The Saint Lucia Civil Service Association has expressed its dissatisfaction over the payment of August salaries to civil servants, following the conclusion of a collective agreement on Tuesday.
CSA President, Cyprian Montrope issued a statement on the matter Thursday.
The statement is reproduced below:
The St.Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) is very dissatisfied with the approach taken by Government with respect to the payment of salaries and corresponding increases for the Triennial 2016 -2019 and the period 2019 – 2020.
The negotiations regarding rate of increase and conditions of work, was agreed to more than one month ago. The Government found all types of delaying tactics to halt the paying of salaries. These included: –
- Providing one collective agreement for the period 2016-2022. Whereas it should have been for period 2016 -2019 and 2019 – 2022 separately.
- Failure to provide documents agreed to at the negotiation along with the collective agreement before the signing took place.
- Failure to provide MOU to other Unions along with the Collective Agreement.
The Trade Union Federation, to which is affiliated, mandated the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) to process salaries since the month of June, notwithstanding Government decision on providing the back pay tax-free, as we did not make it a condition for the payment of salaries.
This callous behavior is one that demonstrates that Government did not negotiate in good faith. This behavior has caused most of our public officers to be without their salaries as customary. Public officers have always received their salaries from as early as midnight before pay-day.
Government sent out a Press Release after the fact, when no public officer had received their pay to take of things like, breakfast and lunch, children expenses and so on.
The release seems to suggest that the signing of the collective agreement halted the processing of salaries. The CSA wishes to place on record that the Government was the party that created the instance for getting the collective agreements signed as late as August 20, 2019.
The CSA also wishes to indicate how disrespectful this is to public officers, to receive a notice of late payment of salaries on payday. The Government could have been more concerned and provide both the union and the workers with an indication of their inability to meet the payday deadline, rather than leave public officers irate over their salaries.