A new controversy has arisen with the Civil Service Association (CSA) over a petition calling for the removal of its executive.
The petition was started by a group within the trade union calling itself the “Save our Union” team which claimed to have amassed 521 signatures calling for the sacking of the executive over a number of issues including the failure of the executive to remain “politically impartial and independent”.
But now, some members who signed that petition are claiming that they were unaware of its purpose.
The controversy is the latest episode in months of infighting within the CSA membership over the recent decision of former president Mary Isaac to accept a senatorial appointment from the opposition United Workers Party.
Members opposed to that move have been quite vocal, calling for her resignation. But now they have trained their guns on the entire executive and want it out of office.
The latest attempt to remove her and the entire executive is receiving opposition with at least three of those who signed the petition for their removal claiming to be unaware of the co ntent of the document that they signed.
The petition was circulated at a May 29, meeting of members opposed to the present executive. That meeting was held at the Castries City Hall.
But four members who spoke with THE VOICE separately in telephone conversations, and who asked not to be named, have come forward voicing objections to the intentions of the petition, even though they signed it.
Barthelmy Fedee, one of those behind the petition, is baffled at this turn of events..
“This is a bit surprising to me. We explained the purpose of the petition at the City Hall meeting. Great lengths were taken to explain the rationale behind the petition. It was explained why we had to remove the executive,” Fedee said.
He said that at the time of the meeting two documents were available for signatures. One was the attendance register which was signed by persons attending the meeting and the other was the petition which had a preamble to it.
“The petition was placed on the table after the meeting. I do not believe any one was duped into signing a document he/she did not want to sign,” Fedee said.
One of the four members who signed told THE VOICE yesterday that he was unaware that the document he had signed at the City Hall meeting was a petition.
“I attended a meeting at the City hall. On entering I signed in as an attendee. I was not aware that I was signing a petition. No one at the time said that the paper I signed was a petition. It was only after that I got to know that what I signed was a petition to remove the entire executive,” the member told this reporter.
Another member said that she signed the petition but not for its intended purpose.
“I signed, but I signed up for a meeting. I did not sign to remove the Executive Council,” the member said.
Said the member who made the startling announcement that his name was on the petition without his knowledge: “I did not sign the petition. I do not know how my name appears on the petition.”
According to Fedee some members are saying that they did not get a chance to sign the petition while others are claiming to have a change of heart.