Salary increases may be major contention
It is clear that a showdown between the Government and public servants as well as the police, over salary increase issues, is looming. The police and other public officers have made it clear that they have rejected government's zero, zero and zero percent increases for 2013 to 2015 period.
In fact both the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU0 and the Police Welfare Association (PWA) who met with their general membership have submitted a counter proposal to the government.
"We told Government that at a membership meeting held on Friday May 30, that they also rejected their proposal which was unanimous. We were mandated to put forward our counter proposal on or before June 27, 2014," president of the PWA Jefferson Drigo told the SUN in an interview.
According to him, lots of progress has been made in regards to their proposal to government and they are confident that the outcome would and will be "positive."
"We have given Government a proposal that fits the economy. We have done our investigations and the figures that we have thus presented are fitting to give us our deserved salary increase", he said. Asked if they were joining with any other union to fight the cause he replied "no."
"We are working on our own, we are an independent body. However, whoever wishes to meet with us we welcome that but we are on our own. Our figures are independent and we are not going to lean on any union this time around. We are working for ourselves only this time," Drigo said.
He said that they are very confident that they will get through. "We will also be giving them advice on how to bring the economy into stableness," he said.
Meantime Thomas Letang the General Secretary of the DPSU says the position that is coming from their meeting with public officers, is that they have decided to reject government's offer of zero, zero, and zero.
"We have submitted our counter proposal to government and we are looking at an overall 10% salary increase, 3, 3, and 4 for the three years and a number of non-salary incentives and benefits," Letang said.
He added: "People are of the view that Government's proposal does not make sense and lacks substance. Public officers have made tremendous sacrifices over the years and we believe that what we are asking is fair and the country can afford it." But speaking to State-owned DBS radio, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Roosevelt Skerrit says he believes that common sense should prevail and Dominica has not been spared from the global economic crisis.
"We have not been spared at all so we continue to implement very progressive and beneficial policies in this country. We have been able to manage the economy in a prudent and efficient manner," Skerrit said.