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PM Chastanet Writes Open Letter To TUF

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE TRADE UNION FEDERATION

22nd May, 2020
Mr. Julian Monrose
President
Trade Union Federation
P.O. Box 821
La Clery
CASTRIES

Dear Sir,

GOVERNMENT’S PROPOSAL RE: SHORT-TERM SALARY ADJUSTMENTS

As you know, the Government of Saint Lucia, through a Cabinet-appointed Ministerial SubCommittee (with support from the Department of Finance), has been engaged in numerous discussions with the Trade Unions since 2nd April, 2020. This was in an attempt to arrive at a consensus position on the issue of the proposed reduction in the monthly cash outlay by Government for salaries of civil servants in the face of reduced revenue collection and contraction in the economy, directly caused by COVID-19.

Prior to those discussions, the Government had taken steps to meet with all key stakeholders in the Private Sector to prepare for the anticipated unprecedented realities of dealing with the economic fallout from this global pandemic. As you would no doubt have seen or read from international news reports, the COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on all economies, whether small or large, and the economic outlook worldwide is bleak.

Although we have had consistent growth over the last four years in our economy and a substantial reduction in debt (which has no doubt accounted for our ability to respond as well as we have to this crisis), our initial projection of a contraction in our GDP for the fiscal year 2020/2021 was 10%. This estimate has now been revised downward by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) to be 20%. If accurate, this means that tax revenues will be reduced by a further $150 million. Compounding this situation is the fact that under normal circumstances we would expect all our bonds and Treasury bills to be rolled over, but due to the impact of COVID-19, some bond and Treasury bill holders urgently need their monies now. Of the approximately $700 million in bonds and Treasury bills which are to fall due this year, we expect about 25% of these will be redeemed (requiring an additional $175 million). The impact of the two situations described hereinabove will result in an unbudgeted shortfall of $325 million.

The most recent revised projections show that the pickup in tourism will be further delayed and the projected economic fallout will be worse than initially thought, which will result in a further reduction in revenue. The scaling down and in some instances, the complete shutdown of commercial activity on island, has meant that the Government has had to take certain immediate actions in order to protect the health, safety and security of the citizens of Saint Lucia, all of which have come at a cost, which you will appreciate was not provided for during last year’s budget allocations. These costs include increased healthcare costs, the food and accommodation arrangements for the quarantine and isolation facilities which were established, the provision of free medical attention for those infected with the virus, free testing for persons suspected to be infected, the costs associated with the accelerated opening and continued operations of the Owen King European Union Hospital, the “retrofitting” of the Victoria Hospital as a respiratory clinic and the expenses of maintaining and operating two hospitals simultaneously, along with all other ancillary expenses associated with this pandemic.

The Government of Saint Lucia recognises its obligation to public sector workers and to all in the civil service who play an enormous role in the functioning of Government and in many cases, in providing essential services critical to our daily living. In fact, this pandemic has highlighted just how valuable our civil servants are to us all, in particular, our frontliners such as doctors, nurses, police and fire officers, customs agents and also our teachers, who are trying to keep our children on pace with their school curricula, in spite of very challenging circumstances. However, we as a Government also have a responsibility to all our citizens, including those in the private sector as well as those who are retired, unemployed and those who are on the poverty list. Thousands of persons all over the island have been adversely impacted — some have lost their jobs entirely, in many cases without pay, others have been given reduced working hours and are now receiving less pay and the majority of the working population have generally realised reduced earnings from March 2020.

In an attempt to meet our obligations for the safety and well-being of our citizens, the Government has embarked upon a Social Stabilization Plan, which includes the Income Support Program, undertaken in collaboration with the National Insurance Corporation (NIC), to provide relief to persons who have lost their jobs or source of income. The Government has also renewed its efforts to creating an enabling environment for economic activity, in particular, job creation, so that persons can resume employment and take care of themselves. This income and consumption will also create jobs and opportunities for other service providers and in turn generate revenue for the Government.

In the recent budget presentation, the projections for the fiscal year 2020/2021 included total recurrent revenue of approximately $1.019 billion (with a tax revenue of $925 million) and total expenditure of approximately $1.697 billion. leaving a financing gap in excess of $560 million. In anticipation of the economic fallout, and prior to the budget presentation, the Minister of Finance and his team worked with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the ECCB and our local banks, as well as the Government of Taiwan, and negotiated approximately $500 million in loans to fund this gap. However, as explained above, the deterioration of the economy means that the Government still needs an additional $325 million to meet its obligations. The months of April and May 2020 have confirmed the most recent projections and with COVID-19 continuing to pose a threat to the world economy and to ours, the likelihood of any significant improvement for June 2020 seems unlikely.

Through budget cuts and additional funding, the Government is in the process of securing an additional $275 million, but still has a shortfall of $50 million. The Government has been exploring all measures to avoid a reduction in the civil service and any permanent salary cuts, however, we would need the urgent and full cooperation of the Trade Unions in order to alleviate this crisis. We have therefore offered the Trade Unions the following proposals:-

(l) The cash payment in full (100%) of the wages and allowances for all grades below 7. (This covers approximately 4,300 public sector officers).

  • The payment of fifty percent (50%) in cash and fifty percent (50%) in a government wage bond (Treasury bill) for wages and allowances due to all public sector workers from grades 7 to 21 (This covers approximately 5,483 public sector officers). This will be for a threemonth period only.
  • The payment of twenty five percent (25%) in cash and seventy five percent (75%) in a government wage bond (Treasury bill) for wages and allowances due to all Parliamentarians.

This will be for a three-month period only.

  • Pensioners are to be paid their full emoluments (100%) in cash. (This covers approximately 2,909 public sector officers).
  • The wage bond will earn interest semi-annually at a rate of three percent (3%), will have a maturity period of one (1) year and will be issued for the months of June, July and August 2020.

In an attempt to mitigate the impact of such a proposal, the Government has engaged the financial institutions to provide a three-month moratorium for persons with mortgages, loans and other credit facilities.

We reiterate that the intention is not to enforce a pay cut, but rather, through the mechanism of a bond (Treasury bill), to effect a deferral of part of the salary to a later date. This means that those public servants at grades 7 through 21will not ultimately experience any loss in income, but rather will receive an additional 3% in interest on the said sum. You will note that this rate of interest is higher than the current bank interest rate of 2%.

We had hoped through our many discussions with the Trade Unions that this proposal would have taken effect in April 2020 and would have ended in June 2020. However, not having reached any agreement with the Public Sector Unions, the Government had no choice but to use debt (overdraft and other debt facilities) to pay salaries for the month of April 2020. Not only is this an unsustainable option, but it has come at the expense of many long-standing Government programmes and caused us to delay payments due to service providers and small contractors. The local banks have reached their limits in terms of Government debt, making the option of seeking additional financing facilities difficult, if not impossible. It should be noted that having to pay full salaries and wages for the month of May 2020 will further exacerbate this situation.

This situation requires practical thinking and prudential management of limited resources at this time. COVID-19 is an unprecedented and catastrophic crisis and we will only get through it if we all act in the common interest of our country. Our proposal is intended to allow us to meet our obligations to our employees, to our creditors and to our citizenry as a whole, through the continuation of social support programmes and we are endeavouring in the process, to ensure that no jobs are lost in the Public Sector.

In light of the above, the Government makes a final appeal to all its employees and their Trade Union representatives to consider and accept the offer made herein and in our previous discussions with the Trade Union leaders. Should our offer not be accepted, we will have to examine our legal options in order to ensure that we as a Government can function, can meet our obligations and can continue providing essential services to our citizens. Therefore, we cannot go beyond 1 st June, 2020 without a firm decision being made on this matter. Unlike thousands of persons in the private sector, with this offer, public sector employees are not at risk of losing their jobs and their salaries are not to be cut. However, we all have to make some sacrifice to ensure that the Government can cope with this catastrophic global economic crisis and minimize further impact on our country.

We remain hopeful that consensus can be reached amongst all public sector workers on this proposal, as it remains the best and most beneficial option to deal with the immediate cash shortfall which the Government currently faces. As time is now of the essence, we look forward to a reply from you no later than Monday 25th May, 2020.

ALLEN M. CHASTANET

Prime Minister & Minister for Finance, Economic Growth,

Job Creation, External Affairs and the Public Service

c.c. Honourable Stephenson King, Minister for Labour

Mr. Vern Gill, Chairman, Government Negotiating Team (GNT)

Mr. Tyrone Maynard, President, National Workers’ Union

Mr. Cyprian Montrope, President, St. Lucia Civil Service Association

Mr. Julian Monrose, St. Lucia Teachers Union

Ms. Alicia Baptiste, President, St. Lucia Nurses Association

Dr. Merle Clarke, President, St. Lucia Medical and Dental Association

Mr. Gavin Toussaint, President, St. Lucia Correctional Service Welfare Association

Mr. Athanasius Dolor, President, Vieux Fort General & Dock Workers’ Union Mr. Travis Chicot, President, St. Lucia Police Welfare Association

Mr. Alyn Roserie, President, St. Lucia Fire Service

48 COMMENTS

  1. Mr PM,I am trusting that you don’t back down to greed.
    I know that we all need money but we should have a heart in this day and time.
    We know that Mr Monrose has his own agander he is an slp lackey and will not be satisfied with anything.
    When ever he speaks he always mentioned the airport project.
    This project is a thorn on their side ,they also don’t want that project to get off the ground so they can say you promised the people an international airport and it was never built.
    There are so many who are mor in need that most of these lazy none progressive fools.
    Please don’t back down you have more support that you think.

    • Oh Jane, its not difficult to see when you all have no case. In such instances you all turn to name calling. So the only points you can makes are ” Monrose has his own agenda”, “he is an slp lackey”, ” these lazy none progressive fools”. The extent of your contribution speaks volume to the extent of your intelligence which appears to be minimal. Intelligent people stick to issues.
      Everybody knows that small minds discuss people and intelligent minds discuss ideas.

    • This country really fall. That’s how a PM as head of government communicating with the representatives of the workers he leads as head of government. Well we at the lowest low.

    • Wonders never cease to amaze me, for 4 years this Gov’t have been going to the house to request authorization to borrow millions upon millions of dollars, always in the air traveling via first class, staying in five star hotels and now you’ll lamenting the country is broke we have no money, smh.

  2. If they don’t want to hear Mr.PM, go to parliament and cut their salaries in half. these people to dam wicked! smh!

    • Let him try that. You and his other house slaves will have to go lick his wounds for him after the beating he will get at the polls. Let him try that. You people are such fools

      • You people are deluding yourselves to think that the wider public supports your poor work ethic.

      • Yes, we deserve better than that PM. The wider public cannot his poor work ethic and lies.

      • Civil servants in the minority need I remind you the rest of us in st lucia has the same obligations like all of them so what makes you lazy boms more important than us everybody out of work

    • He should……. Matter of fact he can there is nothing stopping him, after all he is the prime minister same way he extended the state of emergency to September he can cut servants salaries without their permission or acceptance……. But the end results are dire….. Remember police officers are also servants.

    • Really……. He wasn’t wicked for spending all our money on shate…… Investments with no returns….. Contracts for friends and family…… Investments in a sector he benefits the most from…. “Tourism” throwing money away with little to no accountability…… Are the citizens of st. Lucia serious…. Those horses he have deh that eating premium feed whilst people of this country can barely buy bread to feed their families and that was happening way before Covid-19, this pandemic exposed his mismanagement of the countries fund. Under different circumstances I’m sure that the servants would understand and accept but not after you gave away and wasted our funds you want the people to suffer for your careless spending….. Furthermore go ahead and cut the salaries you don’t did their approval anyway….. He should stop looking for support from the public by disrespecting his employees and just do what he must cause there is no other choice.

      • Well said…total mismangement of the country’s finances . Investments with no divident a joker. As I have stated before this tidal wave will get BIGGER and BIGGER in coming weeks and months. LET THEM WOLLER IN THEIR OWN MESS AND LAY ON THIS SWORD GRACEFULLY.

      • I cant believe that people are putting down the government for encouraging and supporting tourism. Covid 19 has showed the economic impact that tourism has not only in St.Lucia but countries around the world. In St.lucia there is a glut of fruits and vegetables in the market because all hotels are closed. Those of you who listen and understand international news and follow what is going on in other countries will realized that most countries around the world have lost millions and if not billions of revenues from tourism. If not tourism those of you who think you know it all suggest to us what else can drive the economy.

  3. Based on the President of the CSA in the media a few days ago, a letter was dispatched to the government with reference to the union decision since May 1, 2020 but only now the PM is responding. I found it is rather strange that the PM is responding to the TUF via an open letter in the media, it he trying to gather public support? He was warned about all the lavish spending but took no heed but now he wants the civil servants to sacrifice. What about all the monies the PM gave to OJo Lab, DSH to name but a few that could have been used to deal with the situation or to avoid it all together? What about the re purposing of the loans for the capital projects that the PM prefer to work on now which is not a priority at this time? No, but the PM refuse to do the later because he wants to improve his changes at the poll in the up coming general election instead by going ahead with all the projects

    • Yes he is disgusting he is trying to create outrage within the public to attack servants to force them into acceptong what he wants to do… By also taking their attention away from his mismanagement of the countries funds….. A bunch of fools……. Civil servants lazy, civil servants this civil servants that….. You have our full support, cut their salaries …….. Your prime minister is a fool and I can’t find a word for those who are blind to his true intention.

  4. Rosie picture Mr PM, St Lucia appears to be doing great. What then is the problem? If only the exorbitant back pay cheques were not collected by the useless Cab8net the country would not be so broke. Bich of decitful thieves

  5. Desperate times call for desperate measures, elections coming you want money to campaign for the next election, you and Mr.Guy Joseph need to apologize to the Public Servants, touch our salary and you will see what come for you 17/0 in the ballot box.

  6. Pm needs to go he has his own agenda his not for people of saint lucia as Michael said his doing this crap to improve his winning chance at the poll what about the millions he received what is this moneys allocated for ???????huh

  7. So, what was the outcome of the meeting the “PM” and finance personnel had with Credit Unions on Friday? Did the credit unions reject the offer of buying government bonds as well? It seems that they did that’s why the PM trying to “strong arm” the unions to accept.

    • Keep you mouth shut! What you don’t know don’t say. And there was no meeting on Friday…that’s how low you’ll go in the name of politics! Educate yourself.

  8. I see what you’re doing. Painting the public service as enemy number 1 in the eyes of the public. All the attention is now on them and their refusal to put country first and make this tiny sacrifice to secure it’s immediate economic future. So if the country falls in the hands of the IMF, their the ones accountable. Nothing but a diversion tactic to remove the public’s attention on you and your mismanagement of the economy of this country which covid-19 has exposed. The country will be further divided with this “US” vs “THEM” tactic instead of realizing we all have a common enemy which is “YOU” Mr Not So Honourable PM. Word of advice for every action there is a reaction.

    • Exactly…… Is he prepared for it….. Police officers are civil servants as well…… He don’t need the approval of the service to cut salaries….. Go right ahead and exercise your power.

    • DCP of Police: Allow me a stab at expanding on your very cogent analysis, above:

      I consider that all the presidents and prime ministers of so-called “western democracies” are merely “house-negroes” and overseers of the “plantation” economies owned by the world-wide banking cartel (in the case of St. Lucia, the plantation “crop-du-jour” is tourism). Hence, the general populations of these “western democracies” are merely debt-slaves!

      The whip which has been used to keep these debt-slaves toiling in the fields is the “petro-dollar”, a worthless piece of paper backed the bluster (naught but propaganda) of supposed military superiority of “western democracies” and definitive economic extortion by the IMF & the World Bank (on behalf of the banking cartel).

      Of late, the resistance from China, Russia, Iran, Cuba & Venezuela has exploded these bubbles of military & economic superiority of “western democracies”; hence this desperate campaign with the Covid-19 pandemic, to keep the debt-slaves in line!

      The successful gain-of-function experiments conducted at US universities on the bat virus has been weaponized at Fort Detrick, Maryland; and unleashed on an unsuspecting world population of debt-slaves for the purpose of preserving the increasingly untenable preeminence of the banking cartel upon their lives. However, China’s quick reaction to this act of war has put a spanner in the works of the devious cartel. China’s vigorous counter-measures were aimed at saving their citizens’ lives and stopping the virus; while the inaction of the “western democracies” was aimed at allowing Covid-19 to infect all their citizens (and have their lives dependent on herd-immunity & a corporate-developed vaccine in the future), thereby culling the weak and elderly from the social benefit rolls and increasing the profitability of insurance corporations.

      Over the past 75 years, China has lifted millions of its citizens out of poverty using a planned economy. Through its Belt & Road Initiative, it is now offering the rest of the world respite from the paying tribute & “vigorish” to the banking mafiosi. The choice offered is freedom to create your own future or to continue as a serf of the banking cartel.

  9. It’s quite simple folks…Let us INTELLIGENT people ensure his name is wiped from our minds and history by extension as we head to the voting rooms soon.

    • It took the PM 22 days to reply to the union . However he demands a reply in 3 days . Noting that the letter was only received Friday the weekend follows . How are persons expected to make a decision by Monday.

      I am a uwp support born and breed but this is utter nonsense. U are proposing the same thing they said cannot be accepted. Civil servants know their debt most people live from paycheck to paycheck . A 50-75% bond agreement is too much why not propose 20-30 % .

      Persons are being bullied into agreeing with terms. And he discusses legal options . Mr. Prime minister of your gov ever wants to come back in power please reconsider this .

      I for one will be voting SLP of this happens !

      Imagine getting a salary of 4200 cut in half . 2100 …. rent is 850 that’s your landlord only form of income and she nt hearing bonds … courts 350…. travel expenses to get to and from work 500 electricity water and flow 350 . Let’s assume your 1500 loan per month gets pushed back even if the next 3 months u still have to find the money to pay thought the payment money is only cash able in 1 year . That leaves 50 for food , emergencies , hospital Bill’s enquired by ur pregnant wife . How u feeding a family of 4 on that. ????
      Each person situation is different.

      Cut job of persons in government that are not essential all the attachee to a 3month layoff let nic pay them . The people in the Gov building that jus sitting down doing nothing and wasting my tax money that is quickly taken off . There are alot of needless positions .

      The persons who are still getting travel allowances cut it . Under the emergency powers . They’re are other ways to save money and this gov is not willing to look into it because they are their frens their wives their jabal .

    • No Administration has had the balks to take on the Civil Service. Win or lose elections he should go right ahead in the name of the country. That will be his legacy!
      You would be surprised how many CS want a shakeup in there.
      You have 45 comments from about 10 people in here….what does that say!….think think people…

  10. I continue to await an explanation for all of the lavish spending by the government – Ojo Labs, CIP, lokerby, DSH, etc etc etc.

    I am a very reasonable person. When I am granted due respect as a tax paying St. Lucian, then as a public officer I may be able to understand why I have to sacrifice 50% of my salary (which, by the way, will make it impossible for me, as a single woman, to manage financially for 3 months.) There’s house, car and 2 children to care for.

    And I don’t want anybody to tell me about what’s happening to workers in the private sector. Trust me, I feel deeply for them (I have loved ones there too), but I did not sign up for private sector employment; I tolerate all the nonsense from politicians and the people they bring in who do what they want. I tolerate all those things, including seeing how tax dollars are wasted and tax monies are used for personal understakings, wastwful travel, etc etc etc – alot of things, because I want job and salary security.

  11. WE STAND WITH THE PUBLIC SERVICE …STOP DEMONIZING THEM. ALLEN YOU ARE WICKED. YOU MUST GO. YOU HATE LUCIANS TOO MUCH.

  12. The CSA has a wonderful opportunity to invest in its membership by purchasing bonds, either directly from government for from the members. With 4,000 members paying monthly dues of $25, CSA collects $100,000 a month ($1.2M a year). That puts the organization, along with other Trade unions in prime position to invest in their members by putting cash in their hands while expanding the portfolio of the unions with a 3% interest as opposed to the 2% they will receive if their funds are left sitting in the bank. The situation is dire and finger pointing solves nothing. We need solutions and Unions are in a pivotal position where their action(s) must reflect a maturity which goes beyond the claim “worker representatives.”

  13. The PM has publicized this letter with one goal in mind. The goal is to sway public sympathy for his clueless administration. The man and his flock have badly mishandled the fiscal affairs of the country. They have borrowed large sums from local, regional and international financial institutions and spent it like intoxicated alcoholics on a binge They did not save for bad weather. The public servants must not be made the fall guys. Stand your ground Mr. Monrose.

  14. What example have the Government set?

    Citizens are expected to save for the RAINY DAYS. The Government financial position as stated in the PM opened letter does not indicate the Government made any preparation for those RAINY DAYS (Covid-19). While our tax dollars were flowing in the treasury and first class travelling, five star hotels etc. were being enjoyed, where were the funds for the RAINY DAYS stored? Mr. PM please explain to the citizens- taxpayers -voters, what preparation you had in place as the Minister of Finance, for the RAINY DAYS we now experiencing.

  15. oh and we forget the nic monies to give back to st lucians…now i hear the minimum not $500…its dependent on how much money u make..so for those who make less than $600 for their salary for a fortnight or month…reality is chASS feeding you all with lies..

    so to ppl like jayjay dat saying “i am uwp support born and bree” kudos to you…..go breed yourself some pm lies…

  16. What I really want to know: Is the half salary being proposed still subject to NIC and PAYE deductions?

      • Did she indicate whether or not government will be servicing our monthly commitments (mortages insurances, loans etc) as pet usual before depositing the (balance) into our respective bank accounts. If that is the case, then most public officers will receive nothing and as such have NO dispisable income.

        Lord please put a hand. Public Officers are their families will be thrown into destitution.

      • Unknown, you must speak the truth. We all saw in social media the slides they present to the union leaders and it said after 50% cash and 50% bonds is after PAYE (tax) and NIC have been deducted. Either you or the communications officer trying to mislead. And if the communications officer said that then you should by now know how much see lies.
        Now don’t take my word for it. Do the search and someone I am sure can show you the slides.

  17. This Prime Minister and his Cabinet of Ministers are the worst groupf of people to ever serve this country. They are greedy, dishonest, unconscionable, wicked, disgusting and down right criminal. Wow wow wow

  18. How on earth did St. Lucia, sweet Helen our fair Iyanola, fine herself in this calamity ?! How??? Helen has been sodomized by these wicked, greedy, shameless, ruthless monsters!! She has lost her identity, her dignity, her confidence her unique beauty! And her ability to provide for her sons and daughters of this land because of these monsters!!! She is no more!! Rejoice and celebrate you heartless people clothed in yellow with torches of burning, destructive flame! U guys have burnt her down to ashes!!! Helen is no more!!!

  19. Only a fool will not understand the effect of this virus on the economy. The offer by the PM and the Negotiating Team is better than laying off workers. Half a loaf is better than none at all. St Lucia together with the rest of the World did not anticipate a pandemic of this magnitude.

    Kudos to the Government and people of St Lucia for taking the necessary precaution, to protect Fair Helen from a large number of deaths and infected People.

    Support our Government to take this Island of ours on a road to success. There is no place for ignorance at this time, but understanding and support.

    • Yes, the economy was affected by the virus however, it is not the virus that got us where we are! According to the PM, St. Lucia’s economy was doing great and that we had plenty of money at hand. What the virus did is expose the lie! The country didn’t have money and we have not been doing as well as they have claimed.

      The government is not solvent because of its unsustainable borrowing to the point that banks nor credit unions were not willing to purchase their bonds. And, the government has not shown that it is willing to sacrifice . . . they have NEVER iterated such! If you have heard it, please let us know!

      What this government wants is for the working people of this country to “bail” them out.

  20. I read the many comments made here and are very disappointed with the partisan tone on both sides that continues as discussions.
    If this is how my people can discuss and resolve problems the crapo smoke we pipe. Because I donot see neither a Labour or UWP ever changing and uplifting the masses from our mental slavery. Very very disappointing.

  21. Let the focus here be on salaries and sacrifice by civil seevants…which is the highlight of this letter.

    Why is it that civil servants must accept this “supposed” proposal with a noose around their necks because of our country’s (St. Lucia) economic standing presently?

    Whereas the ministers of cabinet of our country (St. Lucia), at the same time and under the same economic conditions as the civil servants, have received a 65% salary increase from $93,000 (plus) to $154,000 (plus) (estimates of expenditure in the financial year 2020/2021) which commenced 01 April 2020.

    An increase of $60,000 (plus) annually, which amounts to an additional $5,000 (plus) monthly in this Covid-19 era….whilst the same civil servants who should be the “sacrificial lambs of this country” barely received a 4% increase for the last 6 years?

    Where’s the patriotism? Where’s the self sacrifice? Where’s the “let us put country first attitude”? Where’s the lead by example? Does the sacrifice ONLY apply to civil servants?

  22. SOLUTION: Diversify the economy, for we know the results of putting all the eggs in the same basket. A lot of us saw this coming, maybe not in the form of a virus. Hurricane season is here and we can be in deeper trouble than we are now. These guys borrowed and spend money in areas that would help them personally while trying to appease the public with promises. Now the chickens have come home to rouse. People, the country is sinking in debt, this is why these guys are scrambling, this is why they are offering to pay in bonds. Most of the population live life day to day. Bonds do not help when needed, which is now. Laba should not contest the next elections and let these guys stew in their own vomit. Whoever comes to power will have a whole mess of an economy to deal with. Now we know the value of horse racing to health care. Putting the cart before the horse has never worked. I’m almost certain that these houses are being cared for with the best of everything…..Go figure

  23. The leaders of the public service unions particularly CSA and the teachers union are so bent on forcing the government’s hand that they do not see a perfect opportunity of using the organization’s funds of investing in the bonds being offered by the government as articulated by a contributor above to bring significant benefits to members and the organizations. I am a public servant and I do not support the position taken by these union leaders. Very early after the lockdown before the offer was made by the government to the unions I was discussing with a colleague of mine the impact the pandemic would have on our country economically and one of the things that we discussed is that there will be a cut in salaries because of the reduced revenue collection by the government. When the proposal was made by the government I was extremely happy since the offer was a lot better than anticipated. These union leaders are have their agendas. Just look out to see what happens with these union leaders if the next party comes into power next election – quid pro quo, scratch my back and I will scratch yours. I want to appeal to my fellow colleagues in the public service that we should not allow these union leaders to take decisions on our behave. Most of them have retired or will be retiring in a few months time. They will not be affected by any negative fall out of the present impasse between the government and the union. It is better to get half a loan today and for several days than to get a whole loaf today and no loaf for a long time. Some of us public servants want to continue eating steak and drinking cognac and whiskey while the neighbors next door and her children are hungry. Many countries around the world are taken a similar approach or more stringent ones than what taken by our government. SAUDI ARabia with all its riches has cut salaries by 50 percent and at the same time increased taxes and the citizens accepted since they understood the situation at hand. Has Covid 19 affected all countries inthe world except St.Lucia?
    I have decided to stop $25 subscription to the trade union and I know at least two other persons who have indicated that they will do the same because I far as I see my subscription is not going to a trade union by some other coverup organization.

  24. Allen Chastenet before you threaten workers and Civil Servants in this country. Take some time home and check how much of the St.Lucias money you have squandered, wasted, given away, Those same Civil Servants knows all about that. WATCH YOUR NEXT STEP. YOU MIGHT JUST BE STEPPJNG IN QUICK SAND. YOU ARE OUR SERVANTS NOT THE OTHER WAY

  25. I knew this pandemic would have a devastating economic impact. I had a feeling there would be some salary adjustments and I was willing to consider that under the circumstances. When the Government proposed the 50/50 cash/bonds I thought it was a joke and figured they started at this ridiculously high number and would negotiate to a more reasonable figure. How can you call this a negotiation if the Government will not budge from their first offer? How is that a negotiation? What are the Unions proposing? The full salary cash proposal is not feasible at this point. I’m expecting both sides to think like mature people and come to a decision that makes sense. The 50/50 proposal is not appropriate for the majority of the population.
    I get incensed when I think of all the wasting, spending and borrowing that this Government has done and there’s been very little benefit to St. Lucians. Every few months, we were being told how much our tourism numbers had increased how many cruise ships we had coming in. When the vendors complained that the increased numbers were not reflecting increased sales, they were chided as being negative. We put all our eggs in one basket despite the warnings. This country was broke before Covid; Covid just exposed this. Government is going on as usual with their same pre – Covid projects, not making any sacrifices yet demanding that public servants make sacrifices. I’m willing to make sacrifices, but I also need to survive.

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