A section of the audience at a previous DPSU meeting

Officials of the Dominica Public Service Union have expressed disappointment with member turn-out at a meeting on Tuesday January 22, to discuss the controversial matter of salary negotiations with Government.

Negotiations between the DPSU and Government are at a stalemate with the jury still out on the DPSU’s decision regarding Government’s latest proposal to increase its initial offer of 1% to 1.5% for 2010/2011 and 2011/2012.

DPSU President, Steve Joseph, lamented the low turn-out of fewer than 100 public officers at Tuesday’s meeting and told Dominica News Online (DNO),“We have four thousand public officers out there. I wish they all could be out in full force…..I am disappointed in the turn out. The more numbers we have the greater the ability to enter this process. They need to join with and stand with the union,”

But General Secretary, Thomas Letang, said he expected a low turnout, pointing out that members were “calling in the office to express their opinions and wanted the matter settled.”

The DPSU’s latest proposal to Government, which was accepted at Tuesday’s meeting,  includes a 1% raise for 2010/2011 and 2% for 2011/2012 as well as a financial grant from Government for a health fund for DPSU members.

Joseph told DNO “the process is currently ongoing and since meeting with government, we have been able to move from 1 to 1.5% as well as an area (non salary matter) which was closed.”

That matter involves the allocation by Government of three hundred & fifty thousand dollars towards a health fund for public officers.

Letang indicated that the DPSU is sharing information with the Police Welfare Association (PWA) and both he and Joseph expressed optimism that “common sense will soon prevail” and the matter of salary negotiations will soon be settled.

“We have requested some information from government as far as their expenditure goes. We have our analysis and we will move from there…..we don’t want the matter going to arbitration since we stand to lose,” he said.

At its last meeting in December 2012, the DPSU membership had agreed that it is in their best interest to delay salary negotiations with the government to allow the completion of a classification exercise of the public service.

Steve Joseph’s final words to his members are to “rally” with the union as “numbers” are key in the matter.