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(PRESS RELEASE) – My dear Members and staff of the St. Lucia Civil Service Association. I trust that all of you had a joyous season. I know that last year, we went through many battles but we remained strong.
May God bless all of you with good health, prosperity, wealth and the will to go on notwithstanding any obstacles that may come in your way.
2019, has come and gone. We were faced with many challenges including Health and Safety issues both in the public and private sectors, dismissal of employees due to purported restructuring, non-payment of negotiated benefits including lump sum payments and salary increases, battles in Court regarding pension age, Battles at the Tribunal regarding grade structure, non-responses from Prime Minister regarding Traveling and Duty free concessions for travelling officers employed with the Government of Saint Lucia to name a few.
2020 has begun and most of those issues still remain unresolved. I urge all members to rally with our union as we seek to better our lives. Our lives can be better when our employers begin to appreciate and adequately compensate us for the hard work that we perform. This year we expect the following:
• That employers will not arbitrarily dismiss workers thus making it difficult for them to feed their families;
• That the Government of Saint Lucia will accept recommendations from our Union to have travelling officers receive increases in traveling rates and duty free concessions to purchase vehicles to do the work of the state.
• That the employees of Victoria Hospital are not disadvantaged in any way as the new hospital OKEU is fully commissioned.
• That the Customs Department remains in the hands of the Central Government and not Statutorized given that a review is currently underway.
• That the Personal Income Tax proposed amendments do not adversely disadvantage the workers of the State.
• That the government takes seriously the concerns of Government Pensioners, as they have not received increases in pensions for years notwithstanding the provisions of the Pensions Increase Act.
• That all employees working in areas deemed unfit for work due to Health and Safety issues be taken seriously and steps taken with immediate effect to safeguard the lives of the workers and the public who have to access the services.
• That all employees be treated fairly and provided with opportunities for development
• That all employees be consulted meaningfully before changes are effected in their work environment, communities and the State.
This list of issues is not exhaustive and so we pledge to give attention to all other issues which negatively impact our members and staff of our secretariat. In light of that, I implore all members to equip themselves with knowledge, certification, worthy experience as you journey down the corridors of life. Life as we know it will never be easy and so we must make the best of it.
Make this year work for you and let your Union help you get there. Do not feel disheartened by slow progress but persevere and stand tall. Your union will make you see the light.
I now take this opportunity to wish the Executive, general members and staff of our beloved secretariat a happy new year. I pray that all of you receive success this year and the years to come.