Letang believes more emphasis should be placed on first responders after a disaster

The General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union Thomas Letang believes public officers are not given priority as the country recovers from Hurricane Maria.

Letang told DNO that some public officers are the first responders after disasters and they should not be treated like regular citizens following such events.

The DPSU boss was merely saying this because public officers such as doctors, fire officers, police officers and many others have to abandon their families after a disaster in order to keep the country running. But these same public officers have to go through the normal routine as everybody else when receiving, for example, relief supplies.

“They have to follow the lines like everybody else for relief supplies, they have to go through the Parlreps for supplies, nothing is put in place to give them special attention and that needs to change,” he said.

Letang said he made a proposal to the government for a budgetary allocation to be made for some public officers, especially first responders. But he said no response was received on the matter.

“You do a proper assessment on who has been affected and you make provisions to assist them but that is not being done,” he said.

According to Letang, some private sector companies have measures in place to assist their employees during emergencies.

“But it’s a shame that public officers don’t have that privilege,” he remarked.