DPSU plans action to force government to negotiating table

Letang (r) with DPSU president, Steve Joseph at the DPSU news conference

General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang has announced that his union will be embarking on a planned course of action to force the government to come to the table to negotiate salaries for public officers.

He made the announcement during a press conference held at the DPSU building on Monday.

The union is in the process of negotiating with the government of Dominica for  2018/2021 triennium and for the past 7 months since December 2018, when the proposals were submitted to the government, the union has been campaigning for the start of negotiations.

“The Union has decided on a course of action to deal with the situation,” Letang said. “I want to make it clear that yes, we have a planned course of action that we will be embarking on to force the government to come to the table and to negotiate.”

He continued, “Not only to negotiate but to come with a proposal that makes sense.”

However, the DPSU official said that for various reasons which the union will not reveal at this time, “we have delayed that action.”

Letang went on to say that the union received government’s proposal for salary negotiations on June 19th 2019, and “it is not saying much to us.”

“In their proposal what they have done is to list some of their social programmes and using that, among other reasons, for not wanting to give public officers a salary increase,” he remarked. “The content of government’s proposal was discussed with our members and the members directed the executive to respond to the government and to state in our response that we find their proposal, or in submitting that proposal to us they were being very disrespectful and that proposal lacks substance.”

He said that in a letter dated July 1st 2019, addressed to the Chief Personnel Officer,  the general membership further directs the executive to advise government of their desire for negotiations to commence by July 8th, 2019, “with the government coming to the table with a reasonable offer.”

He revealed that there has not been any further development since the letter dated July 1st 2019.

“We have not heard from the government and negotiations have not commenced,” he stressed.

Meantime, Letang made it clear that the union is not willing to accept a “no salary increase” for the 2018/2021 triennium. He said the DPSU is non-partisan and has no control over the situation in which the triennium for negotiations falls within an election year.

“If everything you intend to do which is in the interest of your members and you feel that the actions will be perceived as being political, then it means that you will never do what you have to do,” he pointed out. “We have absolutely no control in that the triennium for negotiations falls within an election year.”

Letang explained that the law states that every three years the unions are to negotiate and it so happened that in this triennium, there is an election.

He said if people choose to inject their own political views into the situation, “then that is up to them.”

“But we are not saying we are not going to negotiate because it is an election year,” Letang insisted. “It has never happened in the history of the PSU where we had to postpone negotiations. To postpone negotiations would be illegal because the Public Service Act tells us that every three (3) years we supposed to be engaged in negotiations.”

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  1. Bwa-Banday
    July 18, 2019

    DPSU and its management have become a STUCK RECORD. They always considering a “course of action” that results in inaction. Reminds me of Skerro Cabinet when they learnt the term “resilience” :mrgreen: :mrgreen: . They used it, abused it and finally killed it. Public servants are just fed-up with the passive posture and inaction of the DPSU. Its either they act or just shut the hell up!

  2. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    July 16, 2019

    Β “Thomas Letang has announced that his union will be embarking on a planned course of action to force the government to come to the table to negotiate salaries for public officers. ”

    Thomas, you are nothing less than a waste of time!

    For years your rhetoric remains the same; you keep singing, and talking the same old tune, the people you claim to represent should have fired you a long time ago.

    You are not doing anything in the interest of the people you represent; I suspect you might be under the influence, and control of Roosevelt.

    If your union represent the civil service of the country, for as long as you are talking, if you wanted to bring any government to the table the simplest thing any union leader would do in order bring the government to a negotiating table, is by calling a civil service strike, and extend it into a general strike!

    If you are a man, be a man, and stop pussy-footing like a child!

    • Joseph John
      July 17, 2019

      Letang has an ulterior motive and is trying to use government employees as a weapon to meet his political goal. He is assuming that they are greedy money grabbers and will use increase in salary as a carrot to hook them for his political cause. Just as they were weaponized on May’79. Without the support of the CSA the Patrick John government would not have fallen.
      Letang is depending on the same scenario for his plan to succeed in removing Skerrit. After all Saverin became President so he thinks if he delivers he will be the next President. Bravo Letang.
      What is amazing is the CSA members allowing Letang to use them as toy pawns. Those two fifth graders, Letang and Linton, can use the most educated group in Dominica as playthings in their political gamesmanship by using the greed for money to play the pipe piper, or Judas goat. I wonder if the CSA members are really in support of those unreasonable wicked people (uwp).

    • Ibo france
      July 18, 2019

      You may have some credence with your adamant assertions. However, all the blame should not be laid at the feet of Mr. Letang. The general membership of the union should signal to Mr. Letang, in an unequivocal manner, that he has the overwhelming support of the rank and file members to carry out strike action to get this well deserved increase in salary. Again, Mr. Letang can only go forward with the knowledge and confidence that he has the full support of membership.

  3. Frank N STein
    July 16, 2019

    All those talking about how ineffective DPSU or LEtang is, you are the problem! He is one man, what can he do without you? If he calls a strike or protest today will you fall in line?; You all protecting your “jobs” but without action these jobs will disappear and one man Letang will not be able to help you.
    You talking about he is workers, but you are labour. Forget party, are you willing to rally with him for change? Is it a crime for he to be workers? Stay there and say he workers while SKerrit eat all Dominica money and disappear into the sunset.

  4. Stand up
    July 16, 2019

    DPSU membership, if you do not get your increase you can only blame yourselves because you are divided in your thinking. You are worried about if Letang is a workers when you should be concerned about whether he can get results for you. Then you’re worried about what the PM will say. Does the PM need his salary inceeased? Can he afford to get his children what they want? Does he need health insurance? The PM is not on your level. Don’t you get that? Put yourself first. If you won’t do what is necessary don’t blame Mr. Letang.

  5. Ibo France
    July 16, 2019

    What I find very troubling in Dominica is the attitude and timidity of the people. The people are too easily satisfied, gullible and mostly talk and no action. One of the major problems is that Dominicans don’t want to take the bull by the horns. They wait on politicians to fight for them instead of taking the initiative. In most other countries, it is the people who take the lead in bringing about well needed change in their countries. Dominicans should stand up en masse and demand better wages, transparency in government, no more corruption, equity with the distribution of public resources, etcetera. Mr. Letang, this is for you and all Dominicans at home and abroad:
    *Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spine of others are often stiffened.
    *All our dreams come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.

    • They not serious
      July 16, 2019

      I wish our public service had courage. Even though Mr. Letang puts his best effort, it is up to you the membership as a collective to make your presence or you absence felt.

      • Ibo france
        July 17, 2019

        You are so correct. If the people don’t support the leadership then nothing much can be accomplished. The leaders too have to be bold and courageous, this is no time for pussyfooting. There is strength in numbers. United we stand, divided we fall/fail. No one man, no matter how powerful, is no match for the might and determination of the people. Without courage, nothing much will be achieved. Skerrit will forever reel emboldened to treat Dominicans with disdain until the day they muster the courage to stand up and show him who really run things. People, if you really want things to change for the better, grow a spine, stand tall and stop crawling like caterpillars.

    • Flat Tire
      July 16, 2019

      Dpsu and letang are just talk that is why skerrit run things in Dominica. Shel charle would have shut down the country already

      July 18, 2019

      Ain’t you a Dominican, Ibo Malaprop France? Start the ball rolling. Take the bull by the horns. Let’s see your courage and stop dictating to people what to do and what not to do while to hide in your kakardor hole.

  6. Johnson Jno Rose
    July 16, 2019

    The two most cowardly men in DA, Steve and Thomas. All they have to do is put their names on the ballot paper but they both know how unpopular they are in their own little communities and would be embarrassed by the kind of blows hey will get they choose to stay and hide behind the DPSU. Everybody know you two wish and dream to be politicians or ministers.

  7. ME
    July 16, 2019

    Thomas Letang is the most none effective General Secretary the P S U ever had.

    He is a waste of time :!:
    He crooks his members.

    What is his success rate to his members ?
    Government fooled him in the past and tell him the wage bill is too high so we can’t get a proper salary increase and right under his noise come up with N E P which now have over 3000 people employed rivaling the government service.

    Presently today government is telling him public officers will get o, o, o, % . He is afraid to tell us.

    The reason for the 0, 0, 0, % is to protect the social welfare programs like yes we care, N E P, and RED CLINIC.

    Thomas letang is a failure.

    • Ibo france
      July 16, 2019

      Can’t disagree with you. You have given quite a number of reasonable explanations to validate your opinion. Many times you have to stand up and not relent to get what you want. This administration does not play by the books. They are irretrievably corrupt so they use lies, deceit and two-facedness as their bargaining tools. You trust them at your own risk. Every contact they make with any local institution, organization, agency or person is carefully thought out for political expediency. The people’s quality of life is of miniscule concern to them. Narrow minded, partisan politics always takes priority.

  8. RandyX
    July 16, 2019

    It’s about time to force Skerrits hand! While you are at it declare a general strike for a duration of initially 2 days. If you don’t get a result keep on stepping it up. Eventually that tyrant will have to give in and with a bit of luck he will leave the country and stay in America. He isn’t needed in Dominica anymore, he outstayed his welcome!!

  9. DPSU member
    July 16, 2019

    DPSU is very political. The leadership of DPSU are very open about their support for UWP. Mr. Letang remember how Charles Savarin played politics with the CSA in 1979 and then sold out the Union.

    • Shame
      July 16, 2019

      You want to know why DP SU is not effective? Go get a mirror. When a DPSU member can make such a statement it tells me you are a house divided. You cannot get what you want divided. Who cares if he’s a workers. Can he help you get your salary increase? That’s what’s important.

      • Joseph John
        July 17, 2019

        Well as a workers he is displaying conflict of interest. That is mal practice and despotism. He should be fired because he is working in the interest of a political party. He is receiving income under false pretenses and this is extreme corruption. How can you be taking someone’s money and working for someone else. Is that professional and ethical practice ?

  10. Bwa-Banday
    July 16, 2019

    Too much talk. I am soooooo tired with all these delay tactics. These so called nonproductive “course of action” yield NOTHING other than blah blah blah while Skerro continue to run things in Dca. CCM and DPSU have been intimidated by the SSU and CID who use the “incitement” statute to quell any perceived dissent.

  11. Ibo france
    July 16, 2019

    No rational, reasonable person will deny that public servants deserve an increase in salaries. They receive the lowest salaries when compared to their OECS counterparts. The Skerrit led regime has a track record of a stubborn reluctance to treat Dominicans fairly unless it is politically advantageous . The Red Clinic comes easily to mind. Most civil servants live from pay cheque to pay cheque, in fact, they live in subtle poverty. There is wanton waste of taxpayers money by this administration. The frequent global trips by the PM and his colleagues that are of no benefit to the country. The bloated Cabinet of twenty unproductive ministers. The Bahamas had a population of 395 361 (2017), maybe more by now. Their Cabinet is presently made up of 18 ministers. One local law maker wants this to be reduced to 13 as he thinks 18 ministers are just too many. Dominica with a population of just about 70 000 with 20 ministers. Utterly Ridiculous!!! Something has to change.

  12. Make them pay
    July 16, 2019

    DPSU. I support you. Hopefully all public servants will put their “love for peeyem” aside and look for their own best interest and their families. You have my permission to be selfish. Be selfish! Peeyem don’t care about you. If he did, you wouldn’t be suffering like this. Your government have money giving cool out. Make them pay all you! You hear me? doh sleep on that.

  13. Gouvelma
    July 16, 2019

    Don’t give up. The workers deserve better although they are the ones singing the praises of the very government keeping them down. While the government has a hard time giving the workers a meaningful raise they have money falling from the sky as they campaign. They have money to take teachers out of the school and pay them to become candidates. The workers who the union is fighting for are are the ones satisfied with their lowly standards and sing how great Skerrit arf. I can understand the was going on in Letang as to Wether it is worth fighting for those who do not care. They are satisfied being slaves. They love their treatment and their master so why seek to change their status. Until and unless a man accept a that he has a problem his road to recovery has not yet started. The same can be said of the Dominican workers. When they will accept that they are at the bottom of the caricom work barrell then and only then they arise and demand better. Until then Skerrit is their meal.

    • Hmmm
      July 16, 2019

      I feel sorry for Mr. Letang. Having to represent people who do not love themselves. I wish you well Mr. Letang.

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