Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has sent a clear message to Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) General Secretary, Thomas Letang and Dominicans by extension, that he runs things in this country.
“I have embarked on a mission to meet with every single public officer in Dominica and I met with the junior clerks, ladies and gentlemen and I hear Thomas Letang telling me, stop meeting them…my brother, I run things in Dominica…” Skerrit declared to a rousing response from his followers at the launch of the DLP’s candidate for Roseau South on Sunday.
The DLP leader continued, “I met the junior clerks and their main issue is their non-appointment and I will say to them tonight, I have given instructions to the Chief Personnel Officer to move with the appointment of 152 junior clerks in Dominica, ladies and gentlemen and to fill all vacant positions in the public service with immediate effect. So, every vacant post in the public service shall be filled.”
Skerrit summoned junior clerks to a meeting on April 11, 2019, the same day that the DPSU held a rally with its members to discuss salary negotiations and other grievances that are affecting them. He announced after that meeting that thegovernment would appoint 53 junior clerks into the public service.
Letang responded to that move by accusing the prime minister of using the meeting with the junior clerks to make political mileage. He pointed out that over the years, the union has been calling on the government to appoint these workers, cognizant of the negative implications of their non-appointment in terms of their inability get study leave, annual increment or to take a bank loan.
“But nobody has been taking us seriously,” the union official noted. “You knew the vacant positions were there. All you had to do, was make the recommendations to the Public Service Commission for their appointment.”
The DPSU has since embarked on a “go slow” effective Friday 31st and has given the government until Tuesday June 11, 2019 to call the union to the negotiating table to address their concerns, or face ”enhanced industrial action.”