DPSU rally to go ahead despite PM’s plan to meet with public officers

Letang (l) plans to go ahead with his meeting inspite of the PM’s own plan

General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang has said public servants will still  hold their “salary negotiation solidarity rally” today to discuss salary negotiations, among other issues despite plans by Prime minister Skerrit to hold the first in a series of meetings with public officers today.

He told Dominica News Online (DNO) during an interview on Thursday that in order to save the public service and to bring it back to how it used to be, public officers, supporters and Dominicans, need to come together and do what is required to save the public service.

“The rally is bringing all public sector employees together, because we have a number of issues that are affecting them; issues that have been there for a long time and not being addressed, not being resolved,” he stated. “After trying for so long and using all the options available to us to try solving these issues and not getting there, we just felt that we needed to bring them together, give an update as to what is happening and what are the things that are not happening, and to inform them on our proposed course of action. ”

According to Letang, there is the issue of salary negotiations in the public service where the union submitted to government, their proposals for the new triennium, 2018 to 2021 and that, he said, has been with government since December.

“We have not received an acknowledgment of our submission of our letter,” he stated. “We wrote again in February, expressing that concern and telling government that they were not giving that matter the urgency or the priority that it deserves,” Letang remarked.

He went on to say that he spoke to a senior government official involved in negotiations and explained to her that she needed to acknowledge the receipt of his letter so that he could report to his executive on the situation.

“That was some time ago and nothing has been done,” he pointed out. “So [we] believe the time is right when we should call the members and we decide how we move from there.”

Letang mentioned the Public Works Corporation where he said the Acting General Manager has resolved certain issues, but where the issue of salaries to the employees remains unresolved.

“At Solid Waste, we still have salaries we have to negotiate for on their behalf,” he said. “There is no board in place and therefore, things are at a standstill.”

Letang added, “The same applies to DASPA [Dominica Air and Seaport Authority].”

He revealed that the union met with management of DASPA and has almost concluded negotiations. However, he said there is no board in place to approve what the union is looking at.

The DPSU official also referred to the challenges that are now affecting the nursing services.

“Nurses have been working and the conditions are just bad. They don’t have the basic equipment; the environment is not fit for them to be there performing. We have issues at a number of our government institutions including the Government Printery where people are working in mold infested areas,” Letang complained. “Letters have been written and in a number of instances, letters were not acknowledged and nothing has been done to address those matters.”

Furthermore, he pointed out that a number of public officers have been in the service for many years and are not being appointed.

“The public service is fast becoming Hollywood where people are acting in positions for long period of 5 years and more and are not being appointed…,” Letter lamented.

The meeting is expected to take place at the DPSU building at 4:30pm.

Meantime, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced today that he plans to hold a series of meetings with public officers beginning this afternoon.

“As Prime Minister, I am embarking on a series of discussions with employees of the state…I will be meeting with a wide range of public servants over the next few days starting with the meeting with the junior clerks.”

He said he has invited over 100 junior clerks “to hear from them directly, what are their issues; what they would like to see…”

Skerrit made it clear that he would not want to get himself “entangled with any political machinations.”

“If people have serious issues to discuss, then we can engage ourselves in an atmosphere of mutual respect where these issues can be dealt with,” he suggested.

But Letang believes that the Prime Minister is trying to use another political strategy to divide and rule in the public service, “and to weaken the Dominica Public Service Union and we are not going to fall for that.”

He revealed that some junior clerks are already contacting the union expressing their disappointment.

“They said they are going to the meeting; they will listen but they have made up their minds that no matter what he (Skerrit) says it is not going to influence them,” Letang said.

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23 Comments

  1. Karl Orndem
    April 12, 2019

    This morning the PM say on the radio, “one of the reasons why many public officers do not get appointed is because simply are are no vacancies”. I said to myself, am i a fool? then i affirmed that i am, BUT I AM NOT a complete fool. Because i know of cases where people have been acting in positions for years, with vacancies being open, just not advertised (because really there is no need to advertise for a job that is being fulfilled already). For example the Financial Comptroller position was held by someone who was acting since 2013, and he was recently appointed about a year or 2 ago. Another thing is that NEP need to come to a close. It doesnt provide real employment not is it advantageous. Forexample, you have people working in government offices under NEP, but when they apply for the same position through Establishment (government hiring office), they are told there is no position. So there work is for NEP at a fraction of the price, but not as an appointed government worker.

  2. KID ON THE BLOCK
    April 12, 2019

    Boy, I chucking Mr. Wee! Says DPSU
    Panda, I warning you! Says PM. I don’t joke with little fellers like you.

    • Ibo France
      April 12, 2019

      What’s your point? No substance as usual. But again, what should we expect from a Kindergarten KID? Just childish banter.

  3. Lin clown
    April 12, 2019

    Like a PARASITE, Letang is living of the Blood and Sweat of Public Servants.There will never be a strike.And we the poor people of Dominica will never let it happen. No matter what.Civil Servants are far better off now than under Letang party the UWP.Just remember JERKERS and SERKERS where was THOMAS TRAITOR LETANG.His party was saying Civil Servants were Lazy.Just remember what his party did to Social Security.The time is coming when some people will be tried for TREASON.

  4. LANGSAL
    April 12, 2019

    to much victimization, unfair promotions and nepotism in the government service.
    if you not red no acting, no promotion just victimization

  5. Zandoli
    April 12, 2019

    If you listen to Skerrit and his acolytes you would think everything is just fine. The man spends money in areas where he believes he can get the most political advantage. Meanwhile the people who benefit from his largesse don’t seem to care that when they fall ill they may not be adequately cared for. But then again Dominicans only seen to care about today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

  6. April 12, 2019

    Well done Mr letang thanks for your courage and commitment for the people you represent.

  7. DA in trouble
    April 12, 2019

    Of course, Skerrit is trying to use another political strategy to divide and rule in the public service, and weaken the Dominica Public Service Union. I hope the DPSU is not going to fall for that because Skerrit is only trying to trick you.

  8. DA in trouble
    April 12, 2019

    Of course, Skerrit is trying to use another political strategy to divide and rule in the public service, and weaken the Dominica Public Service Union. I hope DPSU is not going to fall for that because Skerrit is only trying to trick you.

  9. marcus
    April 11, 2019

    The people must stop the nonsense take their issues to the street like Mr Letang said shut it down.The prime minister is playing games with people’s lives and ultimately privatize public and other services to foreign interest.

  10. Real Dominican
    April 11, 2019

    Why does it look like everything is going bad for the PM.
    1. Plane Crash
    2. Very disgruntled DLP supporters secretly planning to remove their much-love PM.
    3. Now, DPSU saga.
    4. Before, Nurses demonstration.
    5. Marigot Hospital Saga.
    6. What next?

  11. Ibo France
    April 11, 2019

    Sherrit is a follower not a leader. Dominica will always stagnate or decline under his mismanagement. He acts juvenile, erratic, mischievous and is completely bankrupt of good ideas. His eleventh hour decision to meet with junior civil servants is a lame attempt at dividing, misleading and intimidating public employees. His loosening grip on power has him bemused and paranoid. Accelerate the pressure , Mr. Letang.

  12. April 11, 2019

    Sometimes I wonder whether Dominica is part of the wider Caribbean community in terms of the behavior of our politicians and more specifically our Double (Dr) PhD who seems to think that the little psychology he must have been taught makes him head and shoulder above the rest of Dominica as far as intellect is concerned. Brother man your recalcitrant behavior is tantamount to one who comes from the planet of the Apes; your blatant disrespect to your employers (the people of Dominica) is obvious by your insane and devious actions; the PSU are within their rights not to move and give in to your dictatorial demands.

  13. %
    April 11, 2019

    Well done Mr Letang..The rally was exceedingly successful,much to the chagrin of lazy Skerrit who is acting like a cornered and desperate man!!! He is indeed cornered,and his meg back will continue to be scratced against the wall till polling day when he will be dumped into political oblivion . That’s what wicked leaders like him deserve..He must be wondering what has caused this dislike for his leadership to be so high .It’s his evilness and wickedness!!!!
    Lazy Man…!!
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

  14. KID ON THE BLOCK
    April 11, 2019

    A little humor to get the comments going :-D
    The pic above of Letang and Skerrit, one would assume;
    Letang to Skerrit….” Boy, I jacking mister, wee!”Doh mess with me.”
    Skerrit to Letang….” Letang, boy, behave yourself. Hear I warning you. I don’t play games with little boys like you! :):lol:

  15. Man bites dogs
    April 11, 2019

    That so-called general secretary of the workers calamity party Thomas Letang, is a dangerous rattle snake who is working for his brother Lennox Linton, the Engel of death those idiots are the same. Now respite PM Skerrit said he plan to meet with public officers, You Letang still planning a mayhem rally because your strings being pulled by Linton.If i was Mr Skerrit ,I would cancel the meeting and you lots go to hell.

  16. Stephen Nicholas
    April 11, 2019

    This man is really a dictator, he ignored the PSU letter, never acknowledged with a reply now his back is against the wall, he wants to meet with Public officers. You have neglected Public Officers and you should no by now that just a few of them will vote for you. The cannot voice their concern because they will be victimized but at the polls they will give you a dose of your own.

    Stephen Nicholas
    Retired Public officer and Government Statistician

  17. Shaka Zulu
    April 11, 2019

    It is pretty obvious what the PM is doing. Dominicans should take Darroux advice. Question the Leader motives. He has a history. If at this point he does not know thier needs it tells how out of touch he is. By now skerrit should know after 20 years with inflation, VAT, vehicle TAX and stagnant wages people suffering. Furthermore he knows how many people coming to him to beg at red clinic. He is also the minister of finance and should know the passed few years we have been experiencing negative growth. How long we going to push the car around. Fix the darn engine so it can drive. Dominica need get rid of the driver cause he always under the influence and only going down ravine. Take the rotten teeth out.

  18. I see Satan Falling
    April 11, 2019

    I can see, I Can see the down fall of Satan.
    I can see, I can see, the down fall of Satan.

    When I look to my right, I see Satan has fallen,
    When I look to my left, I see Satan has fallen,
    When I look to my front, I see Satan has fallen,
    When I look to my back, I see Satan has fallen.

    When I look at the North, I see Satan falling
    When I look at the south, I see Satan falling
    When I look at the east, I see Satan falling
    When I look at the west, I see Satan falling

  19. Frank N Stein
    April 11, 2019

    DPSU go ahead with your actions. We all know that meeting is out of protocol and it is only a show. What is the PM doing meeting with them when it should be the respective ministry who has that responsibility that should be meeting with you to solve the problem? Now he promising new building when the eyesore by the Post Office cannot finish after so long. You know why Skerrit keep insulting us so? Because of the people attending those meetings. Since they hear PM they running the same ones that will be too busy for the rally. Dominicans are their own worst enemy. One day we will wake up we.

  20. Looking
    April 11, 2019

    How very deceptive you are dear leader, for having these meetings.. a rule and divide policy. Another observation though, operating without a board? It really seems its a one man show here in Dominica.

  21. Unknown
    April 11, 2019

    The people are fed up. Time to take action!

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