The newly appointed General Secretary of the Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA), Claude Paul, has said that the post is a challenging one at a challenging time.
The former Comptroller of Customs told a news conference today that in consultation with all the relevant bodies of the CSA he intends to give of his best.
Paul served in the CSA as Vice President in the mid 1990’s.
He also served as Chairman of the trade union’s Education Committee.
Asked to assess change since he last served on the executive of the CSA, he asserted that the industrial relations climate is ‘dynamic.’
“The challenges today, I would say, are no different from in the past,” Paul told reporters.
He observed that at times the interests of workers are diametrically opposed to those of employers, with the union serving as bargaining agent to ensure that the interests of the workers are maintained.
“Confrontation is not necessarily the only solution to resolving conflict,” the new CSA General Secretary explained.
He expressed the view that confrontation should be a last resort since there are other means that can be exhausted, including dialogue and collaboration in looking for solutions.
“I think the CSA – those days of confrontation unionism is a thing of the past. We have to use whatever method that is appropriate given the challenges of the times,” Paul said.
He said the CSA cannot commit to one particular course of action.
Asked about plans to keep politics out of the the trade union, Paul said if there was focus on the job at hand of representing workers regardless of political affiliation everything else would fall into place.
The new General Secretary will officially take up his appointment on May 15, 2017.
The post was advertised from January this year, CSA President, Yvonne Edwin said, adding that a five-member panel was put in place to select the most suitable applicant.
Edwin disclosed that Claude Paul was among eleven persons who applied for the position.