CSA President’s Message to Members
Written by Radio Caribbean International on April 17, 2020
Members I pray for God’s blessings on you and your family as we continue to face this global pandemic Covid-19. I am optimistic that people everywhere will see the light at some point and that we adhere to all the required safety protocols now and even better than before.
I encourage everyone to play their part in the fight against Covid-19 and once again thank all workers who are facing the challenge of being on the front line.
Members, I now turn my attention to ongoing dialogue with the Government of Saint Lucia regarding salaries and wages.
The St. Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) has been in attendance at four virtual meetings with Government Officials during the period April 2 –15, 2020, to discuss government’s fiscal position and, in particular, the impending impact of Covid-19 on our economy. From the inception, the CSA recognized that this matter required the involvement of all unions and therefore began the dialogue at the level of the TUF and agreed with our sister unions that we should all engage in this matter as a unified group.
We have been fed with information from the government in the form of presentations but no formal proposals have been made to either our union or other members of the TUF. The presentations have primarily been about pay cuts. The TUF has given government a lifeline by proposing that the one percent (1%) salary increase due for April 2020 be deferred for six months, to be reviewed subsequently if necessary. Importantly, we have not taken any positions collectively on any pay cut either in salary or allowances.
While we continue to dialogue with the government, I urge all of you to await official information from your union. Please note that your union at this point does not have any proposals from government and at the appropriate time we will meet to discuss and take the necessary position for our betterment and that of our country.
This matter is very sensitive and every effort is being made to ensure that members’ best interest remains at the forefront during the deliberations.
I urge all members to be aware of persons who may attempt to deceive you, mislead you, and instill fear in you. As your President and leader of the CSA, I am being extra cautious during this challenging period, since I am unable to address you in the normal way.
Members I urge you exercise patience and restraint and await the official information and instructions from our union as we continue to engage government on your behalf. I want to reiterate and to state categorically that I have not yet engaged government in any negotiations on your behalf as regards a reduction in salary or allowances.
Once again as soon as our union receives the appropriate information you will be informed and advised appropriately. Given the challenges of meeting you in the normal way, I am asking for your cooperation as we consider all the options of engagement that will place us in a position to decide collectively and ultimately determine our future.
Please remain safe and may God bless you and your families.