January 30, 2009
PSU: Priorities and focus for 2009

During the ensuing period priority will be given to the following:

The internal reorganization of the union to ensure higher levels of compliance with the regulatory framework in which the union operates and improved governance.{{more}}

Modernization of the union’s operations in order to strengthen the capacity of the organization to meet current and emerging challenges within the local industrial relations environment and; in keeping with the realities of the domestic, regional, and global economic climate.

Establishing appropriate policies and systems to ensure higher levels of efficiency and improvements in the quality of services provided to the membership.

Special General Meeting

A meeting of the general body was convened on the 21st January, 2009, to review the main priority areas and approve the budget allocations for the ensuing year. After deliberations the general body by way of a number of notions and resolutions approved:

a) Increases in death, medical and scholarship benefits.

b) The establishment of the new budget allocations viz:

Building fund

Honoraria for Executive Members

Investment fund

Unemployment/Dispute fund

Industrial relations

The dispute with government over the implementation of the R2 salary scale and the imposition of salary increase for 2009, 2010 and 2011 remain outstanding. A resolution to these issues will be vigorously pursued under the relevant industrial dispute resolution procedures set out in the laws of the state and the International Labor Organization dispute mechanism. Other strategies and actions will also be employed to ensure that the rights of Public Service Union to represent and negotiate on behalf of our members are safeguarded.

The government continues to show its scant disregard for the rights of Public Sector Workers by failing to provide to the Union the Job Evaluation Report on the 250 positions that were not reclassified by the Powell Consultants and the Report of Appeals Committee. These reports were promised to the unions over six months ago. The withholding of this vital information is creating high levels of anxiety and frustrations among public servants over their proper remuneration and career prospects.

The Public Service Union does not recognize the validity of the payments made to Public Servants under the R2 salary scale and the new 2009 salary regime. We will continue to regard these payments as illegal until full negotiations are completed in each case. The PSU did not and will not agree at any time to the payment of half year increments to public servants. This anomaly is unprecedented in the history of the public service since the practice is to pay a full increment for each year of service. This payment was made even through the PSU brought it to the attention of the Government that the effective implementation dates for the R1 from January 1st 2007 to June 30th 2008 were in error. The Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office agreed that the dates were wrong and consented to change them to read January 1st, 2007, to December 31st, 2007. The agreed corrections were confirmed by letter sent to the Permanent Secretary from the PSU dated 10th October, 2008. By implication the effective date for the payment of the R2 salaries must be January 1st, 2008, to December 31st, 2008.