CSA Prez: I Ain’t Mov­ing

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

By Toni Ni­cholas

Icouldn’t help but hear snip­pets of David Rud­der’s song “Bal­lad of Hulsie X” go­ing off in my head this week, as the drama in­volv­ing CSA Pres­i­dent Mary Isaac un­folded. The song is a very clever take on at­tempts back in 1995 to re­move a cer­tain speaker of the House in Trinidad and her re­fusal to demit of­fice. In the song, a very quirky voice is heard singing, “We used to ragga­muf­fin monar­chy/ But now we have par­a­site holi­garchy. We used to ragga­muf­fin monar­chy/ But now it’s only par­a­site in the party,” ahead of Rud­der’s chant “get them out.” At this junc­ture, I shall re­serve com­ment as to where I be­lieve the so called “par­a­sites” in our cir­cum­stances might be - de party or de union. That, as they say, is for an­other show. Still, it was hardly un­pre­dictable that Mary Isaac would not be re­moved as CSA pres­i­dent so eas­ily.

In De­cem­ber of last year Isaac ac­cepted the op­po­si­tion UWP’s nom­i­na­tion for her to be­come a se­na­tor. Since her swear­ing in, there has been much dis­cus­sion in the me­dia about her UWP af­fil­i­a­tion visa- vis her abil­ity to main­tain a neu­tral po­si­tion as CSA pres­i­dent. Pretty soon there were calls by some in the CSA for her to re­sign. This was fol­lowed by a pe­ti­tion signed by more than a hun­dred mem­bers for an ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing to be held. The pe­ti­tion ac­cused the Pres­i­dent of com­pro­mis­ing the po­lit­i­cal neu­tral­ity and in­de­pen­dence of the union. That meet­ing fi­nally pulled through on Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 11, 2015. Mary Isaac did not at­tend nei­ther did her ex­ec­u­tive.

A vote was con­ducted at Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing for the re­moval of Mary Isaac as the head of the CSA. Out of the 154 mem­bers who at­tended, 124 by a show of hands voted for her re­moval. Fol­low­ing the meet­ing CSA Gen­eral Sec­re­tary David DeMacque de­scribed it as a “sad day” in the life of the union.

The fol­low­ing day, Thurs­day, Mary Isaac told re­porters that she had no rea­son to re­sign. She called into ques­tion the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of the meet­ing as well as the in­fringe­ment of her right to free­dom of as­so­ci­a­tion.

“The meet­ing was out of or­der and I am not go­ing to re­sign to al­low cer­tain per­sons to have their way,” the CSA Pres­i­dent stated.

“The peo­ple who did that are aware of what they are do­ing be­cause they are se­nior public of­fi­cers just try­ing to push their po­lit­i­cal agenda,” Isaac said.

It is now left to be seen what the move of the CSA will be since writ­ing to Mary Isaac in­form­ing her of its de­ci­sion. One of the pe­ti­tion­ers, Oliver J Lawrence, told the STAR on Thurs­day that he just wanted to see the Union pro­ceed with its work. “I just want us to put all of this be­hind us,” Lawrence said. Asked whether the Union was ready for a show­down in the courts with Isaac, he said that it was a ques­tion I would have to ask the CSA’s ex­ec­u­tive.

Fod­der for a lo­cal Ca­lypso you think? And just who will write Mary Isaac’s swan­song?

Em­bat­tled CSA Pres­i­dent

Mary Isaac.

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