Slow pace of negotiations concerns St Lucia union official

CASTRIES, St Lucia, Tuesday January 29, 2013 – Vice President of the Trade Union Federation (TUF) Cyprian Montroupe says the grouping is disappointment with the progress of the negotiations for a salary increases for public servants given the February 15 deadline.

Montroupe said the TUF has written to Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony urging that the government ensure that negotiations progresses smoothly.

“We are very unhappy with the progress government has made with the setting up of the independent bodies to discuss fringe benefits and up to this time we have no date to continue the wage negotiations, this is despite the January 7 agreement to conclude negotiations by February 15,” he said.

Monrose said the TUF will meet Thursday to further discuss the matter.

The unions are seeking a 16 per cent increase spread over the 2012-2013 triennium period to which government has responded with a zero per cent increase in the three years and a lump sum of EC$1,000 (One EC dollar = US$0.37 cents).

Montroupe said the TUF has already informed the government negotiating team (GNT) that its members were becoming uneasy about the state of the negotiations warning that the TUF will not tolerate delaying tactics. 

“At the pace the GNT is operating it is clear that either they are not serious in getting the negotiations complete by the February 15 or they prefer to drag the negotiations beyond the end of the March of this year when the collective agreement ends,” he said.

Prime Minister Anthony appears to have a different view on the matter indicating that the negotiators have a packed schedule before them.

“I have been keeping a keen eye on the process and imparting whatever influence I can to ensure that the negotiations continue. The information I have is that the team has been meeting the various organizations involved in the process,” he said. 

Prime Minister Anthony said the GNT has indicated it readiness to meet with the unions representing nurses, fire officials as well as daily paid workers and that based on Montroupe’s statement he is not sure the trade unionist is informed on the matter. (CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)