A planned protest march over wage negotiations by the Civil Service Association (CSA) today, Thursday, April 4, 2013 has been postponed after the police’s disapproval of what it describes as the union’s incomplete application.
However, our news team understands that the CSA has already resubmitted an application, addressing the omissions with Monday, April 8, 2013 set aside as the new date for the march, pending police approval.
Acting Police Commissioner Errol Alexander has written to the CSA informing the union that it did not meet certain requirements based on section 10 of the Public Order Act, which addresses the time-frame for applications, the route of the march, identification of the marching group and the number of people participating in the march.
According to reports, an application must be submitted to the police three days before the march with the police commissioner having 36 hours to respond, but the union’s application was submitted on Tuesday afternoon. Other conditions were not met.
Alexander said the CSA was invited to resubmit the application and once the conditions are met then the green light will be issued to stage the march.
The CSA is currently the only union under the Trade Union Federation, the umbrella organisation for government unions, that has not agreed to government’s wage increase offer of a four-percent increase with benefits.
The Nurses Association signed onto the government’s offer on Wednesday, April 3.
The Medical and Dental Association, the Saint Lucia Teachers Union, the Saint Lucia Fire Service Welfare Association, and the Saint Lucia Correctional Service Welfare Association all affixed their signatures to the collective agreement with government on Saturday, March 30, 2013, .
The Police Welfare Association was the first to sign on Friday, March 22, 2013.
The National Workers Union and the Vieux Fort General and Dock Workers is expected follow suit shortly, according to government officials.
The CSA is pushing for at least a 4.5 percent increase with benefits or 9.5 percent increase without benefits.
The Government Negotiating Team has however refused to budge on its offer citing the harsh economic conditions facing the country.