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Bank workers get pay increase

ST JOHN’S — It pays, literally, to put one’s foot down.

That was proven at least in the case of workers at Republic Bank of Trinidad & Tobago and Royal Bank of Canada, who have been offered a 4.5 per cent hike in their pay, mere days after they took industrial action over salary increases and other issues.

Word from the workers’ bargaining agent, Antigua Workers’ Union, is that they are to receive the increase over a two-year period.

AWU General Secretary Senator David Massiah said the union and staff accepted the increase proposed by management, adding talks also took into consideration the bargaining agreement, which exists with the bank’s management.

“It is a two-year agreement and we have already gone through a year and month, while the others are a couple of months,” Massiah said yesterday.

“So we made the decision to accept that 4.5 per cent across the board for all the employees within the bank.”

The workers were first proposing an eight per cent increase, which was flatly rejected.

That led to them taking industrial action last Wednesday, which caused major disruption in service at both banks.

Staff of both High Street institutions opted not to report to work; instead they proceeded to hold emergency meetings with union representatives.

The issues included salary increase, maternity and paternity leave, among others.

Massiah confirmed that further talks would be held with the managers of RBTT and RBC to address the other matters.

Meantime, the AWU is not the only union hammering out outstanding issues with the RBC groups.

The Banking Insurance and General Workers Union in Trinidad and Tobago, where the bank is headquartered, had its own issues with the group.

Deputy General Secretary of BIGWU Hayden Hernandez said the union has been trying for years to legally represent some 2,000 plus RBC workers. (Antigua Observer)

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