Mr. Roy Fleming – People’s Action Movement
Basseterre, St.Kitts – Nevis
May 24, 2009
People’s Action Movement (PAM) Shadow Minister for Labour, Roy Fleming, is of the view that civil servants in St. Kitts – Nevis are now in a vulnerable position in spite of certain constitutional provisions protecting their rights.
In an exclusive interview with Sun St. Kitts/Nevis, Fleming said although there are a number of institutions and organisations to protect the rights of civil servants, the Federation’s civil servants are now placed in a vulnerable position to the extent that many are faced with countless and numerous challenges.
“Institutions constitutionally responsible for protecting fundamental rights have been unable to ensure the protection of these rights for our members,” Fleming said.
Fleming said there continues to be the arbitrary abuse of authority in imposing conditions of service which are to be negotiated based on existing legally binding agreements.
Meanwhile, Leader of the People’s Action Movement (PAM), Lindsay Grant, noted, “The People’s Action Movement is extremely disturbed that for the past 14 years, government’s respect for civil servants have deteriorated significantly to the extent whereby the employer who is the government seems not to be caring and understanding of the challenges and difficulties that workers are faced with.”
And describing the relationship as “confrontational” owing to the employer’s conduct, Grant argued that the government has “repeatedly, arrogantly and autocratically disregarded internationally fundamental principles and standards for worker’s rights,” Grant noted.
Fleming argued that in spite of the government’s claims of working class credentials and respect for the rule of law, the reality in his party’s view is that “the Douglas-led administration has been more disruptive of these fundamental principles than any of its predecessors.”
Fleming added, “The People’s Action Movement remains deeply concerned about the future of our civil service because of the tendency of the employer, the government’s apparent determination to politicise the public service and to ignore the requirement that while a public servant should faithfully discharge the (legitimate) policies of the government, they must be professional and impartial in the performance of their duties, particularly in dealing with the public regardless of the party in office.
“This is the challenge that we now face, we shall never be bystanders,” Grant asserted, notwithstanding difficulties created by those who now occupy offices through the struggles, sacrifice and success of working class action and achievement.