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CSA President Calls for a United Force

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Contact: Primus Hutchinson

Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - President of the Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA), Francis Raphael, has called for the unification of trade unions, in order to minimise the eminent threat posed by liberalisation and globalisation on such groupings.

Raphael made that appeal while addressing members of the association, during the official opening ceremony of CSA Week, Sunday, at the their headquarters at San-Souci. Raphael warned against the unbearable hardships that this new world phenomenon will bring and has strongly suggested that preparation must be in place to deal with the fallout that will occur eventually. According to the CSA President, such an approach will at least minimise its effect on our workforce.

According to Raphael, if there was ever a need to unite, the time is now. Therefore, trade unions need to move in a positive and purposeful manner, mindful of a vicious and competitive world. The CSA president warned that trade unions were already lapsing and need as a necessity to catch on quickly before it is too late.

“We don’t want to have too much ground to cover which may render our task insurmountable. Therefore we must redouble our efforts to reposition our organisation, to fulfil its mandate of providing you with the kind of representation desirable and needed at this time,” Raphael said.

Meanwhile, St. Lucia’s Ambassador to CARICOM, His Excellency, Earl Huntley, who delivered the feature address, suggested an option of maintaining a balance between academic qualifications and experience, speaking particularly to appointments to managerial positions in the public service.

Ambassador Huntley advised, that a happy medium be established between the two, if we are to maintain the type of public service necessary, for these changing and challenging times. He warned that the acquisition of academic qualifications should not be automatic tickets to promotion to a managerial position, particularly if one has limited experience of the service.

“A first degree with little or no working experience should guarantee you entry into a particular stream of the service, where you can acquire the experience to advance further,” Huntley said.

During the presentation of awards, air traffic control officer Amy Charles, received the Shop Steward of the Year Award and the Boys Training Centre received the Branch of the Year Award.

A number of activities are being held in observance of CSA Week, 2003.

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