The Press Statement issued by the United Workers Party Last week under the caption: “Workers Need a Relief from Kenny’s Choke Hold” appears to have been the “fly in the ointment” for the SLP Government as relates to their plans to hoodwink public sector workers into accepting a negative salary package for the 2010 to 2013 triennium.
We note with amazement the attempt by Public Service Minister, Dr. Jimmy Fletcher to throw cold water on the claims made in the UWP Press Statement in question. The Minister in his reaction which was carried in sections of the local news media attempted to suggest that he had no knowledge of the Government’s intent alluded to in the August 2nd, Press Statement. He further stated that the Cabinet of Ministers had “not issued any negotiating position to the Government negotiating team”.
The simple response to Dr. Fletcher is that official documents don’t lie. We put it to the Minister of the Public Service that the document entitled: Update on Macro-economic Framework for Negotiations with Unions is an official Government document which was authored by the Ministry of Finance. That Ministry is an integral entity in the Government of Saint Lucia on matters of Finance which would include public sector wage negotiations.
The Ministry of Finance falls under the direction of the Minister of Finance and Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D Anthony. The document referred to earlier would therefore have been instructed and influenced by the Government of Saint Lucia and certainly the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. It is logical and a matter of fact to conclude therefore that the document reflects the outlook and sentiments of the Government of Saint Lucia.
We understand that Dr. Fletcher and the Government may have been embarrassed by the fact that this grand conspiracy against civil servants has been exposed before it came to fruition. Evidence of such a conspiracy is borne out by the fact that the leader of one of the public service unions was reined in by Prime Minister Anthony recently after making public statements suggesting that increases in public servants salaries was imperative bearing in mind the imposition of VAT and the rising cost of living.
That same leader (at least on the evidence of more recent public pronouncements) appears to have retreated on the earlier statements made and is seemingly towing the line and acting in concert with Government. We once again call on all public sector workers to be vigilant and exercise their rights as union members to demand full disclosure and accountability from both Government and the leadership of their unions regarding the status of salary negotiations for the 2010/2011 to 2012/2013 triennium.
Finally. The UWP has taken the decision to circulate the document under the caption: “Update on Macro-economic Framework for Negotiations with Unions” as an attachment to this Press Statement in order to corroborate the observations and claims made in our August 2nd Press Statement. Official documents don’t lie.