It is very, very sad and unusual the manner in which the Labour Commissioner has acted in haste and contradicts himself when dealing with matters presented to him by a hand full of our members calling themselves “Save Our Union”.
These members’ efforts to remove our duly constitutionally elected National Executive Committee (NEC) from office; and their attempts to distract members in their quest to disrupt the tremendous and tangible benefits that the NEC has afforded all members. They have failed given the enormous support and participation of members in the health and education assistance initiatives.
The C.S.A has received an unprecedented and an unusual amount of decrees handed down by the Labour Commissioner, Mr. Ray Narcisse, laced with threat actions of charges if our Association failed to attend hearings called by him as Acting Labour Commissioner, Deputy Labour Commissioner and now in his latest capacity as Labour Commissioner.
Last year ear, a member of our Secretariat Staff who was directed to proceed on vacation after accumulating a number of days, as is the norm in the Government Service, returned to work without reporting to our General Secretary citing that the Labour Commissioned had ordered her to return to work
. Our Union was stunned by Mr. Narcisse’s instructions to this employee and view his directives as “wielding his big stick” on our Association for reasons best known to him.
A meeting was immediately convened with Mr. Narcisse at which our Union’s position was factually stated for directing this staff member to proceed on vacation. Having laid our facts and reasons on the table before the Labour Commissioner, he rescinded his order and ordered this staff member to re-proceed on her vacation.
In another matter, the Labour Commissioner directed the General Secretary of the St. Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) to convene an Extra Ordinary General Meeting of members.
His order which was received on 8th January 2016 sought to draw the attention of our Union to the provision in our Constitution which states: “notice for the Extra Ordinary General Meeting should be issued no later than 14 days after the receipt of the request and the meeting must be held within twenty one (21) days of the date of the notice.”
Apparently, the Labour Commissioner did not peruse, misinterpreted or tried to have the NEC to violate the very same Constitution which he directed the NEC to adhere to and convene an Extra Ordinary General Meeting.
Had the General Secretary complied with the directive of the Labour Commissioner and called such a meeting, this would have contravened of our Constitution, which clearly stipulates how Extra Ordinary General Meetings should be held.
The C.S.A’s Biennial Convention is constitutionally due on 27th April 2016 at which the NEC is elected. Our Constitution forbids the holding of Extra Ordinary General Meetings within four months prior to the holding of C.S.A’s Biennial Convention.
It must be pointed out that the Labour Commissioner should have been fully aware of the provisions of the Union’s Constitution, given the fact that he was the one, who in October of 2013 in his capacity as Registrar of Trade Unions approved our Constitution.