The Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) says it is in discussion with its sister National Workers Union, on joint action to end what was described as ‘ this highhanded, autocratic and narcissistic behavior of senior officials of the CCC.’
The disclosure came in a letter from CSA General Secretary, Claude Paul.
The September 17, 2020 letter was written to the Chief Executive Officer of the Castries Constituency Council (CCC), Wilfred Pierre.
It took issue with what it said were remarks by Castries Mayor Peterson Francis, which clearly sought to disparage CSA member, Mrs. Keisha Jna Pierre, in her professional capacity as the Financial Controller of the CCC.
The CSA letter is reproduced below:
17 th September, 2020
Mr. Wilfred Pierre
Chief Executive Officer
Castries Constituency Council
Peynier Street Castries
Dear Mr. Pierre,
The St. Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) is very disturbed about remarks made by His Worship the Mayor Peterson Francis which clearly sought to disparage our member, Mrs. Keisha Jna Pierre, in her professional capacity as the Financial Controller of the Castries Constituency Council (CCC).
It appears that Mrs. Jn. Pierre has been a target of your Management for some time now, for reasons best known to yourselves.
You took this persecution to a new level when you brought her before a disciplinary hearing on the frivolous and vexatious charge that she was not qualified for the position of Financial controller, a position which she had held for over two years; of course the adjudicator dismissed this ridiculous charge.
Now there are allegations regarding the release of the financial information of the CCC.
The facts of this matter are as follows:-
The CSA and the NWU requested a meeting with the Hon. Lenard Montoute to discuss the financial situation of the CCC because employees were being paid late on a regular basis and deductions being taken from salaries / wages in favor of creditors were not being paid as expected.
So naturally the Financial Controller, on the instruction of the CEO prepared and presented some figures of reduced budgeted expenditure vis-à-vis the estimates of expenditure based on actual expenditure for previous months. This gave us an indication of the dire financial situation of the CCC to the extent that the Unions, thought the Minister of Local Government, appealed to the central government to be more involved in the running of the CCC and to lend some more financial support to the struggling entity,
It is therefore perplexing that the Mayor should take to the media and make the following statement These (sic) information that we have there is very mischievous, mischievous in the sense that as Mayor plus as the CEO where our line Minister was there but do you know that at that meeting while the meeting was in progress that the information that was given at that meeting by our Financial Controller was being seen by me for the first time and that is malicious and politically done by our financial controller……”
As to whether Mrs. Jn. Pierre will seek redress through her attorneys for this obvious baseless and senseless attack on her character is a matter for her to decide but the CSA demands an apology from the Mayor for this blatant character assassination; Mrs. Jn- Pierre should not and cannot be made a scapegoat for the apparent financial mismanagement of the CCC.
We are in discussion with our sister Union, National Workers Union, as to what we can do, jointly, to put an end to this highhanded, autocratic and narcissistic behavior of senior officials of the CCC.
We will also ensure that this missive is circulated to ALL council members for their information and action if they find it necessary.
S . LUCIA CIVIL SERVICE ASSOCIATION
Cc: Hon. Lenard Montoute, Minister for Equity, Social Justice, Local Government and Empowerment Mayor Peterson D, Francis
Labour Commissioner – Labour Department
Councilors — Castries Constituency Council
President — National Workers Union
Mrs. Keisha Jn. Pierre