The UWP has monitored the entire process and is mindful of the challenges faced by both parties at the negotiating table, with recognition of the need for each side to exhibit the key elements of sensitivity, flexibility and to be realistic in both their demands and expectations.
Having recently conducted negotiations during its last term in office, the UWP is fully aware of the rigors of salary negotiations as it too had to exercise balanced judgment by safeguarding the fiscal stability of Saint Lucia while at the same time granting a 14 percent salary increase to the hard-working public servants of the country, which helped offset increases in the cost of living.
It is clear that the likelihood for bringing resolution to the ongoing impasse involving the CSA and the government of Saint Lucia was to a large extent encumbered by the inflexible stance of the current prime minister, which left very little room for negotiations.
The CSA was therefore placed in the position of having to relate to the dictates of the prime minister and his government and the divisive tactics which were employed.
Notwithstanding the obvious negative impact of the strike and the prevailing harsh economic conditions, Saint Lucians have been anxious for overall resolution and a return to normalcy. The current stalemate therefore demanded sacrifices on the part both the CSA and government in the interest of stability and the national good.
With this in mind, the United Workers Party registers its commendation to the Civil Service Association for the decision taken during a general meeting of the organization held on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 to offer a wage freeze to the government for the 2010 to 2013 triennium. Through this decision the CSA has demonstrated leadership and commitment in putting country first.
The United Workers Party therefore calls on Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony, to follow the lead of the Civil Service Association by demonstrating its commitment to a number of sacrifices and cut-backs as they relate to the operations of government.
In this regard, the United Workers Party challenges the Kenny Anthony Administration to demonstrate some measure of leadership by outlining to St Lucians a number of “belt-tightening” measures which it is prepared to undergo during these difficult economic times.
Additionally and of significant note, is the need for the current SLP Administration to clearly articulate a plan for economic recovery, which of necessity, must include sacrifices and cut-backs led by the Government.
The upcoming 2013/2014 Budget presentation provides the appropriate forum and perfect opportunity for Prime Minister, Dr. Anthony to demonstrate to our nation that his administration is prepared to be a leader and active partner in this period of economic adjustment. The St Lucia Civil Service Association has already taken the lead in this regard. It is therefore now left to the prime minister and his cabinet of ministers to follow suit.