Last week alone, no less than five public servants stormed the offices of their union worried that they will be victimized because of their political affiliation.
The General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union Thomas Letang said this is a worrying trend.
He told Dominicanewsonline in an exclusive interview that these Public officers claimed that they are afraid to even participate in activities called by the union.
His comment comes on the heels of statements by Opposition Leader Lennox Linton, who said public officers who may be victimized for standing up against corruption will be reinstated.
“That is something I have been seeing all the time…members come to us, regularly and they say to us that they are afraid to even participate in activities called by the union for fear of victimization,” he said. “There is victimization and a lot of public officers are fearful of that.”
He recalled that there have been instances where members of their union have been victimized.
“We have situations where our President has been victimized,” Letang said.
Letang strongly believes that public officers are free to attend rallies, however they must avoid going on platforms to make political statements.
“You are free to attend any rally,” Letang stated. “That is your right as the citizen of the country.”
To address this issue Letang said educating the public officers is key.
“We have to keep on educating them, we have to get to the work places, we have to meet them on a one-on-one and talk to them, we have to have workshops so we can explain to them what their rights are, go in detailed on the section of the constitution that deals with the rights of a citizens, freedom of expression…,” he urged.
Meantime Letang said there are several other issues affecting public officers including the issue of promotion and appointment in the public service.
“But we have been told that something is going to be done about it and we are patiently waiting,” Letang stated. “If not we will have to take some more action to get it done.”
He mentioned also that there is still the issue of salary negotiations.
“We have the issue of negotiations and I must report that we have had three sessions of negotiations,” he revealed. “We have not agreed to anything yet or we are not seeing anything that is important so that we could call the members, but we are hoping to do that in a few weeks’ time and after that we will be calling the members together.”
A committee has been appointed to review the minimum wage and according to Letang, that committee has already met twice and is collecting data.