Saint Lucia firefighters who returned to work last week after staging strike action, have provided timelines for the government to address their concerns.
The head of the Saint Lucia Fire Service Association, Shane Felix, made the disclosure to reporters Monday.
He said the association had written to Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, on the matter.
The firefighters agreed on Friday to return to work after the government promised to scrap contracts for probationers.
Shane Felix explained that the letter that was dispatched to the Prime Minister, officially informing him of the resumption of work, also provided timelines for implementation of measures highlighted in an earlier letter from the PM to the association.
“The association would reassess its position pending the actual implementation of those things and determine what our next step would be,” Felix explained.
He said the reclassification issue is ‘paramount’.
“What we are saying in the latter is that the reclassification is not something that is new – it is not a reinvention of the wheel; it is existing in the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force,’ Felix stated.
He also mentioned, among other things, the need to implement promotions policy, and an absence of certain ranks which causes some firefighters to perform duties above their substantive rank.
“We are asking for honourariums to be paid to those ranks, but of more significance, is for those ranks to be included in the fire service establishment to remove the issue of having to pay honourariums every year,” the head of the Saint Lucia Fire Service Association told reporters.
He said the letter to the PM also raised the removal of the exemption provision in the relocation policy.
According to Felix, a public service relocation policy exists which states that firefighters and police officers have been exempted by virtue of the fact that there is the understanding that they are able to sleep and stay at stations to which they are transferred.
“For example, you transfer somebody from Castries to Soufriere. The employer has the perception that this officer can continue to live in Soufriere while on transfer there,” he explained.
But Felix said that is a ‘false impression.’
He said the relocation policy takes into account that a person who is transferred can move his family.
But Felix asserted that there is no way that a firefighter can move his family to live at a fire station.
“So we are asking for that exemption to be removed,” he stated.