Unions slam Govt over pay move

Two of this country’s trade union leaders have led a stinging condemnation of Government over the decision to restore the ten per cent taken from the salaries of parliamentarians and other senior Government officers back in 2014.

President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall and President of the Unity Worker’s Union (UWU) Caswell Franklyn took no prisoners as they tore into the Freundel Stuart administration, describing the governing parliamentarians as shameless, “unconscionable”, “money grabbing” politicians who cared little about the average Barbadian.   

Akanni McDowall & Caswell Franklyn

McDowall also said he remained baffled by the move.

“I don’t see how you could look after yourselves before you look after the people you were meant to serve,” he said, while pointing out that public servants had not received a salary increase for over nine years.

“It is ridiculous that public servants have to bear with the price of good and services in Barbados that would have increased significantly over the years. It is ridiculous that public servants have to pay all of these taxes. It says to me that you care more about yourself than people you are there to serve,” he added.

In tabling the resolution this afternoon, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler was careful to point out that it was not a salary increase, while suggesting that Government was simply honouring its promise to restore the amount, which was initially due to be repaid at the end of 19 months but was yet to be restituted.

However, McDowall said his members were equally anxious for word from Government on a proposed 23 per cent pay increase.

“The last negotiations in relation to salary increases would’ve been in October last year and since then [the NUPW has been] trying to get a meeting with [Government] to continue negotiations, but to no avail,” the NUPW boss said.

“I am left with no choice but to call a meeting of all public servants for this Friday at 2 p.m. at NUPW headquarters to discuss this issue and the way forward. Public servants should come out and say to this union by their presence how bad they need a salary increase.”

Also speaking out strongly against the pay restoration, Franklyn called on Barbadians to hold the Freundel Stuart administration accountable for “their insensitivity to the workers of the country”.

“What has happened to people from National Housing Corporation that have not gotten back a cent after they were sent home? They are talking about getting back their ten per cent but what about those people who
lost 100 per cent? These people are unconscionable and that should be their resignation.

“Barbados should rise up against this nonsense but Barbadians are too docile. These people got no shame whatsoever. They are basically uncaring and unfeeling, money grabbing bunch of people. They should be ashamed,” an upset Franklyn said.

As for Sinckler’s suggestion that the monies were long overdue, Franklyn argued that if Government was such a stickler for timelines, then it would have honoured its commitment to increase the Value Added Tax from 15 per cent to 17.5 per cent for 18 months only.

18 Responses to Unions slam Govt over pay move

  1. Hal Austin January 25, 2017 at 2:44 am

    The unions are right. The government has lost the moral argument and it is a very bad example to set to the nation.
    This government lacks any sense of a moral compass and the entire nation should be up in arms.

    • Gearbox1964 January 25, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Public workers are long overdue for cost-of-living increases, but that’s not a priority for Fundel & Compny. However, it’s very important that they get back what they gave up even though the country still up Shit’s Creek. So why de hell they don’t put VAT back to 15% as should have been done long ago?? Ring the damn bell Fundel!!!

  2. The Negrocrat January 25, 2017 at 3:35 am

    Leh we march

  3. Samantha Best January 25, 2017 at 5:25 am

    I believe these two Union leaders should spend their energies on preparing a sound proposal justifying increases in salaries for the public officers they represent. In addition they should seek to have the VAT restored to 15% since the 17.5% was only a temporary measure. They need all the help they can put together to fight the workers’ cause and use the restoration of Parliamentarians’ salaries as the basis of the argument.

  4. Jennifer January 25, 2017 at 5:53 am

    These square pegs in round holes politicians have learned well from the people they serve and coon with on a daily basis. THEY HAVE NO HEART OF JUSTICE OR A CONSCIENCE AND SEE MONEY AS THEIR GOD. The price of healthy foods they tax through the roof and talking bout how unhealthy and fat bajans are getting with sweet drinks, among many other issues. They like sponge bob with a square pants on and backward too. They are grossly and seriously far from the concept of Mr EWB. While we continue to EAT THE CRUMBS UNDER THE DOGS TABLE.

  5. harry turnover January 25, 2017 at 5:59 am

    It is a RESTORATION of salaries and I see NOTHING wrong with that.I don’t see what those two Union leaders are getting all flustered about.

    They are ONLY making sure that they PENSIONS are calculated CORRECTLY after they are all ” kicked out ” next year.
    Those Union leaders also KNOW that ANY increases for Civil Servants means an AUTOMATIC increase for them as well.

    What I think will happen is that Government will give the Civil Servants an increase close to election time….enough to put the Treasury under severe pressure so as to put the BLP under more pressure after they win the elections….BUT….as stated previously…hope those stunts don’t backfire on them and they end up having to hold the reins AGAIN.

    • Carson C Cadogan January 25, 2017 at 10:08 am

      “….. put the BLP under more pressure after they win the elections…”

      It is a dangerous thing to count your chickens before they hatched!!!!!

      The Barbados Labour Party and people like you found that out in 2013 yet you and your party going down the same road again.

      Dont you people ever learn anything?

      You are just older but not wiser?

      • Sue Donym January 25, 2017 at 1:00 pm

        What was PM Stuart counting when he recently predicted a third term rout? Oh, forgot he’s a sleeping giant, must have been counting his magic beans!

      • harry turnover January 25, 2017 at 4:10 pm

        …..and can you CCC …once the resident yard fowl but now honored as DEM paling cock for your contribution to the art of yardfowlism tell me what was the PM counting when he predicted a third term ?

  6. Jennifer January 25, 2017 at 6:43 am

    @Harry – Love it and a man with sense.

  7. Gregg January 25, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Correct…. ministers don’t need a pay raise. This is just so that they can get a bigger pension. Fix the country and the ecomony, give the public servants their due pay increases, THEN you can get your 10%

  8. Carson C Cadogan January 25, 2017 at 10:04 am

    How many members does the Unity trade “Union” have?

    Quarter dozen, half dozen?

    What is the minimum amount of members should a Trade Union have before it is considered a Trade Union?

    • Sue Donym January 25, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      How many challengers does a delusional PM have? A dozen, a score? What is the minimum number of broken promises a PM should have before he knows he is on the way out?

  9. Gregg January 25, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Correct…. ministers don’t need a pay raise. This is just so that they can get a bigger pension. Fix the country and the ecomony, give the public servants their due pay increases, THEN you can talk about getting back a 10% minus taxes like the civil servants.

  10. hcalndre January 25, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Listening to “Talk to Talk,” this morning, a female caller said to the host that the members of the NUPW are very satisfied with Mr. Akanni Mc Dowall as their leader and I`m very glad to hear. First the host is an apologist for the party and want you to send your survey to her but don`t want to give you her email address, I would say don`t even fall for the idea of sending any names of the persons to her because these members could be jeopardize now or later because you know where they names would end up. Someone said that politicians have to put they hand in their pockets and give to people, I would say that probably they`re the people who voted for them and its no one`s fault, but theirs. The host said that the politicians have expenses and they need the 10% returned to continue their life style, I can bet that 10 years ago were completely different.

  11. jrsmith January 25, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Politicians politicians, what do people expect they look after themselves in every way possible . Voters secure they jobs for them for what ever-period , they fail and still is paid a salary, always in a win ,win situation….

  12. Sandra basc January 25, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    I am in shock & awe at the audacity of the Government ministers. Is the restoration of their pay any less insulting to the people of this country than a pay increase? There are many people in this country who do not get a salary, some have not had an increasse in years and these ministers believe that they deserve a pat on the back for their poor performance.

    You may have taken away the free education, but we are still a nation of educated people with the ability to reason and think for yourselves.

    We can see right through that decision. Your pensions will look good. What about restoring the other temporary economic measures that were implemented.

    You are a bunch of hyprocrates!! Thank you for remindng me not to be a political yard fowl and to know a red herring when i see and smell one.

  13. Tom January 25, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    This administration has been aptly described as a ” Zombie administration” because of lack of care and insensitivity to the plight of the electorate.Is it any wonder that a large swathe of the electorate is so disillusioned with country’s increasingly remote and self serving political class?
    A more carting and sensitive administration would not consider the restoration of any salary until there has been significant and sustainable improvements to the social and economic conditions.At a time when we are quite rightly being reminded of the importance of productivity to our future prosperity, it is of the utmost importance that the declared ” National Champion of Productivity”, the PM, must lead from the front and send an unambigIous message to all including his Ministers that rewards/salary are justifiable if they are in proportion to big efforts,because big efforts grow the economic pie for everyone. This country’s economic pie has become smaller under the current administration, to this end therefore, pay cuts should be the order of the day. Ministers have been unable to achieve set objectives in the handling of the economy and other social issues. Due deserts , getting what they proportionally deserve in relation to their efforts, must matter. As there is still so much to done to restore our standard of living to say what it was in 2008, it is the PM and his Ministers who should be apologising to Barbadians for their failure to achieve and deliver on promises and objectives. What restoration of salary, has it been earned?


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