Kingsley St Hill, former Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) President, has spoken out against calls for the annual number of ‘uncertified’ sick leave days to which workers are entitled to be cut in half.
Under the labour code workers can report sick for up to two days at a time for an annual total of twelve days, without presenting a medical certificate.
But the Executive Director of the Saint Lucia Employers’ Federation, Joseph Alexander, recently expressed the view that ‘uncertified’ sick leave days should be reduced to six
Making it clear that he is supportive of productivity, Kingsley St Hill recalled that during his tenure as President of the CSA there was a white paper on public sector reform which spoke to productivity.
“It does not surprise me that today the sons of former slaves would be doing a better job than the French Mulattoes in trying to keep back workers,” St Hill told the Times.
He declared that most of the ‘nouveau riche’ in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean who went to school and have university degrees now, have a remit to keep workers in check.
The former CSA President said those persons have to protect their money and their high standard of living.
“They don’t mind if the poor person continues getting cents – they never talk about people at the hotels getting two something per hour; three something per hour – they will not talk about that,” St Hill told the Times.
He said he was amazed that someone would suggest that ‘uncertified’ sick leave be reduced.
“Do you know that in places like Canada people actually carry forward their uncertified leave?” St Hill said.
He asserted that it was almost like a “right” now in Canada and the modern world.
“When people are motivated, some persons they arrive half an hour before work and leave late but when they do not want to go to work there is a reason and that is the duty of management – to find out why people are staying away,” the former CSA President stated.
“Why is it they do not want to emulate those of us who work every day – morning, noon and night; those of us who are never sick, never take sick leave; why is it some workers stay away?”
St Hill expressed the view that employers should be addressing that issue.