Retirement at 65 should be an option for public officers, says union leader

Thomas Letang

General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang has said that the union is proposing an introduction of the option for public officers to retire at age 65.

Letang made the statement while addressing public sector workers at a meeting held recently.

This, he said, forms part of a number of proposals the union will be submitting to the government of Dominica.

“The provision of the bridge pension, that is 60 to 65 be applied to non-established employees,” Letang said. “They are the lowest paid employees with their gratuity being significantly less than established officers because of the difference in the formula used to calculate their terminal benefits.

According to him, the union recommends a review of the formula used to calculate gratuity for these officers.

“We are also proposing an introduction of the option for public officers to retire at age 65,” he stated. “We are not saying to make it mandatory. We are saying to give them the option to retire at 65.”

Letang continued, “So, if you don’t want to go you don’t, you go earlier, but provide you with that option.”

Furthermore, Letang pointed out that the union is also recommending that a policy be introduced whereby government pensioners will receive an increase in their pension.

“You have some people and not many of them who are government pensioners, but they have been getting that pension for years,” he explained. “They were once part of us and we still have to look out for them, so we are saying at least every three years their pension should be reviewed.”

Meanwhile, Letang said that the union is additionally recommending that public officers, while on secondment, be promoted.

“Because when you are on secondment the only thing that you get which is different to when you held your substantive post is your salary,” he explained. “As soon as you are reverted back to your previous position onto your substantive position you get that salary for that position.”

For traveling officers, Letang said the transport allowance and mileage paid to public officers ought to be adjusted to the current reality of financing the cost of a vehicle, to improve the basic traveling from $723.80 to $1000.

“And from $2.60 cents to $5.36 cents respectively,” Letang explained. “That is per mile.”

Going forward, he mentioned that a trigger system should be instituted to deal with local travel costs impacted by inflation, more particularly the cost of fuel.

“What we are saying there is we should not even wait for every three years, but once the fuel price has increased, the little amount you get per mile should be reviewed,” he stated.

Letang also said a committee consisting of management from government and the union should be established to review the basic monthly traveling allowance and per mile every three years, and that a formula for the quantum of the allowance should be determined.

“We are saying brothers and sisters that all other allowance being paid to public officers should be increased by 20 percent,” he noted.

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  1. BMB
    April 5, 2024

    All of you who are burying your head in the sand with the recommendation from the union leader, better pull it out quickly. Can’t y’all see that the Social Security scheme in Dominica is fast becoming unsustainable? 1. The MAJORITY of the top paying jobs in Dominica, which pay a larger contribution to the S.S. Scheme are held by people in Dominica aged between 44 and 59 years old? 2. Young people here right now are focused on one thing – MIGRATION.! So according to granny, “break stick in allu ears still”. ALL IT WOULD take now is for the Social Security to seek a raise from Government to increase the benefit pay-out age from 65 to 67yrs. (like the UK and elsewhere) and you see how some of us that leave the dwindling workforce at 60 will HAVE TIME DIE before they get their first DIME from S.S. Some of you in your 20’s right now may face a much smaller pay-out when you enter your retirement years. Go ahead still……work for FORTY YEARS till 60 and S.Security pay-out is…

  2. April 4, 2024

    If government has to adjust the mileage rate for traveling officers when the price of fuel changes and increase the traveling allowance to fall inline with the cost of financing the vehicle certain changes must be considered. Traveling allowances are tax free and that’s the officer’s private vehicle used more in his or her private activities than for government work. It might just be time to start taxing part of the basic traveling allowance. Is the mileage rate going drop when the price of fuel drops? Is every vehicle owner in Dominica going to get any type of adjustment to assist with fuel hikes or just Government traveling officers.

  3. Letang is a Scribe
    April 4, 2024

    If the man is not sweating and he’s mostly sitting down then why should he retire? 100% of you who are asking for his retirement would have done the same darn thing. Hypocrisy is a b!t€h. Letang is not lifting any pallets, not shifting any barrels, not sweeping dust, not cleaning the bathroom and not moving a muscle so why should he retire? There are others who are worse than Letang who needs to go. I asked Letang what he thinks of the people who wants him to retire? His answer was, “Latang For Them.”

  4. Ibo France
    April 4, 2024

    Mr. Letang has had an unenviable stint as the helm of the DPSU for the last 30 years. He has never been able to motivate the members. Nobody can pinpoint one significant initiative he has done for his sustenance from the union dues.

    The DPSU needs an injection of vigour and energy, courage, militancy, vision and inspiration. Mr. Letang has proven himself incapable of providing these essential values.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  5. Unmovable
    April 4, 2024

    There are many people in Dominica who have by some means planted themselves in the field of their position at work and no one can move them not even with a Bulldozer. Till death do they part…or retired-ment.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  6. I C Dem
    April 3, 2024

    I was going to say something, but too many Lodge Men running Dominica I fraid dem Oh.

  7. BMB
    April 3, 2024

    I believe this is one of the most progressive and excellent ideas I have heard from
    the Union in a while. Though not mandatory, the option to continue to a mandatory termination age of 65 is perfect. When you look at the statistics from:
    Historic Life Expectancy of Caribbean (1950-2024)
    Between 1950 to 2024 the average life expectancy of people living in Caribbean has increased from 51.3331 to 73.6375 years. That is an 43.45% increase that allow people of the country to live an extra 22.3044 years of life, on average. In Dominica’s case let’s say 1974 the life expectancy was at 63years. Made much sense therefore to have person retire at 60. Fast forward 50 years to 2024 that age is now at 74years. More than a 10-year increase in life expectancy so it’s not unreasonable to have the option increased 65.

  8. Let's Face It
    April 3, 2024

    Sixty 60 years old should be the cut off point. Our YOUTH need jobs too. Find ways to achieve this!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
    • Bell
      April 4, 2024

      Be like Canada, as of 2009 legislation was passed that got rid of the mandatory retirement age, and the sweet part about it is that you can also start collecting your pension at age 60 while still working. Oh how i love the GREAT NORTH.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
      • We Know Better
        April 4, 2024

        They, western countries exploit labor of everyone below the rich elite, so with a huge work force they can afford to give those perks.

  9. if we knew better
    April 3, 2024

    i wonder how old Mr. Letang is. I wonder at what age he will give up that post and let someone else with more force carry the torch.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  10. anonymous
    April 3, 2024

    thomas letang as a leader has spoken publicly claiming knowledge of known victimization situations, yet has never done anything in defense of his fellow union members, he is not able to inspire anyone and has generally overseen the degradation of the DPSU. he should be replaced

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
  11. anonymous
    April 3, 2024

    Thomas Letang is a total waste of time and should be replaced as Union Leader ASAP!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0
    • Kingsman
      April 3, 2024

      hmmm, so by now this man MUST be above retirement age.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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