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Part-time staff to receive outstanding pay by next week

Relief is on the way for Barbados Community College (BCC) part-time staff who have not been paid since August.

They will get their outstanding monies in another week, under to a deal reached between the BCC management and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) during nearly eight hours of talks at the Labour Department.

While representatives of both sides were tightlipped about what had come out of their marathon talks, only saying that “some progress had been made”, Barbados TODAY has obtained an email which deputy chair of the NUPW/BCC Shop Stewards Council Margo Bannister sent to employees today, informing them that some issues of contention had been settled.

The talks were held to resolve a number of issues, including the BCC asking part-time tutors to sign new contracts that the NUPW insists are disadvantageous, the non-payment of salaries since August, and outstanding pay increases.

“Part-time staff who have not yet signed contracts and have outstanding salaries from August . . . it was agreed that your outstanding payments should be ready no later than Wednesday, November 12, with every effort from BCC to do so in the shortest possible time frame,” reported Bannister, who is also the union’s second vice-president.

“Further, since the contracts are being contested, a letter of offer or intent will be drawn up for those tutors to now sign.

“You will be expected to submit your claims until the end of the semester with impunity. The BCC has stated they will review the contracts for next semester,” she added.

Bannister advised the BCC workers to continue giving of their best in the duties at “an exceptional educational institution that has produced many successful persons locally, regionally and internationally”.

“Even though we have many issues to work out with management, I encourage you to remain committed to your daily tasks as we work assiduously towards amicable solutions,” the union official urged.

Bannister added that the events of the past week – which saw NUPW General Secretary Dennis Clarke and BCC management in confrontation on two occasions when union officials showed up to meet with its members on the compound of the Howell’s Cross Road, St Michael facility – should be learning experiences.

The NUPW and BCC will resume discussions at the Labour Department next Monday in an attempt to settle the outstanding issues.

Those talks are being chaired by Labour Officer Vincent Burnett at his Warrens, St Michael office.

Yesterday afternoon, he first met with the BCC’s management team that was led by principal Dr Gladstone Best and included his deputy Lindsay Waterman and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors Ulric Sealy.

Officials representing the NUPW at the joint meeting were Clarke – who was due to retire at the end of last month but is staying on until the BCC dispute is settled –, Bannister, President Walter Maloney, Deputy General Secretary Roslyn Smith, Senior Industrial Relations Office Wayne Walrond and a number of shop stewards.

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