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					Caribbean Public Services Association Young Workers’ Quarterly Newsletter

           CPSA Young Workers’
                     Voice                                “To Educate and Represent”
                                                                                                                September 2009

CPSA Young Workers’ Committee
                                                                Message to Young Workers
The CPSA Young Worker’s Com-
mittee comprises of representa-
                                                                                    tiative in the labour force by educating
tives from each of the 17 CPSA                                                      ourselves, recommending change when it
affiliates from 15 Caribbean                                                        its necessary, and even asking to be men-
Countries. Young Workers in-                                                        tored by senior members. I once read, “one
clude workers who are 35 years                                                      of the distinct gifts of being human is our
of age and younger.                                                                 ability to create our own destiny. Isn’t it
                                                                                    surprising how many of us never accept
Our Aims and Objectives are:                                                        this gift or just give it away, making some-
                                              Bro. Jason Hayward                    one else responsible for it”.
∗ To provide a voice for young           Secretary CPSA Young Workers
                                                                                    We as young workers cannot sit back and
  workers on issues and how         Young workers it is very important that we      wonder when things are going to change.
  they impact on them               recognize that we are the future of the         We have to stand up and start to demand
∗ To advise on ways to promote      Trade Union movement, our Governments           change! I know it is easier said than done
  the full integration of young     and our Countries. Isn’t it ironic how the      in many cases, but if young workers con-
  workers in trade unions           leaders of today need to be continuously        tinue to demand better job security, more
∗ To advise on trade union edu-     encouraged to support the leaders of tomor-     training and development, and fair wages,
  cation and training pro-          row, when they where once inspiring to be       it is my hope that the leaders will hear our
                                    leaders themselves. Succession planning         voices. If we say nothing then we should
  grammes and activities for
                                    should be of the highest priority to every      not complain when we continue to get left
  young workers                     Union, Government, or Organization. It          in the cold. The CPSA Young Workers
∗ To be the voice of young public   cannot be functional or realistic unless it     Secretariat will act as a voice for young
  sector workers on a wide range    involves the training and development of        public service workers across the Carib-
  of issues                         younger workers.                                bean.
∗ To advise on and assist with
  the research and dissemination    Young workers, we cannot rely on our Un-        In Solidarity,
  of information concerning the     ions, Our Government, or the organizations      Bro Jason Hayward
  involvement of young public       we work for to do it all for us. We must take
                                    a proactive approach to take a greater ini-
  sector workers in their unions
∗ To act as a support system for
  young members                     Caribbean Public Services Association March for Pensions in Grenada
∗ To promote the involvement of
                                    Morne Rouge, St. George’s, came alive as        CPSA Conference hosted in Grenada,
  young members in CPSA edu-        members chanted their Union song in tre-        2009.
  cation and training pro-          mendous camaraderie on July 13, 2009.
  grammes and activities            Affiliates of the Caribbean Public Services     During 1983, The People’s Revolutionary
∗ To recognize and reward the       Association participated in a ‘March for        Government declared that civil servants
  contribution of young workers     Pension’ in support of the Grenada Public       who became employed after April 1, 1983
  to the development of trade       Workers Union as an inclusion to the ac-        would not receive a pension due to the
  unionism                          tivities in celebration of the 39th Annual      implementation of a National Insurance
If you want more information
please email us at:
cpsayoungworkers@ymail.com                                                                                  Continued page 2
                                        CPSA Young Workers’ Voice                                                            Page 2

 CPSA March (cont’d page 1)

 For decades, disgruntled workers and the Union fought           Banded by unity they proved to onlookers, the media and the
 arduously to repeal this law. In an effort to sensitize au-     authorities that they will continue to fight for the reinstate-
 thorities and to prove to members that the Union is still       ment of pensions for civil servants.
 fighting to have their cause espoused, Public Workers
 from across the Caribbean took to the streets of Grenada        Most importantly they indicated to the newly elected govern-
 in the blazing hot sun, wearing the respective unions t-        ment that it is time to fulfill their election promise which was
 shirt, dancing, singing and carrying placards.                  to ‘…review the discrepancy in pension benefits accruing to
                                                                 those people who were employed before 1983 and after 1983
                                                                 when the National Insurance Scheme was introduced.

Protecting Young Workers from Workplace Hazards

Young workers are more prone to occupa-          The most frequently reported occupa-
tional accidents and illnesses due to their      tional diseases in the Caribbean are
limited training, experience and skills.         pesticide and heavy metal poisoning.
Young and elderly workers may be more
                                                 Skin, respiratory diseases and occupa-
likely to suffer the effects of physical over-
load and extreme environmental condi-            tional hearing loss are also common.
tions. They may also have increased sus-
ceptibility to chemical exposures.
                                           Source: Caribbean Enviromental Health
There are 20-27 million work-related acci- Institute (CEHI)
dents in Latin America and the Caribbean
annually. In the Caribbean in particular,
there has been a general increase in the
number of occupational accidents and dis-
eases reported.                                                                               www.Youngworkers.com.au

                                     Public Services International’s Position On Young Workers

                                     Young people are constantly told “you are       what is important. To achieve sustainable
                                     the future”, but it is important to remember    change, young people need to be able to
                                     that they are the partners of today as well.    speak; and they need to be listened to.
                                     Young workers face particular needs, prob-
                                     lems and pressures, and are often identified    PSI aims to directly address the is-
                                     as extremely vulnerable members of soci-        sues young workers care about and the
                                     ety.                                            problems they face. Empowering young
                                                                                     workers around the world and letting them
                                     PSI supports young people who want to           speak for themselves - in their own words -
                                     have a say in decision-making and in the        is a key priority for PSI. It is a question of
Young workers participate in         changes which affect their lives. PSI will      social justice and creating a future for the
PSI Caribbean Regional Work-         encourage the participation and involve-        trade union movement itself.
    shop held in Grenada             ment of young people in using their voices
                                     and words to define what they want and
             September 2009                            CPSA Young Workers’ Voice                                       Page 3

The Bahamas Public Service Union Young Workers Committee

The vision of the Young Workers Committee of          EDUCATION & TRAINING
BPSU is to build a stronger union by encourag-
ing young workers in the public service to join       1. The Young Workers was instrumental in
the BPSU through introducing and developing             organizing a seminar on “Personal Finan-
various youth programs and activities that will         cial Budgeting”. We invited persons from
attract young workers. Our Young Workers Com-           the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, First
mittee consists of a Chair, Vice Chair and three        Caribbean International Bank and the Pub-
(3) Committee Members.                                  lic Workers Cooperative Credit Union Ltd.

The Bahamas Public Services Union is celebrat-        2. The Young Workers hosted a seminar on
ing 50 years of existence. In keeping with the          the Trade Union Movement: Topics of inter-
celebrations the Young Workers Committee has            est were the History of the Trade Union
the responsibility for spearheading the following       Movement, Leadership Skills, Collective
activities:                                             Bargaining, the Industrial Relations & Em-
                                                        ployment Acts of the Bahamas.
∗ Annual Whist Tournament
∗ Week of events leading up to Labour Day             3. Some of the Young Workers were also af-
∗ Membership Drive (Live Remote) at our Ser-            forded the opportunity to attend the Na-
  vice Station                                          tional Congress of Trade Union of the Baha-
∗ Church Service (50th Anniversary)                     mas (Labour College).
∗ Awards & Recognition Ceremony (50th Anni-
  versary)                                            4. The Young Workers were also instrumental
                                                         in developing the BPSU Majestic Marlins
∗ Musical Extravaganza (50th Anniversary)                Toastmasters Club.

Stewards Update                                                                                       “It’s part of
Mentor an Activist
                                and see if there isn’t some-   union is trying to get peo-
                                                                                                      every union
Find a replacement for          one you can mentor, ideally    ple to volunteer for a com-            activist’s job
yourself. Ok, maybe not         a younger person you can       mittee, make sure the
beginning tomorrow, but         involve more in the union’s    worker knows about the                 to bring other
seriously think about your      work. If the union wants       opportunity. Remember
co-workers and who could                                                                              people along:
                                stewards to gather signa-      that unions work only
step into the steward’s role    tures on a petition, there’s   when members get in-                   the more
if you are unable to handle     no reason this person can’t    volved—so do what you can
things. It’s part of every      help out on the task. Hand-    to spur that involvement.              activists, the
union activist’s job to bring   ing out flyers? Same thing.                                           stronger the
other people along: the         When you go to the union
more activists, the stronger    meeting, invite him or her     -David Prosten.                        union”
the union. Look around you      to go along. If you know the   Editor of Stewards Update
                                                                           CPSA Young Workers’ Secretariat
                       Caribbean Public Services Association Young
                               Workers’ Quarterly Newsletter

                                                                                Sis. Samantha Fedee– Chair
                                                                               (Guyana Public Service Union)

                                                                               Sis. Denise Henry— Vice-Chair
                                                                             (Jamaica Civil Service Association)

                                                                              Bro. Jason Hayward —Secretary
                                                                              (Bermuda Public Services Union)
                      Affiliates Include:
                 ∗ Anguilla Civil Service Association                        Bro. Emmanus Alfred — Assistant
             ∗ Antigua & Barbuda Public Service Union                               Secretary/Treasurer
                  ∗ Bahamas Public Service Union
           ∗ National Union of Public Workers (Barbados)
                                                                            (St. Lucia Civil Service Association)
                    ∗ Belize Public Service Union
                  ∗ Bermuda Public Services Union
                  ∗ Dominica Public Service Union
                  ∗ Grenada Public Workers’ Union
             ∗ Guyana local Government Officers Union
                   ∗ Guyana Public Service Union
         ∗ Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers
                 ∗ Jamaica Civil Service Association
               ∗ Montserrat Civil Service Association
                ∗ St. Lucia Civil Service Association
 ∗ St. Maarten– Windward Island Civil Service Union/Private Sector                   Email Us At
        ∗ St. Vincent & the Grenadines Public Service Union
 ∗ Trinidad & Tobago - National Union of Government and Federated
                            Workers Union

In The News—Anguilla: Civil servants question legality of salary cut
Members of the PSI affiliate An-        that is being taken from them will be      commercial banks and other institutions
guilla Civil Service Association have   repaid when the government of An-          have had to re-negotiate their loan and
chided the government for not con-      guilla's financial situation improves.     mortgage arrangements.
sulting them before taking austerity    CSA President, Gerard Gumbs, said
measures including a 10 percent         in his letter to the government leader     In its communication with the govern-
reduction of salary for grades A-F, a   that the association expects “full reim-   ment, the CSA stated that it “promotes
5 percent reduction for grades G-M      bursement and will pursue such until       accountability and transparency and as
and a 5 percent reduction for wage      it materialises.”                          such will be holding government ac-
workers.                                                                           countable going forward.”
                                        “We believe that sound economic op-
The membership of the Anguilla          portunities have been squandered and       At a recent meeting of Caribbean Public
CSA expressed its “deep dissatisfac-    that we have also forfeited too much       Sector trade unions, delegates gave ex-
tion with the overall economic direc-   for too little in return….This modus       amples of the dangerous emerging trend
tion” charted for Anguilla over the     operandi we believe is a major con-        of governments trying to hide behind
past twelve years. The Anguillian       tributor to the present financial posi-    the world crisis and not observing estab-
government unilaterally cut public      tion and it should not be attributed to    lished and agreed procedures to engage
servants’ salaries and reduced          the world economic melt down alone.”       in genuine consultation with trade un-
fringe benefits/allowances including    the CSA said in its letter to the gov-     ions. Delegates described the situation
telephone and travelling allowances.    ernment.                                   as one in which some governments are
In response, Chief Minister Fleming                                                using the crisis “as an excuse to lay-off
said that the government gave the       The pay cuts have meant that several       workers.”
union the assurance that the money      public servants with commitments to        Source: http://financialcrisisblog.world-psi.org