CIVIL Service Association President Mary Isaac is facing what is tantamount to a vote of confidence by her followers next week, but appears little concerned about the possible consequences.
In fact, up to Thursday, Isaac was making the point that the meeting set for Wednesday on the basis of a petition by members calling for her removal, may even be unconstitutional, if it takes place at all.
She also made the point that the authenticity of the petition, which she described as a “cut and paste” document, would first have to be determined before this meeting takes place. She said that this had not yet been done because the union’s general secretary had not been well.
Further, the constitution also mandated that the matter to be discussed at the extraordinary general meeting be clearly set out in the petition so that it can be determined whether that meeting should take place or not.
She said there were two items on the agenda for that meeting, one of which was a call for her resignation because she was a member of the UWP. She quoted the constitution to indicate that it allowed her to affiliate with any political party that she wished to.
The point at issue is Isaac’s acceptance of a Senatorial appointment by the opposition United Workers Party late last year. A petition calling for her removal as President on the grounds of conflict of interest, had solicited 150 signatures by Thursday this week, twice as many as are required by the organization’s constitution to make the matter eligible for discussion.
The petition was started after CSA general council member BarthelmyFedee accused Isaac of breaching the association’s constitution by not holding quarterly meetings as mandated. Fedee said he had written to the Registrar of Trade Unions asking to investigate the CSA for breaching its constitution.
Fedee said he started the petition to move members towards holding an extraordinary general meeting at which they would also challenge Isaac’s leadership and vote her out.
THE VOICE understands that there are more than 3,000 public service workers holding CSA membership.
Despite the campaign against her, Isaac was on duty for the CSA this week in talks with the government negotiating team (GNT) brought over from last year. She seemed delighted with the progress being made at these talks although she made the point that the government’s proposal to cut civil servants pay by five percent was still on the table and the CSA would continue to reject the idea.
Isaac, speaking on Dave Samuel’s MR CHAIRMAN show Thursday night also said that there was another petition making the rounds which was at variance with that being promoted by Fedee and which contained even more signatures than his. That petition she seemed to be indicating, was in support of her.
During the programme, one caller asked Isaac what would she do if “her party” got into power and wanted to cut the pay of government workers. She replied: “I would be able to say to the government that you cannot take 5 percent from the workers…With the passion that I have for workers rights I cannot see me being part of a government that is going to take from the workers.”
Isaac made no bones about it that she still had the majority of CSA members supporting her after recapturing the CSA presidency last year by a landslide margin.
She made the point that even if she were removed as CSA President she would still be on the executive of the CSA as Immediate Past President where she would still have a vote.
Isaac said the majority of CSA members were supportive of her action in accepting the UWP’s Senatorial appointment. “That is what St Lucians must understand. It is not United Workers Party members who are members of the Union. It is not St Lucia Labour Party members. It is the public workers, the statutory board workers, people that CSA represent that are members of the union and they are the ones who are to determine what happens in our union”.