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(SNO) — The ruling United Workers Party (UWP) has accused the Civil Service Association (CSA) and the Saint Lucia Teachers Association (SLTU) of playing politics over the controversial matter of salary negotiations for the 2016-2019 triennium.
The party said that the action of these unions are designed to create upheaval and sabotage in Saint Lucia, and the government will resolve the issue which has led to several disruptions this week.
“The government of Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is determined to resolve the issues being discussed despite the politics being played by the CSA and SLTU,” the party said in a statement on Friday.
Unions on the island have been at loggerheads with the government over the negotiations, which they say have hit a stalemate. Earlier this week, teachers stayed away from work while a number of government offices were left vacant on Monday after the CSA called an emergency meeting to discuss the status of negotiations with the Government. They also stayed off the job for a second consecutive day on Tuesday.
But the UWP said negotiations between the parties have been progressing in “good faith”.
“It is clear that negotiations between these with these parties have progressed in a spirit of good faith in an effort to resolve the triennium term ending on March 31, 2019,” the party said in its statement. “There has been no breakdown in these negotiations and any statement to the contrary is totally unfounded and designed to create unnecessary upheaval and confusion in the rank and file of these unions.”
The party said that there is a concerted “effort by some to peddle untruths to union members since the elections of June 6, 2016 which is not productive in any manner”.
The party also accused CSA President Cyprian Montrope and the SLTU’s Julian Monrose of speaking “blatant untruths” in “an attempt to mislead and cause chaos in the country”.
“In the fragile state of our economy their actions can be seen as nothing other than sabotage,” the party stated.