Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) employees who have been terminated are ‘happy’ with the benefits they will receive, the Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) has said.
Some 28 of the SLTB workers represented by the CSA have been sent home to pave the way for the creation of a Tourism Authority.
The General Secretary of the union, Wilfred Pierre, told the Times that a ‘very cordial’ meeting involving CSA and SLTB representatives was held with Labour Commissioner, Ray Narcisse, on Wednesday.
Pierre said at the meeting, the CSA raised questions about the proposed new Tourism Authority and why the SLTB workers were being sent home.
He stated that there was an indication that there were serious financial constraints facing the SLTB.
Pierre told the Times the meeting was informed that the SLTB had started calculating the termination benefits and had shared some of the figures with staff.
He disclosed that the collective agreement had indicated that gratuity would be paid upon completion of ten years of service.
However the CSA official explained that a suggestion was made that the tourist board make allowance for persons who had served eight years to get some form of compensation.
Pierre said the SLTB responded well to the suggestion.
“I think it is going to happen,” he declared.
The CSA General Secretary disclosed that the issue of re-engagement of the SLTB workers who have been terminated was also discussed.
“We indicated that these are some of the persons who have skills in the industry and we would like for these persons to be re-engaged when the new entity comes into operation so that they get some level of priority because of their skills and long service,” Pierre told the Times.
He stated that the SLTB has indicated that there was a willingness to consider those individuals who had the requisite skills and competence, with a view to possibly hiring them in the proposed new Tourism Authority.
“I think it was overall, a very good meeting,” Pierre noted.
He said every indication was given that the tourist board would do everything to make the process as smooth as possible.
Pierre said the union representatives were happy about the calculation of termination benefits.
He explained that the stage has been set for the benefits to now be paid.
“The workers really, they are happy about it,”the CSA General Secretary disclosed.