Gov’t/DPSU wage negotiation coming to an end

Thomas Letang
Thomas Letang

It appears that the long running dispute over wage increases between the Dominica Public Services Union (DPSU) and the Government is coming to an end.

Speaking on state-owned DBS Radio on Friday morning, general secretary of the DPSU, Thomas Letang, said the executive of the union met with the government’s negotiating team on Tuesday and the 1.5 percent increase suggested for 2011/2012 was accepted.

The only task that remains is to recommend to the general membership of the union that the agreement be accepted by all.

“We are hoping that in the next couple days we would have what we believe would be a fair response by our members and that we can close the deal,” he said.

The DPSU and the government have been at loggerheads for months over wage increases with the union even threatening to call a general strike if its demands, which included a 3 percent increase for 2011/2012, are not met.

Friday’s announcement by Letang appears to be a softening of the union’s stance and according to the general secretary, a number of factors were taken into consideration before accepting the government’s offer. “We looked at the fact that we were able to get the government to move from zero in the final year to 1.5, we looked at the fact that a number of non- salary benefits were paid to public officers,” he said.

Letang said some of the non-salary benefits the union was able to work out with the government for public servants include low interest rates for mortages, duty free concessions for traveling officers, and a contribution to an education fund for public officers.

“We looked at the fact that we were able to bring back to the negotiating table the proposal that government contributes to the medical fund for public officers… that was brought back to the table and it was very successful,” the DPSU boss pointed out.

Another factor taken into consideration, according to Letang, was the outcome of going to arbitration, a move that Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit had threatened if a deal could not be reached between the union and government.”We spent a lot of time looking at the possible implication or outcome of going to arbitration,” he noted.

Letang stated that after looking at all the different factors, the executive thought it would be in the best interest of everyone to recommend to the union’s general membership that the government’s offer be accepted.

“We have been in contact with our members through various means … and also the fact that a number of public officers are coming to us, telling us that they believe we can close the deal,” he said. “Based on all those things we are now recommending to our general membership that we accept this latest offer.”

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  1. Bojangles
    February 9, 2013

    The members of the PSU, need to do a bit of “Soul searching”. A few months ago your PM (whom you elected to office ?) mouthed the phrase “people get the governance they permit”. This is a classic example of what he means.
    You the members elect your LEADERSHIP, so you the members are the ones who should determine what type & quality of LEADERSHIP you want & permit.
    I hope I’m wrong, but it seems to me your LEADER is like a “razor blade”.
    It may be a good time to find out the details of his package. (is it the same as yours?).
    This would never have been allowed or accepted under Charles Savarin’s watch, while he was in Charge of the CSA !!

  2. i know
    February 9, 2013

    the none salary denifits are for just afew how does the others benifit? i thought our unions were to serve member.not those letang chose

  3. Government
    February 9, 2013

    Why isnt Tar boy on the Government case for offering its employees 0%. If Govt employees are interested in their welfare and pockets they would rally with their Union to demand more than a 3, 1 and 1.5%

  4. Pondera
    February 8, 2013

    It is about time that a joint body representing all the unions negotiate salary with government. it simply can’t work the way it happens now. Unity is strength.

  5. Anonymous
    February 8, 2013

    tar boy u make absolutely no sence. i am a civil servant. i need more.the question is can an increase more than that be sustained.Bro Letand and the rest of the executive have tried hard .i thank them for what they got for us.think of the daughter who is also a civil servant has benefited from the education loan and my friends from duty free concession on vehicles.Letang is smart and has the nerve of a lion.I support this man’s effort 100% .teachers accepted your mouth was shut .The police did.Could the psu get more on its own .Leave my Gen Sec alone.He has moved our union forward

    • Shameless
      February 8, 2013

      :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

      Assertive, NOT Agressive!

      February 9, 2013

      Good my boy suck it to them. By the way, don’t let them hear you saying, it’s a gwya in d/ca.

    • Bear
      February 9, 2013

      I thank tem for what they got for us- so why aren’t you saying that you will only take the 1 % that the government offered. You were saying thatThe government cannot afford no more than 1% nw you are indicating that you were behind the Movement – sucha fake,liar.
      Your daughter benifit from loan and your friend duty free – well count the duty free as nothing new my friend – remember the infinity, LIAT dude,and much more. But what about those are not your daughter and friends you yard fowl. That is what you care about – a few shall eat all.

  6. Shameless
    February 8, 2013

    :-D :-D :-D :-D ! What a bloody joke!
    Dindn’t I say that a long time ago and got numerous thumbs down? :-D :-D :-D :-D ! :-D :-D :-D :-D ! DPSU is a joke and will remain a damn joke as long as Letang is at the helm. It is like a dog with a lot bark but no damn bite. There should have been a calypso titled: “Who bought the DPSU?”

    And we wonder why the members will not agree to any ral industrial action because the leadership is a damn joke :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D ! Oh jah my belly horning me…. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: !

    I remain..
    Assertive, NOT at all Aggressive!

    • IPO
      February 8, 2013

      Hey you there, replace DPSU with UWP and Letang with lennox…oooops…”did I say that?”

  7. open eyes
    February 8, 2013

    from seaport dominica i paid my ticket to gwada, awaiting my ship i’m seeing friendship, relationship, hardship, membership, but no sight of leadership

  8. watching
    February 8, 2013

    That is just unaceptable that is no benifit at all. to me that is just for social security alone. Letang need to take a flight into the real world. As a public officer i can not support that……

  9. Skerrit wins again;
    February 8, 2013

    wow, what a lost Letang!! Letang started the year stating that PSU will be firm in its demand for 3% and will not back down. But Skerrit always wins Letang and PSU. Skerrit gives some money to their medical fund so that the union can decide how to use that money and the thinking of Letang was blown away. Good technique, Skerit. The man is using his degree in psychology on us again.

    It is time for a change at PSU? Does Letang ever up for re-election? When?

  10. Malgraysa
    February 8, 2013

    So they needed all this time for posturing to finally climb down and meekly accept the Govt’s proposal? The increases agreed upon will have been eaten away by inflation by the time they are implemented. Was it worth it and are mr. Letang’s remuneration and benefits subject to the same meager increments? This union has no clout whatsoever.

  11. Aye Ya Yaye
    February 8, 2013

    It is good to smart around the issue. But Mr. letang’s biggest bargaining chip the Police Welfare Association accepted government’s offer. The other consideration is that the vast majority of public officers understand that half a loaf in these dark economic times is better than a promise of two later.

  12. Orange County
    February 8, 2013

    See all the Unions in Dominica just have chatter But Nothing to back it up…

    Skero was right when he said he will be in Power That it takes Unions are other interest Groups to effect change in a Country..

    Everyone basically in Dominica is feeble so, those Who think change is coming tell them maybe in Another 4 decades…

    Dominica will remain a rather below par place Why Because they accept less at all levels…

    Not sure why Dominicans are so timid!
    Maybe it’s their Nature, Never will be a leading Country rather than a YES YES PLACE!

    Gotta leave Dominicans behind they aren’t ready Yet and will never be,,it’s their lack lustre Non Progressive, backward Mentality Island.

  13. Peeping Tom
    February 8, 2013

    DNO: “Letang said some of the non-salary benefits the union was able to work out with the government for public servants include low interest rates for mortgages, duty free concessions for traveling officers, and a contribution to an education fund for public officers.”

    I like how the matters has progressed. It appears to me that both sides were committed to dialogue in order to understand all sides and resolve the sticky points. I have always thought that the DPSU under Mr. Letang has been a responsible one and the past months have reinforced my conviction.

    Times are hard, this truism applies both to the individual and the State. I believe the ancillary benefits (including those not mentioned above) should help public officers weather the storm. Unfortunately, they will not reduce the cost of living but to many (especially families), they will mean something.

    So, i salute both sides.

  14. Jah guidell
    February 8, 2013

    Civil servants are their own worst enemy. Don’t blame letang he can only work with what they give him

  15. Grotesque
    February 8, 2013

    I am not too convinced with what I’m hearing. This deal will only benefit the MINORITY and the MAJORITY will continue to suffer.Such an increase is insignificant to our cause today.Take for example while there maybe duty-free concessions; it’s the same meager salary that will have to split for the Mortgage,utilities,food, vehicle+insurance,FUEL etc.
    The income bracket has barely moved to provide any relief, so I belive you have failed us Mr. Letang. Toothless-lion! thats what you are.

  16. Not a herd follower
    February 8, 2013

    Letang can only be strong to the extent that he has the support of the membership of the union. If the vast majority of the members are not prepared to stand up, Letang cannot be in a strong negotiating position with government.

  17. February 8, 2013

    I know it is difficult for some Public to take, but what leverage is there when the two other bargaining agents have already settled with Government? Most times Public Officers do not even turn up for important meetings which will have a say on their position.
    I guess the splitting of the union was what past leaders had in mind when they broke up the Union.
    Always remember that when Charles Savarin was Gen-Sec there was only one Union representing Public officers.

  18. mouth of the south
    February 8, 2013

    lol… see the games my friends… even your representatives playing games with you all… unions are a joke in dominica… waste of time… no one has balls nowadays… they all in it for their pocket… the civil servants have the power to remove this regime from office, but will they do it??… they’ll be the same at the functions screaming laybawwwww powwwaaaarrrrrr with teeth sharp like sour sour

  19. Anonymous
    February 8, 2013

    hahahahahahahahahahah…….tell me something different.

  20. CIA on the Watch
    February 8, 2013

    If the DPSU can accept 1.5% from the government this tells me that Parry Bellot despite his apology is vindicated, at a time we we stike for 100% there was no vat, there was cost of living allowance payed for by the good labor party under Patrick John, there was not price increase in basic goods on every shippment but there was price control, there was no large cabinet and jobs for the boys there was and still do have lots of dedicated public servants who advise ministers properly unlike these advisors who are paid big bucks for doing nothing, Public office at the next general meeting must pass a resolution to dissolve the PSU and negociate for themselves and the simple way to do it is to be politically connected because thats how it works in Dominica ask the Bishop of Roseau. WHAT A SHAME LETANG

  21. Pathetic
    February 8, 2013

    Dear Tar Baby, I can bet my last cent that you are not a public officer. Prove me wrong.

  22. Tar baby
    February 8, 2013

    What a joke. Letang has created a legacy of papy showmanship. So a few traveling officers get duty free on their vehicles – that is big for a handfull of civil servants most of whom have their vehicles already. Note too that the officers get paid for use of their vehicles .What about the non traveling officers which Mae up 99% of the civil service – do they get ? An extra $15 dollars most of which goes to social security and possible access to some funding if medical expenses comes up.
    Letang need to take a flight into the real world. Somebody need to tell him that we are in 2013 where the price of a gallon of gas is $17, a pound of Lamowi $17, Internet , cell phone, imported food are all consumables that when accounted for is a chunk out of the little money civil servants make.

    In 2013 civil servants should demand a medical insurance scheme to take care of medical expenses. What is $300 K when sometimes a simple medical procedure could cost a few hundred thousand.
    In my opinion Letang is perpetuating poverty, dependence and disenfranchisement. I need nt get into the Carles Saverin history nor do I need to dwell on te fact that those in control know that their bills are paid and dispsble income available,they knw that when they are sick their s n eed for calling Matt to raise funds to help foot the bills.
    This is a total et down on the art of te DPSU ego tasting team. In fact Letang can now be caled Krammer according to the Senfeld character. Kramer settled for a free cup of coffee everyday instead of a millions of dollars in settlement.

    • IPO
      February 8, 2013

      Ok so he is in America….and discoonectedbas best by invoking Senfeld…lol

    • Giorgio/Armani
      February 8, 2013

      I guess Letang blinked first.

    • Dominiquen
      February 8, 2013

      One cannot squeeze blood out of stone. :?:

    • Bear
      February 9, 2013

      Yeh I have seen that Seinfield episode and Letang is like Krammer

    • forkdumincan
      February 9, 2013

      i am a civil servant and i know 90 percent of used vehicles are processed duty free… that is the biggest papyshow government and public service union

    • civil observer
      February 9, 2013

      Mr Letang should tell us who is really benefiting from the negotiations, the majority of civil servants who are not travelling officers are not benefiting. Those of us who have to go to the hospital now have to come up with our dry cash upfront, before we can get service. The majority of civil servants are not benefiting from those non-salaried benefits that he is talking about. Some junior officers are doing double work without compensation, and other top level officers are being paid. Mr Letang when are you going to address this injustice. You are aware of it.

    • Merina Mckenzie
      February 11, 2013

      Letang is the not the problem. The civil servants are. They should demand that Mr. Letang and the rest of the executive, present any proposal/offer to the union members for a vote/acceptance.
      That is how it is suppose to be done.
      A union representative cannot accept an offer on you all behalf, if you all are not in agreement.

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