Saint Lucia’s largest trade union has accused the Allen Chastanet administration of disrespect over a situation in which its members went to the bank Thursday and did not receive their August salaries.
“As of this morning most of my members are calling to indicate that their salaries were not processed as yet. They had not received any monies at the bank and they are very disgruntled about that,” CSA President Cyprian Montrope told St Lucia Times.
“The CSA views that as being very disrespectful on the part of the employer,” Montrope stated.
He said he was disappointed that the government had not negotiated in good faith by giving late notice to the Treasury Department for the payment of salaries.
A government statement Thursday observed that collective agreements between the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) and the unions that make up the Trade Union Federation (TUF) were signed on Tuesday.
“Bearing in mind the commitment given by the GOSL to process the August salaries using the new pay rates and benefits; and the limited time for processing to meet the August 22nd pay date, the Accountant General’s Department (AGD) worked assiduously to ensure that the commitment was met,” the statement said.
It disclosed that to this end, the AGD has advised that processing of salaries for the month of August is complete.
However it was noted that the submissions to the various financial institutions have not met the established deadlines, resulting in delayed processing.
The statement said the Accountant General is in close contact with the financial institutions and expects that the posting of salaries will commence before the end of Thursday 22nd August, 2019.
The situation regarding the payment of August salaries prompted memes on social media.
Just Tuesday when the collective agreement with the government was signed, the umbrella Trade Union Federation (TUF) said it was unhappy that the government toed what it described as the hard line on the issue of tax free retroactive salaries for union members.
“It will be remiss of me if I did not indicate our displeasure with the hard line taken by the employer not to award us the retroactive pay tax free, in an environment where we know that big business get all sorts of tax breaks,” TUF President Julian Monrose declared.
He stated that it was sad that the collective tax on the retroactive pay amounted to less than 1 million dollars and the employer said no to that.