DPSU wants to meet with gov’t but on own turf

Letang wants a meeting between the government and the DPSU

General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang has stated that the union is willing to meet with the government to discuss various issues, particularly salary negotiations, but it must be done under certain conditions.

Speaking at a press conference at the DPSU Building on Tuesday, he said such a meeting must be a place where freedom of speech is allowed and is only between the relevant members of government and the DPSU.

Last week Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, announced that the government is willing to meet with various unions and other members of civil society to discuss salary negotiations and other matters. 

But Letang said the DPSU is not interested in meeting in that proposed format.

He said that there are a number of issues besides salary negotiations that the DPSU wants addressed, but when in conversation with the government, where other persons are present, the union is limited to the topics that it can bring to the table.

“So we want a forum where we can talk about the issues affecting the people who we represent, all our members, not only public officers, but Public Works employees, Solid Waste Management employees. So that is one of the reasons why we are saying yes we will meet but we want you to have a meeting with us,” he stated.

Letang explained that in forums organized by the government, based on who is present, only certain issues can be addressed, however a forum where the DPSU can touch on all issues is preferred.

“We are not going to be having a meeting with the Prime Minister where we will not use the opportunity to talk about the injustice that has been shown out to the Public Works employees who has been laid off for almost two years and have not been paid their redundancies,” he remarked. “But you know if we bring that at a meeting where the church is present, where all the other stakeholders are present, we will be told that this is not the forum for that.”

Letang believes that the DPSU has been disrespected because no mention has been made by the government of a request, by the union, for a meeting between the two parties.

“We have received a letter dated March 28th from the CPO (Chief Personnel Officer) and she is telling us that a meeting is scheduled for April 13th 2017 at 10:00 am and that meeting will be held at the Ministry of Finance. Nowhere in her letter does she make any mention of our letter. This is something else,” he said

He added that it cannot be one party making the determination when and where the parties must meet to negotiate or discuss, saying this is unacceptable.

He said that the whole “personal dialogue” is something that has to be looked at.

“We cannot accept the approach that if there is a conference or a meeting as they are proposing that we have to sit with other people so as to tell us why a salary increase cannot be paid,” Letang said.

Letang made it clear that with regards to the proposal for a salary increase, the government has not made an offer but instead has told them that they simply “cannot pay a salary increase.”

“So when they tell us zero, zero, zero, that is not an offer,” he remarked, referring to the government’s offer of a wage freeze for the 2015-2018 triennium. “There are a lot of other things that we have proposed that they have not made mention of. We do not want to go to any meetings where will have any surprises. What we will do in the meantime is that we will continue to engage our membership on what is happening. We have been going around and meeting our members and explaining to them what is happening, the position, and giving reasons why the executive has taken certain positions.”

He said Solidarity Rally is planned by the DPSU on April 27th 2017.

The DPSU is making its position clear on salary negotiations

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18 Comments

  1. zeebee charles
    April 5, 2017

    I dont want wage increase without job security.

  2. zeebee charles
    April 5, 2017

    Letang i support your idea . but i have some serious concerns unless you and other unions leaders cannot come up with solutions and ideas to government that such thing as non established and non established workers should be existing .once you are employed by the state automatically you are a established worker benefits cannot be for one set,those that are just sitting on there behind and hard working people, working in forestry min of public works and other departments are there for 20yrs and more without job security. During last election i heard the Hon pm saying that once you are working for Government 10yrs and more you are consider a established worker did they go to parliament and past this.i dont think so

    • zeebee charles
      April 5, 2017

      Letang i support your idea . but i have some serious concerns unless you and other unions leaders cannot come up with solutions and ideas to government that such thing as established and non established workers should not be existing .once you are employed by the state automatically you are a established worker. benefits cannot be for one set,those that are just sitting on there behind, and hard working people, working in forestry min of public works and other departments are there for 20yrs and more without job security. During last election i heard the Hon pm saying that once you are working for Government 10yrs and more you are consider a established worker did they go to parliament and past this.i dont think so this are one of the burning issues mr letang take them to task to keep on their words

  3. Tjebe fort
    April 5, 2017

    Good strategy mr. Letang. The simple fact is that Skerrit needs civil servant more than they need him. If civil servant strike tomorrow the country can not function but if Skerrit would cease to function tomorrow the country would continue with little disruption.. You are in the driving seat mr. Letang, not Skerrit, remember that.

    • Just Passing Through
      April 5, 2017

      As you said that Tjebe fort. I remember when the Controllers said the samething to President Reagan. He needed them more than they need him.

      If I am a Civil Servant and I have to keep food on my table and a roof over my head, I tell you, I need my employer as much as my employer needs me, One gives a Service and the Other pays for the services given. It takes two hands to clap.

      We must realize both need each other and both must negotiate in good faith.

  4. SHREWD
    April 4, 2017

    please start your negotiations with a 20 percent, because they took over 50 percent. They will also enjoy this 20 percent increase. The art of the deal.

  5. Ibo France
    April 4, 2017

    See what happens when politicians overstay their time? They suffer from incurable arrogance. Instead of servant leadership, they give you dictatorship. They refuse to negotiate with the representatives of the workers but prefer to dictate pertinent issues, adversely affecting the well being of the civil and public servants, solely on the government’s terms. When the union do not acquiesce to their unreasonable demands, the union is accused of collusion with the Opposition. Mr. Letang, do not be intimidated, do not relent. Your cause is a just one and good always trumps evil. Proceed fearlessly for the betterment of the downtrodden.

    • April 5, 2017

      It is letang that sounds like the DICTATOR. What you fail to understand is that Letang has been in that position much longer than Skeritt has been PM. Perhaps you don’t know the meaning of arrogance. Just examine the civil request by the PM for a consult with the uniins and compare Mr. Letang’s arrogant response with the reasoned response of the other union leaders. You are saying that the government has refused to negotiate, not even Letang will agree because he never said that.

  6. Fake News
    April 4, 2017

    Speaking at a press conference at the DPSU Building on Tuesday, he said such a meeting must be a place where freedom of speech is allowed and is only between the relevant members of government and the DPSU.”

    This is what I refer to as credible news because Mr. Letang made his statement during a press conference where he was available to the press to answer questions, unlike the fake news propaganda of Skerrit where he doesn’t answer​ to the press on anything, yet they keep spreading his propaganda by putting it out in the name of news. Example, PM informs says he and Clear Habor met to make Clear Habor more involved with government and as a result Skerrit was quick to say NEP interns will become permanent employees of the firm. But he said nothing about what he gave to the firm and yet, the press releases that information without questioning Skerrit as if Skerrit’s info should be treated as gospel truth. I truly blame the press for what is happening in DOMINICA today

  7. Is so it is.
    April 4, 2017

    True words letang.These people are harboring this evil man spreading money all over the place and telling public officers 0,0,0.What about the PWC workers laid off since 2015 ?Where’s their redundancy? Isn’t this a britches of the Labour Laws of Dominica..How can people sit and allow a man to destroy people’s lives like this while at the same time giving monies all over the place to people that haven’t worked for it, while those who have worked and are working are being denied their pay ,benefits and increase..This country has adopted an EVIL Spirit and it will surely destroy us if not stopped NOW..

  8. Civil servant
    April 4, 2017

    Where were you and your action when under the UWP government when public servants could not get paid on time and at times halfway into the other months? What was your concern then when mortgages and other financial obligations were not able to be paid on time and penalties were passed on to consumers (public workers) where were you then and what was your interest then?

  9. Politics of Truth
    April 4, 2017

    Thomas Letang does not make any sense. He had a rally with all and sundry to critic the actions of government in their absence. There was no restriction on free speech. Now he cant say the same things before the Government?
    One must ask does Thomas Letang really has the best interest of the Public Servants and the other sector he represents at heart.

    DPSU is representing workers in the private sector, why does he refuse to sit with other private sector and private sector unions and discuss the very issues he called upon every one to discuss at his rally?

  10. %
    April 4, 2017

    Letang boy,,,,you and your team are ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT….Remember Skerrits leadership is replete with trickery and deception. No wonder this country is in the serious quagmire that it is today. You have been reading this man very well…It cannot be that MILLIONS AND MILLIONS AND MILLIONS are promised and given/ frittered away in Skerrits SYMPATHY SEEKING trips around the country, and he wants public officers to accept a wage freeze,,,, THATS WICKEDNESS!

  11. April 4, 2017

    Your reluctance to unite with the other unions is discouraging. And your involvement in partisan politics is hampering advancements in negotiations. This is why with every passing year, support for you dwindles. Maybe it’s time to give up, and allow for fresh perspectives.

    • Ibo France
      April 5, 2017

      This is exactly Mr. Skerrit ‘s intention as I easily predicted. Divide and Rule strategy is clearly on display. To set union members against one another then accuse Mr. Letsng of political mischief if he doesn’t comply with the PM’s clandestine intentions. His foot soldiers, like the one above this comment, will then launch a most vicious attack on the character of the ‘dissenters’, by spreading poisonous disinformation. Pathetic!!!!!

  12. April 4, 2017

    I understand that each union has its own gripes and concerns but most regional and even global forums are done like this. You go to OECS or Caribbean meetings, every country is different, with varied concerns… However you discuss these concerns, group them and work towards solutions. Even with small group meetings in communities, everyone has their personal concerns and beliefs, but collective thinking and reasoning is what gets the ball rolling.

  13. April 4, 2017

    You are only sending a message across that the DPSU is more important that the DAT or WAWU. Mr Letang, get off your high horse and stop this nonsense! The government is willing to sit and discuss with you all, what makes you most special you want to have rules and regulations and private forums?

    • `Anonymous
      April 6, 2017

      Mr. Letang is looking after the people he represents and not other unions. He should not deviate and tick to what he is paid to do.

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