Under the theme, ‘Navigating the way forward, 80 years and counting’, the Public Service Union is celebrating eight decades as a trade union movement.
President Elroy Boucher described the anniversary as a “milestone,… a phenomenal feat for the trade union movement which represents public servants.”
A number of activities are scheduled to celebrate the occasion.
Among these are: Church Service – February 4 at the Kingstown Baptist Church; visits to all departments beginning February and continuing; official launch of the Union’s website – February 13; Presidential Award Ceremony and Cocktail – February 27; Members/Pensioners Fun Day at Mt. Wynne – March 4; National Heroes Day Boat Tide to Bequia – March 14.
From CSA to PSU
The Association and later the Union bringing together civil/public servants found impetus in the Moyne Royal Commission of 1939, which highlighted, among other challenges, that workers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, then a British colony, were not properly represented, and that there were no Trade Unions or Worker.
In 1942, civil/public servants here came together and formed the Civil Service Association (CSA), and by 1943, February 27 to be exact, the Civil Service Association was registered under the Friendly Societies Act.
On February 21, 1954 the Association was registered as a Trade Union under the Trades Union and Trades Disputes Act 1951.
The Annual General Meetings of 1981 adopted a motion to change the name to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Public Service Union (SVGPSU).
In addition to providing ‘quality representation and services to the membership while ensuring the protection of workers’ rights and contributing to the social, economic and cultural development of the state through social dialogue and collective bargaining’, the PSU has added to its range of benefits to members: Scholarship to the children of financial members; a Legal Aid and Advice service; Group Medical Insurance; Medical Assistance Programme; professional training; Death Benefit to surviving relatives of financial members; and PSU U-Cash (loan facility).