Ten percent salary cut for public officers and teachers – it remains a very live discussion up to news time tonight. Executives of the Public Service Union (PSU) have taken the past holiday weekend to garner feedback from its membership over the proposal presented by the Government last week. Love News spoke with First Vice President Dean Flowers who explained that the discussion is being had primarily online. Based on the output from the teachers, a counter-proposal will be taken back to the government.
Dean Flowers, First Vice President: “We issued a circular over the weekend and that circular simply stated that we have embarked on consultations with the first having been on Saturday morning and I’m pleased to report that members logged in by the hundreds, I think we had over two hundred participants in that meeting. The circular also spoke of a survey that we launched for and on behalf of PSU to get a feel from public officers in terms of how they felt about the proposal as well as asking them to put forward solutions and suggestions on how we could address the government’s call for this $80 million and the response to that survey is also going pretty well. It’s divided amounts members of the PSU and non members I think that the percentages that we’re seeing reflects some 55% non members but public officers all the same responding and we have identified 45% being members of the PSU. I think the survey is approaching two thousand and it closes today at 5 p.m so we’ll see what are the final numbers but we believe that it represents an acceptable sampling of our membership and so we will be guided accordingly with the responses.”
Flowers went on to say that the polls being taken as well as online meetings are what will be compiled and taken back by March 15.
Dean Flowers, First Vice President: “The consultations have been going pretty fine. I think that the population that we have reached is extremely encouraging and it gives us a basis on which to formulate several proposals that we will be putting to government. The emotions are very high of course, we’re dealing with people’s livelihood here and so but we have done an excellent job to maintain order and to ensure that there is reasoning with what is being put forward. We have tried our best not to shy away from the reality of the situation that is facing the country and we’ve shared that with membership and it is in that context that we ask them to put forth proposals that are well reasoned and well thought out and in conjunction with that we are trying to also share with them well researched data to help guide them in having a position or positions for us to then put forward back to government.”