Posted by: nativeiowan | September 2, 2009

Letter to the Editor 2/9/09

Letter to the Editor

On the 10th of August a letter signed by the SI National Teachers’ Association, the SI Nurses’ Association, the SI Medical Association, The SICHE National Lecturers’ Association, The SI Police Officers’ Association, the SICHE National Staff Association, the SI Public Employees Union, the SI Paramedic Association, the National Sectary of SICTU, the President of the SICTU and the SI Chamber of Commerce and Industry was sent to Prime Minister Dr. Sikua.

This letter requested the P.M. to meet with the identified leading representatives from the Private Sector to discuss the recent and unacceptable increases made in relation to Parliamentary Entitlements.

The combined effort of the above mentioned Trade Unions and the Chamber of Commerce represents a huge cross section of the Private Sector. It represents the workers and the employers. It represents no less than 50% of the National Tax base.

Of course, to date (four weeks on) there has been no meeting.

In the past four weeks there has been some back tracking by the government. We know that a Commission together to review the 50,000.00 termination grant to spouses has been formalized. But the remaining, numerous entitlement increases have been left as-is.

And this is not acceptable. Taxes are rising. Costs of goods go up every month. Wages are held static due to bad economic times. But MPs get more. And more. And more.

The reason for the combined effort from the Private Sector (the Unions and the Employers) was aimed to quickly address an important issue. An issue that is seen by the Private Sector to be crucial if not pivotal in future planning, development and profitability.

But, to date (four weeks on) there has been no meeting.

Instead there has been smoke and mirrors. The strike by the Public Employees’ Union has of course deferred attention. The various comments from MPs and Ministers alike have been against the entitlements but other than the commission reviewing the 50 grand to spouses everything has been stalled but not changed or reversed.

Dear Prime Minister,

Can the Trade Unions and the Chamber of Commerce ask you, respectfully, to respond to our August 10th letter?  Your refusal or inability to respond may erroneously be interpreted as a lack of interest. Or worse, a lack of concern for the Private Sector’s thoughts and impressions per this very, very important matter.

Mike Hemmer

Chairman, SICCI

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