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“UNJUSTIFIED MOVE” – CSA head speaks on possible salary cut

Samuel Sukhnandan, SNO Reporter

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Mary Isaac.

The Civil Service Association (CSA) was the only trade union movement on the island that was not present for a recent meeting with government officials, called to discuss the fiscal situation on the island, but CSA President Mary Isaac said the move to boycott that meeting was made based on a fact that government has already decided on a five percent cut in public servants salaries.

Isaac told Saint Lucia News Online (SNO) during an interview today, Wednesday, May, 7 that figures in this year’s estimates and expenditure shows that a cut in public servants salaries will take effect soon. She argued that the CSA was never informed about that decision or consulted on the matter.

Isaac further added that the passing of the Appropriation Bill coincided with the CSA elections and the opening of the Jazz Festival.

“Was this all meant to confuse us?” she questioned.

The CSA president said she finds this to be a strange situation, especially since it would have required proper consultation with trade unions on a way forward. She believes that government should have taken time to include trade unions in the discussions first, before any decision was made. She cautioned that same decision could have far-reaching effects.

Isaac explained that this unjustified move comes at a time when citizens are still trying to cope with the introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT). The CSA leader believes that the salary cut, will only add greater pressure to the working class and the many persons who are unemployed.

“It will cause more shrinkage … everybody will have less purchasing power… it will cause high inflation and greater unemployment.”

She is advising government to look at other alternatives.

However, the CSA remains adamant that a wage cut will not be forced upon its members. And, while the government has not come out to say that they have included the cuts in this year’s budget or will make such a move, Isaac said that public servants could possibly see a reduction on their salaries. She said once this takes effect, she will make arrangements to meet with the CSA executive and members, to discuss a way forward. This could even lead the union to take strike action.

Meanwhile, Castries South East Member of Parliament Guy Joseph has also accused government of including a five percent wage cut in the budget estimates. He said that this was made evident during that final day of the budget debates and was not originally placed in estimates and expenditure that was presented to members in the House of Assembly.

The MP is calling on government to be more open and tell the working population the truth, as it relates to cuts to their salaries.

The former government minister added that this move could be detrimental to the country and significantly hurt the island’s economy. However, government has stated that because of the economic situation, they must look at options to reduce spending. But, trade unions on the other hand have advised government to look at other alternatives, rather than cutting public servants salaries or a possible retrenchment.

While government has not come out to say whether they have indeed included the cuts in this year’s budget they have proposed this plan to trade unionists at a recent meeting. More than 9000 public servants across the board could be affected by this move, once it takes effect.

The tables below shows a comparison of budget estimates of annual and monthly pay range, over three years.

Budget Estimates-Annual Salaries Pay Range
2011-2012    2013-2014    2014-2015
$11,361.34 to $153,972.00    $11,815.80 to $153,972.00    $11,253.14 to $146,640.00

Budget Estimates –Monthly Salaries Pay Range
2011-2012    2013-2014    2014-2015
$946.78 to $12,831.00    $984.65 to $12,831.00    $937.76 to $12,220.00

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  1. I agree with John 3:16. I am a very ethical worker in the Ministry (will not say which one) and i see them behaving exactly as he/she described. The only thing though is how is the govt going to decide who to send home. They will send all the UWP supporters because that's how the SLP operates. Sad state of affairs!!

  2. Are you serious??

    Here is a proposal- why don't the 5% pay cut go to the people who are making $2600 and above per month? A pay cut for everyone will affect the poor working class, the one's who are already BARELY making it. But from $2600 and above, these people won't be affected as much. A friend of mine makes $2000 and I can see their struggle.

  3. John 3:16 what about the Permanent Secretaries? The Ministers La Corbs, Dalsan, Alvina, Black Sikatoka, STEP workers don't they fall into that same category? What about Vaughn Lewis, Christopher Hunte, Silas Wilson etc? What about Leo Clarke's wife, Menissa Rambally, Ernest Hilaire etc? What about Estephane, Behemoth & Co. If you want to retrench as a result of ineffectiveness and laziness where do you start with so many of those individuals in high places. START THERE.

  4. John 3:16 is not worth being answered that's why no one took him on. He is probably one of those who is getting big hand outs.

  5. One day, perhaps when it's too late, we will suddenly realize that this woman was actually fighting for our rights and fundamental freedom against Kenny's style of totalitarianism! Let us not fight against her. Let us encourage her and see what she is fighting for.

  6. Are the Ministers, Embassy workers, Distrcit Reps, Ambassadors, Senators, etc included in the 5%?

  7. Funny nobody commented on John 3:16 comments .Is that the reality of civil servants?lol

  8. justice delayed is justice denied

    Why don't you'll start dropping all those useless consultants both here and abroad, stod doing work that doesn't need to be done just to give jobs for the boys(fixing roads that are perfectly fine). Then u will have enough to pay public servants. Take a paycut and how do u expect them to survive in the economy that you'll made harder. Choops papyshow

  9. Go Mary Go,we need to stand up to these jokers in government, if this happens the people need to demonstrate and demand the better days they promised, you these retards knew full well that there would not be any better days ahead but fooled the poor and their hacks into believing that garbage, now we all are paying for it. poor lucia, when we will we say it's about country and not party?

  10. Is Bambi the SLP mouth piece. Does Bambi even understand economics. From my observation, the estimates of any budget should be made public knowledge, why is Kenny hiding that document and why they waited until the final day before the passing of the budget to include that piece in the estimates. I am convinced that (bambi)is from the animated picture and you are lost, because of your loss.

  11. Salaries are negotiated and cannot be arbitrarily interfered with like that by government or employer,hence i dont believe the govt.have done that.It may be a proposal but it cannot be activated without the unions approval.Do you all think that the government ministers are fools???

    • Yes. We do. They can fire though. Either way shit hitting the fan for public servants.

    • THERE'S NO MONEY IN THE POT BAMBI. These wages are causing you hardship because its borrowed money.

      Kenny is an idiot for telling you all for years that you can have 11% pay rises etc. Better late than never.

  12. the bastards in government have those consultants, UWP wasnt any better and SLP there who were fully aware come and do worse. smfh...... look like i will have to start selling drugs........

  13. Ms Isaac, Keep up your good work. These guys have not even said they are taking a pay cut. Tell these guys reduce the VAT to 8% then they can reduce salaries by 3%. Get reed of the likes of Sylas, Vaughn, Leo Clarks wife, and others, Stop STEP and NICE invest in agro processing plants for making Juice, give a portion of agriculture land to the step people so they can make their monies year round.etc

  14. Our governments fail to realize that we are not in the age where people are uneducated and are afraid to ask questions. We are a different generation who have degrees and are highly educated (with or without degrees). We need to know how much those in the foreign missions are making and how much is being spent on these missions and what steps are being taken to reduce debt there than to CUT MY SALARY by 5%. Let me put it in laymans terms. For instance if i were making $100 and i got the four percent increase i would get 104. Now take 5% of 104. It is $5.20. So if the government takes the 5% I will now get $98.80 which is less than what i was making before the increase. KENNY OU FOU!!! We will not stand for this. We will FIGHT and I guarantee it will not be good for the country

    • Fight my ass. Most of you'll civil servants are lazy and unproductive and you'll know it. I prefer firings as opposed to pay cuts because those same lazy unproductive people will continue doing what they do best. Get rid of the dead weight and let the hard workers keep their jobs. And we starting at the top.

      Here is the typical civil servant day.
      Get to work at 8:30 - 9:00 knowing full well that work starts at 8. On phone and chat with friends and engage in other office gossip for most of the morning. At 11:30 they go to lunch knowing full well that it should be at 12. They come back at 1:30-2 knowing full well lunch ends at 1. Then at 2:30 they go pick up their kid. Come back at 3. Sit around do nothing and wait for 4:30 to go home. Reasons for taking a sick day: Their ass scratching them, the take a sick day. Their child cough twice in the morning, they take a sick. If 2mm of rain fall before work, they decide to stay home.

      I get to work by 8 every bloody day. Taken 1 sick day in my entire life. And I supposed to work hard to pay taxes to pay those lazy people salaries.

      Customs is a perfect example. Air Cargo shed. Go there any time during the work day and see how productive they are playing dominoes. Pure BS. FIRE THEIR ASSES!!

      • I must say that's the truth.

      • that must be you doing those things,labar boy

      • That's Me Alright

        @John 3:16.....Thanks for a good evening laugh to be honest you speak the truth the whole truth nothing but the truth so help you. Again thanks, you are hilarious.

      • you've only taken one sick day in your life? Must suck to be you

      • Call The POlice

        i couldn't agree with you more than that John 3;16. i work with the police service and its sad to see the amount of lazy persons sitting around.
        *they do absolutely nothing but get a salary at the end of the month.
        *they always have a problem with their duties.
        *they never want to go out on reports
        they only sit in the office enjoying the a/c and watching SOPS. even when our own co-workers {police officers} call for assistance they don't want to go and assist. and to make it worse there are some supervisors that support these slackness and continue to give the slack police officers outstanding appraisals. Especially the female officers. when they get on the job they always have their period/bellyache etc. smfh. so how can we as a country go forward with such slack lazy public servants? where as i don't support a pay cut nor retrenchment, but something has to be done. its high time some public servants pull up their socks and get more serious about their jobs. but lets start from the supervisors because its their fault we have such slack persons around. supervisor now a days are more concerned about how many woman they could sleep with for the month. when i see lazy police women get outstanding appraisals i have to ask myself: outstanding for what? is it outstanding in bed or the back of the car? smh just as i strongly believe that the ministers are partially to be blamed for what is happening now i also believe that some civil servants are to be blamed even more because they are very unsatisfactory when it comes to productivity.
        i know every one needs their job but if a pay cut or retrenchment is what its takes for the betterment of this country then so be it. maybe then and only then them public servants will start working for their salary. out of about 10,000 public servants if you get 4,000 serious and hard working ones then you found a lot. but good luck at that too. ITS SAD HOW THE LAZIEST AND SLACKEST ONES ARE THE FIRST TO CRY FOR MONEY. SMFH

      • John you'll get an award for being sick once in your life ok and you can share your secret with me. I agree there are some civil servants that do exactly what you are saying ok. But what you are saying about the cargo shed and the customs officers at the shed is wrong and there for you are either misguided or being malicious about it. The guys play dominoes during the day yes but they do it when there is totally no life at the Cargo Shed. The shed can be slow especially in the times that we are living in now whereby people don't do much transactions meaning many items don't come through the shed. What would you want the officers to do sit at their desk and fall asleep because of their boredom, go home and wait for a call or better yet go and check your woman while you are at work. Since I know I rather they play dominoes with the other staff employed there and stop everytime there's a customer and work to do. Trust me when the shed is slow the only traffic you have there is the courier doing examinations which takes one officer and one or two people coming to clear their stuff for the day. Most of the traffic comes from fedex after the customs have examined there and they come up to the shed to pay. I'm not trying to justify what all officers do just what happens in the shed because with comments like that you find someone with a high position reading this and banning the dominoes without asking questions and then you have a ripple effect that makes no sense which usually happens in St. Lucia and trust me the actions they take usually end up lessening the productivity of the worker instead of increasing it and making it better. I rather have a lively and focused work force any day than to have a bored, tired and unproductive one. If Government and some businesses here took a page out of Google's office strategy you would see how productive the country would be with proper paid, active thinking, motivated and an energetic work force.

  15. its ally gonna be hard to take a 5% salary cut . things are really bad for us working class folks.and to cut our salaries is not gonna make it any easier on us. you the government officials makin the how much thousands of dollars each month; are you guys taking a pay cut as well??? I think other options should be explored.

    I am a civil servant I really hope this pay cut does not happen.

  16. I am happy at the position taken by CSA. For too long governments have lied to the people, misled the people into believing one thing when decisions have already been taken. Sorry excuse by the government thinking they can legitimize their decision by having a meeting after the fact. SHAME


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