Breakdown in BWA talks

Negotiations between the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) and the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) have seemingly gone from “well” to worse.

The BWU’s objection to a decision by BWA’s management not to honour an agreement to pay outstanding monies to its employees dating back to 2006, has prompted an extraordinary meeting of the union’s Executive Council for Friday.

The sudden breakdown of talks has come just two months after BWU General Secretary Toni Moore reported that the negotiations with regards to outstanding monies owed to BWA employees since 2006 were “going well”.

During a January meeting with BWU workers at its Solidarity House headquarters to discuss several issues, Moore told reporters that though negotiations were still at the domestic level, headway was being made.

But an email circulated this evening by Senior Assistant General Secretary Orlando ‘Gabby’ Scott, warned of possible action following Friday’s meeting.

The fallout apparently stemmed from a meeting between both parties on Monday where they failed to find a resolution.

“The Barbados Workers’ Union is calling an extraordinary meeting of its Executive Council for Solidarity House on Friday at 5 p.m. to discuss and to make a decision regarding the approach which the union should take in handling the impasse between itself and the Barbados Water Authority over outstanding payments due to workers in excess of more than nine years,” it stated.

“The Barbados Workers’ Union reports that it became more apparent to its negotiators at the most recent meeting . . . held on Monday of this week, that the Barbados Water Authority wishes to dishonour the agreements between the two sides,” the email added.

When contacted by Barbados TODAY this evening for a response, Moore said she would not be commenting on the issue until after meeting with the Executive Council.

“It would not be proper for me to speak to the media without first consulting with my Executive Council,” she said.

“Once I have that meeting on Friday and the Council is brought up to date, then I will comment.”

At the January meeting, Moore had revealed that the matter had been raised at the union’s last general meeting in November 2015, because it affected the majority of workers.

“The issue which involves outstanding monies owed dating back to nine years ago is one that occupied our attention, because it basically touches on the majority of workers at the BWA,” Moore had said.

The General Secretary said the monies were not related to a wage increase, but rather an agreement from the BWA’s board of management pertaining to a job evaluation process done in 2006.

Efforts to reach communications specialist at the BWA, Joy-Ann Haigh, proved unsuccessful up to press time.

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