After almost one week of protest by a group of firemen, National Security Minister Victor Lacorbiniere is now seeking to have a meeting with members of the St. Lucia Fire Service Association (SLFSA), a source said.
The source told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that the minister made contact with the association and had set a meeting for this morning.
A team of executive members of the SLFSA have agreed to the meeting to discuss their issues. Based on the outcome of that meeting, the association will decide whether it would continue the protest. However, the firefighters are very passionate about the issues facing them and plan to make them known, the source said.
Several firefighters met yesterday with the executive of the Civil Service Association (CSA) to seek solidarity and its advice. During that meeting, they discussed at lengths the issues that they want addressed and how they hope to get them addressed. The firefighters remain firm that something must be done this time around to address the situation.
Former SLFSA President Marcus Paul said yesterday that the issues facing firefighters are “on the wall and clear for everyone to see”. He said the SLFSA demands that the issues be addressed in a country that preaches democracy.
“We are not going to disregard the law,” he noted.
Paul alleged that the entire senior management of the Fire Service is paying a blind eye to the SLFSA and continues to display inappropriate and unlawful behaviour towards members.
The Public Service Commission have been heavily criticised for its move to sanction the former President of the SLFSA Shane Felix over his alleged disrespectful behaviour towards a senior fire official, instead of acting on the recommendations made in the Commission of Inquiry (COI) which found that a few senior fire officials were involved in unlawful behaviour.
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. The association has complained about this issue frequently, without any answers.
The SLFSA claims that because of the failure to act on the recommendations, the senior management of the fire service continues to take advantage of firefighters in many ways.