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What a travesty, says Jones


Minister of Education Ronald Jones believes the dispute between the Ministry of Labour, the BIDC and the NUPW could have been handled differently

“A travesty.”

That’s how Minister of Education Ronald Jones has described the National Union of Public Workers’ handling of its recent impasse with Government over forced retirements at the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC).

In his first public comment on the issue, Jones posted on Barbados TODAY’s Facebook page, saying “too many errors had been committed” during the process.

His comments were triggered by statements from NUPW president Akanni McDowall.

McDowall had earlier expressed his disappointment with Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer, who had accused his union of acting in bad faith and of treating her office with scant respect during the ongoing impasse.

However, Jones chastised McDowall for not being open to negotiations throughout the dispute.

“This is a travesty. The president is revealing therefore that his understanding of the proposals was clouded. He needs to outline a set of proposals and send them to the Minister. She can then seek to mediate to bring the parties closer together so a negotiated settlement can be reached. Too many errors have been created in this impasse,” Jones said.

“The president did indicate quite early that his position would remain the same discussion or no discussion. What a lovely way to arrive at an agreement.”

Jones also contended that while the union’s role should always be to “find an agreement in good faith,” political interference had complicated the issues at hand.

“The very rapid politicizing of the industrial relations process has led to the rigidities which now befall the entire Social Partnership [between Government, the unions and employers] and industrial relations agenda. A union seeks to find an agreement in good faith as a means of ameliorating the burdens on its members.

“No number of excuses can be proffered for the current state of industrial relations. Stop complaining and get back to the negotiation tables,” he instructed.


11 Responses to What a travesty, says Jones

  1. Frederick Alleyne
    Frederick Alleyne July 25, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Just because the new NUPW head does not like the bed prepared by this government he is to be crucified.

  2. Frank Fowler
    Frank Fowler July 25, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    These people asking for a national strike. Why don’t these ministers stick to their portfolios?

  3. Ryan Henry
    Ryan Henry July 25, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Under his ministry, UWI enrollment down to almost zero, polythecnic a shell of what it once was and countless issues like potential strikes at secondary institutions and he talking bout travesty!! It was a travesty when he and a senator was laughing at the situation at Nupw headquarters……..he should do like his leader does and be quiet

  4. Gavin Dawson
    Gavin Dawson July 25, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Should he not be looking to improve the educational system as he is supposed to do , COMBERMERE for example, poking his nose in when it is not his concern, this is not his department ,no wonder Barbados is in the mess it is.

  5. Gavin Dawson
    Gavin Dawson July 25, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    There is one thing unlike Roy Trotman, this new chap is for the people,good luck to him,

  6. Nathaniel Anderson July 25, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    “The president did indicate quite early that his position would remain the same discussion or no discussion. What a lovely way to arrive at an agreement.” Well he should cite the statement of his colleague Minister Inniss who very early said that the meeting would go ahead and the BIDC would not be changing its position. Talk about that Mr, Jones and leave the young Turk alone. He has done more for the workers than the past officials who were in bed with the Government did. At least has the balls to act in the interest of the workers.

  7. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole July 26, 2015 at 12:09 am

    I want him to talk about the Cahill Plant because in another section of the press it stated that “Dr Lowe explains that Barbados is moving in this direction to get into the business of recycling in a big way.” This is mind boggling. I am wondering if he believes that the gasification plant is a recycling machine.

  8. Angus B Post
    Angus B Post July 26, 2015 at 4:38 am

    This hole gov’t sickening. …stupesss

  9. Alex Alleyne July 26, 2015 at 8:03 am

    If a Minister stick to his / her department and do the things that need to be done , then all shall be smooth sailing and stop all this “cross talk” .

  10. jrsmith July 26, 2015 at 9:08 am

    The only person to take blame , for the massive , political and economic mess , Barbados is in ,is the present non active Priminister., who has no real interest if Barbados sink or swim.

    If we all take note , the political arena, only becomes active , when one after one of the government ministers , make silly comments. Avoiding any chance of blaming the government.

    As for the trade unions they, need to ,make a positive turn around, not a matter of saving face, winning or loosing, but for the good of our island. get they members back to a normal heading, they must allow Barbados to recover some, , because if they don’t we are done.
    We have a bunch of politicians ,who are a load of wankers all behaving like a bunch of school kids with bad attitudes.

    Bajans need to start shouting ,loud and clear, if we are just going to struggle from month to month, with no real future in sight , then we need to put the present government on short notice we the people need a general election.

  11. Tony Waterman July 26, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Never thought that i would be agreeing with anything said by Minister Jones, and i Could not agree with him anymore that it was a “Travesty’ but by whom ? Surely as a former Union Person, he MUST be aware that the sole Reason for having a Union, is to represent it’s members, it is the job of the EMPLOYER to Treat those workers with RESPECT, and not to Discriminate against them, by AGE, MARITAL STATUS, RELIGION, SEXUAL ORIENTATION et al.
    It is the Government (Minister Byer) who dropped the Ball on this one, NOT the Union, who only responded to what they saw as Discrimination (Age) and Heavy handedness on the part of the BIDC.towards their membership.
    one could ask the Question, why did he NOT see it as a TRAVESTY when Mary Redman of the Teachers Union REFUSED to be even in the same Room as Jeff Broomes, and we all know now how expensive that ended.
    by now It should be clear to all, that as far as this Government is concerned, “You are either with them or against them”


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