The Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) has challenged the government to find the money for a salary increase for public servants as it will not accept a wage freeze for the 2015-2018 triennium.
Addressing a solidarity rally of the union on Thursday afternoon, a tough-talking General Secretary of the DPSU, Thomas Letang, said protest action is not being ruled out if demands are not met.
He said it is an insult to the union that for three years it was never consulted by the government on salary increases.
“We are saying that enough is enough, we believe it is an insult for three years we are never consulted, there is absolutely no dialogue with us and when we get to the negotiating table, you tell us you are going to give us a wage freeze,” he stated.
Letang noted that a wage freeze is out of the question.
“No way are we going to accept a wage freeze,” he remarked. “They have to find the money to pay public officers. You cannot have a government being invited to address a youth group, to address a village council, without any plans being presented by those organizations you get checks of $450,000, $250,000, $300,000 and you are saying to public officers you have no money to pay them?”
He said the government must find the money.
“Find the money to pay them,” Letang said. “If you are responsible for DASPA, get the money to pay the employees at DASPA, at DOWASCO. at Solid Waste Corporation, wherever it is, find the money to pay them. When ministers of government wanted 52 percent salary increase, they found the money, so they have to find it for us and we are not going to compromise, they have to find the money to pay us salary increase.”
The DPSU is not ruling out protest action.
“We are saying as an executive, we are not going to call public officers together and demonstrate and protest on behalf of public officers,” he explained.
Anywhere our members are affected, we going to bring everybody together, so if we have a sick out, it is a sick out in the public service, it is a sick out at DASPA, at Solid Waste, where it is, that is the approach that we are going to take.”
Letang called on public servants to be ready for action.
“I want to tell you, be prepared for action, its either we sink or we float but we are ready and sooner than later we will be taking action,” he said.
Referring to the puncturing of his four tires on Thursday, Letang said he is prepared to die for public officers.
“I am not afraid. ..I am ever more resolute and determined now and is prepared to die for you,” he said to huge applause.