Members of the Civil Service Association (CSA) have rejected the four-percent wage increase with conditions proposed by the Government Negotiating Team (GNT), saying they want 9.5 percent or they will strike and “shut down the country” if the results of their next meeting with government are not favourable.
The decision was made during the CSA’s meeting held today, Wednesday, March 13, 2013.
According to the minutes of the meeting obtained by St. Lucia News Online, the CSA rejected the officer because the “conditions highlighted by the GNT was more of a ‘smoke screen’”.
According to the minutes of the meeting: “There was nothing concrete in their proposal that satisfied the members. It was more like ’empty’ promises presented to civil servants. Also, the members noted that accepting the 4 percent increase will not be beneficial to officers in grades 1 to 5. Yes, the teachers and police may be willing to accept this offer but bear in mind that these officers’ salaries start at grade 7.”
It added: “Another point to note is that all members, which fall under the TUF (Trade Union Federation) umbrella must all agree to a common decision in order for negotiations to come to closure. The information provided by the media by certain individuals were used as scare tactics so that the other unions accept the 4 percent.
“Finally, we the members of CSA moved a motion that we are willing to settle for 9.5 percent increase without conditions this time around. The GNT and TUF are to meet some time tomorrow to consider our proposal. On Friday, CSA members plan to meet again to discuss the outcome of the said meeting (GNT/TUF) and if we are not satisfied with the result we strike (shut down the country).”
According to the minutes of the meeting, conditions which “we initially requested will be negotiated at the next round 2013/2016”.