Thomas Letang

Thomas Letang

The general membership of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) has accepted the government’s salary increase of 1.5 percent for 2011/2012 and wage negotiations for the triennium 2009-2012 are now closed, according to the general secretary of the union, Thomas Letang.

“We discussed that at the executive level … we informed the government of our position,” Letang told DNO on Thursday. “What we have since done was contact the members …. the response from them was that we should accept.”

Letang pointed out that the DPSU has written to the government on the members’ acceptance of the increase and said that government should have received the union’s letter by Thursday morning.

The DPSU and the government were at loggerheads for months over wage increases with the union even threatening industrial action if demands, which included a 3 percent increase for 2011/2012, were not met.

The acceptance of the union’s general membership of the increase brought the curtains down on the negotiations and the matter has come to an end.

Earlier this month Letang said a number of factors were taken into consideration by DPSU’s executive before agreeing to the government’s position. Among them were the fact that the Dominica Association of Teachers (DAT) and the Police Welfare Association (PWA) had accepted the 1.5 percent increase offered and agreements with government on a number non-salary benefits and contribution to an education and medical fund for public officers, among others.

And then there was the threat issued by Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, of taking the matter to arbitration. “We spent a lot of time looking at the possible implication or outcome of going to arbitration,” Letang noted.

He said the DPSU is now awaiting a date for public officers to receive their back pay.