DOMINICA-Public servants embark on go slow as union gears for further industrial action


The Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) has called on public servants to embark on a “go slow”  to force the Roosevelt Skerrit administration to meet to negotiate new salaries and other benefits.

“We are giving the government of Dominica up to Tuesday to June 11, to meet our demands to call us to the negotiating table and to respond to our concerns,” DPSU general secretary, Thomas Letang told a union rally late Thursday, adding “after June 11, 2019 we will call you again and it will not be any go slow. “It is going to be something bigger, better, harder and more serious than go slow; we are going to take enhanced industrial action.”

DPSU general secretary Thomas Letang addressing rally on Thursday night

Letang said that the union had written to the government regarding the negotiations for the period 2018-21. He said the union is seeking a 10 per cent salary increase over the period.

“Every Friday we will continue wearing our yellow and orange T-shirts. We are not going to stop,” he told the “Solidarity Rally, adding that as of this Friday, “we are all going to embark we are going to embark on go slow. We are going to reduce our working input by 60 per cent”.

He said the action would continue until Monday.

“So you report to work but there will be a go slow. We want your working input to be decreased by about 60 per cent. Your executive will meet next week Thursday to review the situation,” he added.

Letang said that public officers were owed answers to various questions from the government including the delay in appointing the union’s president, Steve Joseph, to a permanent position in spite of his qualifications, experience, commitment and dedication, is not appointed to a full-time post within the service.

“Public officers want to know why the minimum wage of EC$4.05 cents (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents), the lowest in the region and which is the rate (since) 1998 is not being reviewed,” he said, adding “no Dominican can survive today on a daily wage of EC$32”.

The union official said public workers were also seeking answers to questions regarding pensions, transportation allowances for nurses.

“Why is it that after several months of having submitted our proposals for salary increases the government is not calling the union to the negotiating table?”

Meanwhile, Joseph told the rally that the demands of the union are reasonable.

“We are asking for support for improved education, healthcare…what is that you cannot address. Give them what is due them,” he said, noting that in any democracy not every public sector employee would be supportive of any government in power.

“People have a right to have an allegiance to whatever political affiliation that they choose and that’s their right. What we are asking for is a fair days pay for a fair days work,” he added.

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