Mary Isaac, the embattled president of the CSA, confirmed her resignation as president of the Civil Service Association, the largest trade union body here in Saint Lucia. Speaking to the STAR on Friday, Isaac said that the moment she was selected as the United Workers Party candidate for Castries South, she knew that she could no longer hold on to the post of president. “My main reason for stepping down as president was to regularize things since I am also the acting general secretary. So now this allows the vice president to move up as president and I will continue to act as the general secretary of the CSA,” Isaac said.
The resignation of Isaac came on May 26, just five days after she was selected in a “controversial” run-off for the Castries South seat. Doddy Francois, another member of the UWP who had unsuccessfully contested the seat during the last general elections, has said he knew nothing about a run-off between himself and Isaac.
Isaac retired from the civil service last year as chief complaints and investigations officer at the Consumer Affairs Department of the Ministry of Commerce. Last December she was nominated for and accepted her appointment as a Senator by the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP). At the time the veteran trade unionist said she was quite surprised by the nomination. In brushing aside her detractors at the time, Isaac told reporters that there were precedents in her appointment, referring to the largest trade union in Trinidad and Tobago being headed by government Senator James Lambert who is President General of the National Union of Government and Federated Workers Trade Union. She also made reference to trade union leaders like President General of the militant Technical & Allied Workers’ Union of Grenada, Chester Humphrey, who is also a Senator.
However, this did not sit well with several members of the CSA who sought to dispose of Mary Isaac, fueling much internal wrangling in the union.
Will Isaac’s resignation now quell any of the internal strife faced by the union in recent times? Only time will tell as she is still very much involved in the day to day running of the CSA. Isaac has been serving as the acting general secretary within the CSA following the retirement of David Demacque who previously held that position.
The new president of the CSA is Wilfred Pierre, the former vice president.