General Secretary of the Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang, has once again expressed dissatisfaction in the manner in which officials are handling the living conditions of fire officers around the island.
In October 2013, Letang told Dominica News Online that fire officers in Portsmouth were unable to sleep at the fire station because of rat infestation. He also highlighted other issues plaguing the fire service such as the lack of proper apparatus and proper transportation.
According to Letang little has been done to improve the situation and the matter is still not being treated as a priority.
“Again we are not satisfied that the issues have been receiving the level of attention that they deserve,” he told DNO on Friday. “So what we have done is about two weeks ago we wrote to the Minister responsible for National Security, bringing to his attention officially what the issues are and asking or requesting a meeting with him to discuss the matter because we are not convinced that priority is being given.”
Letang noted that the DPSU is still awaiting a response from the Minister.
He added that if nothing is done then the necessary action will be taken to deal with the matter.
“Presently, fire officers are wearing some black ribbons as a form of expression of their dissatisfaction … again it seems that many people are not listening but as we have always said we are a union that exercise a lot of patience, so that when the time comes for us to take action, we cannot be accused of being unfair,” he stated.
In the meantime, Letang also revealed that the DPSU hopes to bring answers to employees of the Public Works Corporation (PWC) following a meeting scheduled next week among members of the board.
According to Letang, employees of the PWC are quickly becoming agitated once more since issues which were raised by them are not being dealt with expeditiously.
“The Public Works meeting is long overdue … it is three weeks overdue to be exact, and we have been trying to get to management for that meeting,” he stated. “I just spoke to the chairman and I explained to him that the meeting is extremely important and that the employees are beginning to be agitated once more and he has assured me that he will be having a meeting next week with his board and will follow up with us to set an exact date for a meeting.”
Employees of the PWC have complained of a number of issues which have not been resolved over the years. These include non-payment of insurance contributions, allowances owed to employees and the future of the PWC, according to Letang.
“We do not want it to be said that we are back in the same situation where promises are being made and meetings are not being held so I really want to impress on everyone that it is important that we have this meeting,” he said. “The employees and the Union are treating that matter very seriously and we want these matters resolved.”