BCC impasse drags on
Another round of talks has been scheduled for tomorrow between the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and management of the Barbados Community College (BCC) in a bid to end their bitter industrial impasse.
Following talks this week, the NUPW Senior Industrial Relations Officer Wayne Walrond reported that some progress was being made. In fact, he described the discussions with the top brass of the college as cordial and productive.
The two sides are scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. to try to reach a settlement regarding employment contracts which are under dispute.
Walrond said new contracts being offered to staff seek to treat them as self-employed persons, and no longer as part-time staff.
“We had a cordial meeting with a measure of success. The contentious issues [related] to the particular employee with as much as five years, we would have resolved that, and the worker will continue to work,” the union officer said.
Last week, the union called off threatened strike action at the BCC after management had scheduled a meeting for yesterday morning.
In spite of the BCC’s denials, the NUPW General Secretary Dennis Clarke charged that management at the educational institution was “cherry picking” some workers for retrenchment.
Clarke also took issue with management’s decision to offer contracts of service to workers who had formerly been employed under different contractual arrangements.
Responding to the spirited defence of their interests by Clarke, several workers expressed frustration over the breakdown in industrial relations at the institution, while pointing out that many of them had been asked to work 18 hours a week and to preside over classes with as many as 40 to 46 students per class.