's not a matter of stirring up trouble, but allowing we the people to identify the ever RISING gap between the haves and the have nots. In so doing, this is how we can only discover that they (government) are PISSING in our EYES and calling it RAIN.. With that, if we rally around her we can eventually force the hand of the government and put an end to oppression in sweet HELEN. I am a MARY!!

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  23. MS ISSAC HAVE NOT LIED,EVERYTHING SHE SAID IN THE STATEMENT IS CORRECT.GOVERNMENT HAVE NO RESPECT AND REGARD FOR PUBLIC SERVANTS.THIS MEETING IS INDEED A "FARCE",“AND "INSULT". THAT IS NOT THE BETTER DAYS WE THOUGHT WE WERE GETTING.WHAT YOU AND YOU COLLEAGUES GETTING IS WHAT WE WANT TO ENJOY TOO.

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    • She should go to the farce of a meeting with a secret recorder and then give the public the real scoop.

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