DSC protest action suspended, agreement reached with government

Following two days of protest action by members of faculty and staff at the Dominica State College (DSC), the employees have suspended their action subsequent to a “positive” meeting with government officials.

General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang, said  a recent meeting which involved several members of government and the concerned employees produced some positive assurances for the DSC employees.

On May 10, 2021,  faculty and staff of the DSC undertook industrial action, measures which they stated were forced upon them as government and management of the college failed to address their most dire concerns.

The employees’ grievances included working conditions, the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement with the staff’s union in order to address the discrepancies in contracts, and the decrease in the base salary from $4000 to $3200, among a host of other concerns which they say they’ve had since 2014.

The staff vowed that their actions would not cease until their issues were properly addressed by the relevant authorities.

General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang has since told Dominica News Online, (DNO) that the staff’s concerns have been heard and will soon be addressed.

Letang said the team met with the Cabinet Secretary, Careen Prevost, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Chandler Hyacinth, as well as Management of the DSC on May 12, 2021, and as a result, the industrial action by the employees has been suspended as the government has given their commitment to address all their concerns.

“We had a very good meeting and at the end of it, all employees were satisfied. As it relates to the payment of monies owed since 2017/2018, we have been assured that they will be paid their double bubble at the end of this month and they will receive a 3% retroactive salary at the end of June,” he revealed.

Regarding the condition of the institution, Letang said an assessment will be carried out by the public works division and minor repairs will be undertaken whilst the major renovations will be carried out at a later date.

Another issue that has since been addressed is the non-appointment of a governing board for the institution as, according to the DPSU general secretary, the union put forward its nominee and the board was appointed on May 11.

“We didn’t have a functional board for the past 2 years. However a board was appointed and not only was a board appointed, we all agreed that there will be a meeting with the board, the union and government officials as well as management and staff of the college so we can look at some of the issues and bring it to their attention.”

He expressed optimism that the government will make good on its promise.

“We have seen a number of things that could not have been done in a number of years due to poor management at the college come to fruition in just a matter of 2 days. So for now we will wait to see but the action is suspended,” Letang stated.

He thanked the Cabinet Secretary for coordinating discussions and for assisting in getting to a resolution.

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21 Comments

  1. Man bites dogs
    May 19, 2021

    Who next? I said before Mr Skerrit, if you surrender to the bus and taxi drivers you will be opening a tin of termites infestation, along with cockroaches to destroy Dominica Edison James, did not succeed that’s why he put Lennox Linton in charge to create mayhem well done Linton, you doing a bloody good job I hope you proud of yourself the answer will be blowing in the wind good luck!!!

    • If we knew better
      May 20, 2021

      And what he tell you when you tell him that?

      So let me ask you that. At what point can the people make demands of the ones whom they put in power to represent them? Must we always be good little sheep and know our place when approaching the government? The same government that we elected. The Pm is merely a parl rep, chosen by his political party to lead. Thats all. The people en mass have more say than one man. So when they speak, and say enough is enough, we are not taking anymore. He will be obligated to listen, at least. Charles Savarin is a master of this. You should know that. the power of the people. We are not little slaves that must shut up and take the half a dumpling the master throws at us if he feels like. We do not live in a monarchy or dictatorship. This is a democracy. Power to the people. this is what it really means. The people, whether bus drivers, DSC, nurses, fire service, teachers, even paros and homeless people can unite and say enough is enough.

  2. ObservationOne
    May 19, 2021

    I’m happy that this situation was resolved and in the manner that it was. Big thumbs up to those who stood up for their rights and stood their ground under pressure. Your actions will not be forgotten nor taken for granted.

  3. dissident
    May 18, 2021

    In 2021 an instructor at the Dominica State College salary is equivalent to about US $1200 to US $1400 per month???????
    Imagine that!!!!
    I worked construction in NY in the late 90s and early 2000 and brought home as much every Friday!
    This is sick
    Dem authority responsible don’t feel ashamed????

  4. jaded
    May 18, 2021

    I don’t understand why the government keeps committing these unforced errors. The policy seems to be that you get nothing unless you protest. That sets a bad example. The government needs to be more proactive and take care of the people.

    • VereTere
      May 21, 2021

      As far as this government is concerned they are not in existence to care for the people, as mandated by the constitution and the laws of Dominica, but rather care for themselves.

  5. %
    May 18, 2021

    Is minister PAMPALAM sick or on leave????? Why is it i never heard from the drone expert re the NASTY state of the rubble i saw on social media, which some purports to be our Dominica State College?
    Well our DLP leaders are wicked!!

  6. Man bites dogs
    May 18, 2021

    Like fathers sons and daughters, so-called UWP followers have no shame or dam stupid not to realize that they following a mountain goat leading them down the edge of a precipice while having a laugh at the suckers!!! 🤣

    • Ibo France
      May 18, 2021

      Your comments are always trivial and worthless ($0.00). The new ghost writer you pay to write and post your absurdities has an insatiable appetite for nonsense. Both of you richly deserve each other.

      • If we knew better
        May 21, 2021

        I suspect Man bites dogs is really Lin Clown’s alter-ego. Same person different personalities, but each not far from the other.

    • Hmmm
      May 18, 2021

      So lecturers fighting for better working conditions and a better learning environment for our students is political?? Some of you all are just brainwashed! Do you even know that dangers for inhaling mold??

  7. L C Matthew
    May 18, 2021

    He expressed optimism that the government will make good on its promise.

    “We have seen a number of things that could not have been done in a number of years due to poor management at the college come to fruition in just a matter of 2 days. So for now we will wait to see but the action is suspended,” Letang stated.
    I had a good chuckle. If it was not done in years and just two days of a few instructors was able to get a board set up with protest then why did it take you guys so long to hit the streets. All it tells me is if Dominica wants a better future a mass protest action will force this government to act or resign. The leader is very insecure and only abuse state instruments to hide that insecurity. People of Dominica need to wake up smell the coffee. It is time for revolt to stop the corruption and fleecing of the state.

  8. Empty oui
    May 18, 2021

    Really? Another segment of Dominica society bought off to ensure they remain quiet and in their place. Are we so blind that after so many negotiations, and deals, and promises of fluff that never materializes, that we accept another one? Really? Empty promises, empty gestures.

  9. dissident
    May 18, 2021

    De government via the ministry of education had no choice but to do the right thing…..PSU leadership supported by the faculty produced results!
    De government and school management was caught with their pants down!
    PROTESTS WORK!!!!!!
    EXPRESS YOURSELF!!!!

  10. %
    May 18, 2021

    Protest is the only thing this wicked leader, and “King Liar” , Skerrit, understands..
    People let’s put “”Boots on the Ground””.

  11. Ibo France
    May 18, 2021

    Common sense and experience have taught me to be skeptical of any agreement that is negotiated with this serial lying ruling regime. This government invariably goes hack on their words. The only time to believe Skerrit and his choir boys and girls is when concrete action is done.

    Kudos to the staff and faculty of DSC for finally having the testicular fortitude to stand up to the Paper Tiger. Lesson learnt for the country is that the real POWER lies with the people.

    My final statement to all oppressed peopoe is this: Nothing is given to you unless you stand up and assert your rights.

  12. VereTere
    May 18, 2021

    Right now Skerrit can’t afford more negative publicity and for that reason only he had to give in. A word of warning to those that protested, your victory is going to be short lived. Next year you have to do it all again and outcome might be somewhat different than.

  13. Iamanidiot
    May 18, 2021

    Bus Drivers protest they get what they want.
    Teachers protest… they get what they want.
    Government employees next? haha nope. This time when the police come and tell allu allu relieved from allu duties he will really mean it. lol

  14. If we knew better
    May 18, 2021

    Easy peasy. And just like that, agreements were made. Its not like the government wouldnt have addressed it if the concerns were brought to their attention, its just that the person/people responsible for representing the interests of the staff and students didnt give two hoots about the situation to ensure that it was addressed.

    We always have an excuse about why things cannot be done properly, or be done at all. When in fact, there are forces working against what should be, for their own self interest. Now the government bending to their demands still doesnt give them credit. Because these issues didnt just happen over night. Im sure government officials from the ministry of education have noticed them. Parents of students have maybe said something over the years. Graduations are held there. But we have come to just accept mediocrity and less than we deserve.

    Stand up for what you deserve, and get the people who are preventing you from reaching your full potential out of the…

  15. Real Talk
    May 18, 2021

    But I thought Letang was a member of the dissolved board for a very long time. He should have made the recommendations when he was there.

    • Iamanidiot
      May 18, 2021

      Ok, lets say he was a member, How did you know he didn;t make the recommendations? Secondly, how long after he was a member did the college come to such a deplorable state.
      Buildings have to be maintained ever so often.

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