Radio Saint Lucia (RSL) staff are concerned about the non-payment so far of salaries for the month of June, the Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) has said.
CSA representatives including General Secretary, Claude Paul, met with some fifteen RSL staff members Thursday to discuss their concerns.
He disclosed that at a recent meeting with Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Dominic Fedee, the minister suggested that the state-owned radio station would continue to survive for the next four to five months.
However the CSA official told the Times that Fedee gave no specifics in regard to what is going to happen to the station.
Paul disclosed that members of the RSL staff are very concerned about the uncertainty over their future.
He explained that there was no telephone service at the station and advertising revenues have been dwindling.
“This could be linked to the fact that the government made an announcement to the nation through the budgetary process that the Radio Saint Lucia would be closed,” Paul stated,while acknowledging that the station has been experiencing difficulty for some time.
But he expressed the view that the announcement of the planned closure had made matters worse.
He asserted that clients of the station have lost confidence in RSL.
“You have a station with dwindling revenue, no salaries and no visible support from government and the staff are in a state of great doubt and uncertainty,” Paul told the Times.
“Imagine persons with their commitments to meet – not even sure when they will be able to pay their bank loans, their insurance and things of that nature,” the CSA General Secretary explained.
He said the government needs to become more ‘assertive’ in its decision making and present a position which ensures that staff are properly cared for, either by being relocated somewhere else where their skills can be used, or being paid their terminal benefits in full.
“If the government feels it cannot continue to run the station that is the government’s decision, but there are workers to be considered and people are concerned about their future,” Paul noted.
He recalled that after the announcement of the planned closure of RSL, the CSA had written to the Minister with responsibility for Information and Broadcasting in late May regarding the future of the station.
Paul said there was was no reply.
He said instead a public statement was made indicating that the minister would meet with the CSA.
“We have not had the benefit of that meeting to date,”Paul said.