The Hon Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Roosevelt Skerrit has raised concerns with the administration of the Dominica Public Service Union about its comments which are usually not positive or appreciative.
DPSU General Secretary, Thomas Letang was in discussion with the Hon Prime Minister recently about improving the relationship between the union and government and making the workplace better for public servants.
Hon Skerrit was perturbed that the union did not often make comments reflective of his government’s positive activities.
“Should not there be an appearance of balance in terms of the comments, because most times we hear from the union is something negative. After hurricane Maria we kept all public officers- temporary and otherwise- paying everyone’s salaries. In regards to covid 19, we were maybe one of the few countries in the Caribbean who have not paid salaries late and have not asked public officers for a reduction in pay.”
He continued, “Sometimes I think in the public domain we may need to improve our relationship and let people know there is a partnership and there is a working relationship, it is not always smooth sailing but it is not always rocky either.”
Thomas Letang, General-Secretary of the Union which represents about 4,000 public servants is of the view that the union is kept out of the loop.
“We can only speak of positive things when we have information,” Letang responded. “At least if we had some information saying this is what government has decided to do then we would be in a position to give the praise where the praise has to go and even make statements in support. But in the absence of official information, we can only speak to what we are hearing from some of our members.”
“There are times when you need us to help to convince and to sell certain things to public officers but in the absence of official communication from you we are not in a position [to do so].”
In that same discussion, both parties agreed to quarterly meetings.