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BWA must play ball – union boss

The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) appears to be running out of time.

Today, the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) served notice that the entity, which is responsible for this island’s water management, now has until Tuesday to provide it with answers.

Following a meeting of its 24-member Executive Council at the BWU’s Solidarity House headquarters this evening, General Secretary Toni Moore told reporters the BWA had asked for more time, and the union had agreed to grant it an extension until March 15 “to review all of the information that it had at its disposal since December 2014, and which was available to the consultant to the Authority since 2015.

“The next move is their move. March 15 is the date that the authority asked for, and that they agreed to get back to us,” she added.

However, Moore cautioned that while the union was willing to adhere to the BWA’s request, it was also prepared to escalate action if necessary.

“What I can say is that the Executive Council has examined all possibilities and have made appropriate decisions for its members that will cover all possibilities.”

She said both the union and BWA’s employees had been exercising patience due to ongoing issues surrounding the authority.

“Out of concern and appreciation of the other challenges which have been imposed on the public of Barbados by the management of the BWA, the workers have been resisting any action that would result in further disruption and inconvenience to an already burdened people.

“However, it is clear that we are now on a collision course with the BWA. The BWU and the workers of the authority have held strain in these matters, exercising tolerance to the extreme in the interest of the people of Barbados, while the BWA at the level of its board and management has continued to procrastinate and move away from the time tested system of industrial relations where agreements made are honoured,” Moore said.

“The BWU at the level of its Executive Council hopes that the BWA recognizes that it has a serious responsibility to the public of Barbados as well as a duty to follow the principles of sound industrial relations and would honour all agreements reached.”

The two sides have been at loggerheads over a pay increase, which dates back to 2006.

Moore said the monies were not related to a wage increase, but an agreement made by the BWA’s board of management following a job evaluation process. (RB)

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