NUPW wrath

Clock ticking as union gives Govt month-end ultimatum

Public officers have given the Freundel Stuart administration just over two weeks to return to the bargaining table or face their wrath.

Temporary Government workers met with the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) for about two hours Monday during which they discussed their demand for a pay rise and several other issues.

Following the meeting NUPW General Secretary Roslyn Smith said public servants were tired of waiting for the resumption of negotiations for increases in salaries and wages, and they would take industrial action if the talks did not commence by the end of this month.   

Roslyn Smith

“Since last year we have been trying to get a meeting with the Ministry of the Civil Service. However, the Permanent Secretary has been unable to get a mandate so far; and I think that the workers are getting a bit weary and they probably will be giving the Government their mandate,” Smith warned.

“I believe we should have had something [talks] as early as January. However we were told there was no mandate as yet. I understand the Prime Minister should be out of the island; so I am hoping that on his return the union would be given a mandate. So I believe that if there is no response between now and the end of February, we would know going forward, what the applause was all about,” she said in reference to loud applause head coming from the closed-door meeting.

The union leader did not reveal what form of industrial action workers would take if their demands were not met, choosing instead to stress that Government had been given sufficient latitude, “so the time will come when we make and take that decision”.

She insisted the NUPW would do everything possible to ensure its members receive a pay increase, explaining that the workers were emphatic that they deserved a raise.

”People believe that public officers are unproductive. This country has been going on the back of lesser workers because you had layoffs, yet still persons were able to meet the targets and demands like that,” she said.

Smith also dismissed a recent suggestion by former Prime Minister Owen Arthur that now was not the time for a pay hike, insisting demands for an increase were justified.

And she wanted Arthur to explain when he thought was a good time for the workers to request a rise.

“You are getting the production, workers are working hard. They are over-taxed and they would have built, or propped [up] the economy over the last five years. The Government restored their ten per cent . . . it is not a salaries and wages agreement, but at least when they restored their ten per cent, they have ten per cent more to spend. Public officers do not have one per cent as yet. So it would be unreasonable to say that the public officers don’t deserve a salaries and wages settlement,” the union leader contended.

The last time the NUPW and Government representatives met at the negotiation table was in October last year where the public officers demanded a 23 per cent hike over a three-year period.

Monday night’s meeting, which was attended by about 100 temporary workers at the union’s Dalkeith Road, St Michael headquarters, was held to update members on the latest round of negotiations, as well as appointments and the Public Service (Qualifications) Order.

19 Responses to NUPW wrath

  1. Sherlock Holmes. February 14, 2017 at 2:02 am

    Donkey Alert!

  2. Hal Austin February 14, 2017 at 4:18 am

    These idiots need to go away and grow up. The nation is in serious economic trouble and all they can talk about is a pay rise with the threat of a strike.
    What buffoons.

    • hcalndre February 15, 2017 at 4:03 am

      Hal Austin, has the i6 grown up since they could not live the life style that they had from the cradle now that the 10% was returned to them? Do you believe that the 10% cut brought any hardship on any of them? if so just give one example, but here you are calling the workers idiots who have not had a penny added to their pay for 8 years, dozen of new taxes the have to pay and some have not yet got their tax return for the the last 3 years.

  3. Jennifer February 14, 2017 at 6:04 am

    “The Government restored their ten per cent . . . it is not a salaries and wages agreement, but at least when they restored their ten per cent, they have ten per cent more to spend.”

    The union in general is just another false perception to make you feel comfortable being a slave. Its like Novocaine in your gums. However, in this case I have to agree with them because, there are thousands upon thousands of people in Barbados Living in poverty. Whether this poverty is shared by self affliction via a variety of bad spending is another topic. In this EGYPTIAN SYSTEM of living (barely), the Pharaoh and government officials should lead by example. The same way the ministers have expenses, the general slaves have expenses too. This is why Owen (OLD PHARAOH) basically supported that restoration of the 10 percent as he too is eating at the same BIG TABLE. And if you think the BEE will make things more comfortable, think again, if they privatize certain entities you will see the real slave ship you are on. So what is there left to do????

    • hcalndre February 14, 2017 at 10:06 pm

      @jennifer: I like much of you sayings but saying that that the Union is not seriously fighting for the workers, I disagree. The present Union reps are not like the past, that`s why you hear about youth and old wine and new skins. The past leaders now are members of the party so they could not chew gum and whistle at the same time.

  4. antionette sealy February 14, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Halloween is over. That woman frightens me with how she looks and and what she says. The Government has to print money to pay wages . Only a mad person would be asking for an increase in 20 % increase in wages with the economy in the current state. At this point in time she and the other clowns should be trying to see how they can save the inevitable job cuts in the public sector. Why should Government be paying people who refuse to answer the phone if their job description is ”telephone operator” . Try calling at SSA between 11 a.m and 2 p.m and tell me if you get someone to answer the phone. Pay a visit to the Registration Department between the same 11a.m-2 p.m to make an application for or collection of , a birth/marriage/burial certificate/document. Half of the staff is away at lunch. The other half goes to lunch between 2 p.m and ?????. Only God Knows if they return. If you haven’t visited the Immigration recently and know someone who has applied for a passport within recent months, ask the person about the hassle one experiences when visiting the department. The on-line form states “” For persons over sixteen years old, requirements are ” a complete form , two photos, birth certificate, Barbados I.D and marriage certificate if married and female”. When the person takes in the form and he/she is lucky to see an officer at the appointed time, the individual is told to go the nearest photo-copying business place and get copies of the originals. When these copies are brought back, the officer asks if you have the 150 Bajan dollars to pay for the passport. No where on the on-line form is it stated that the money must be paid when documents are presented to the department. Why can’t this information be put on the on-line form? Why should Government be printing money to pay people for a whole day’s work when they are only performing 4 hours of work? The BBBBB and the DDDDD are six of one , half dozen of the other. They have to create jobs in the Public sector to make good their promises leading up to elections. This cycle must stop. I am calling on the other three Parties which promise to field candidates for the next election, to ignore the news media’s attempt to write them off. They have their horses in the race. Use the social media to your advantage. In so doing, you don’t have to pay exorbitant prices to them to get your messages across to the voting public.

    • hcalndre February 14, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      antoinette sealy, nobody can disagree with you about the indifferent work practices in barbados and no one seem to be responsible to see that these kind of work habits must stop. What about the ones that making big dollars, living big and can`t seem to get the country on its feet, everyone of them is saying, it`s not me.

  5. Hal Austin February 14, 2017 at 12:09 pm


    To wrongs do not make a right.

  6. Gearbox1964 February 14, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    I’m with the union on this. If the gov’t could find it possible to restore 10% to their salaries at this time of “serious economic trouble”, then it is high time that the workers get an increase.

    The gov’t found a few million dollars to throw a big 50th Independence party when they knew that workers haven’t had a cost-of-living increase in many years…and when they knew that our roads are in very bad shape. Fundel is refusing to ring the bell because he and his clowns want to make sure that they get that big salary right up to the legal deadline for elections.

  7. Carson C Cadogan February 14, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    The wrath of 9000 members threatening to hold the other 292,000 citizens hostage if they dont get their way.

    • hcalndre February 15, 2017 at 3:26 am

      Carson, what are the 9000 members and their families to do, watch 16 members get fat, get rich, drive 2 and 3 cars worth thousand of dollars and that would be all well with you, if you and others like you are working ask the payroll to deduct 25% of your pay and send it to BRA and if you`re retired have it done by what ever means.

  8. Helicopter(8P) February 14, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Ok!Go ahead! Get your raise people! Then the PM puts a freeze on wages by parliamentary signatures for an indefinite period. Get happy at your new salary rate people; now some of you have entered a new tax bracket quite understood. Something has to give. There is always an equal and opposite reaction in the laws of physics and motion. The new slogan is “progression with production across the board”!

    • hcalndre February 15, 2017 at 3:46 am

      Helicopter(8P) If the PM and his 16 could not live with a 10% cut for a longer period although they are still getting their allowances and freebies, now you are suggesting that he put a freeze on the civil servants` wages, are you a working person with a family? Ask the PM when last he touch his salary, free house, free food, free car, free housekeeper, free cook and according to that old calypsonian, “free everything”. But I see you`re in a helicopter and not on the ground.

  9. Jennifer February 14, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    @Hal – That’s why we in this slave position, cause if we had put wrong things right back then, we would have been better off today. Instead, we now being bought out by every nation but our own.

    • hcalndre February 15, 2017 at 3:14 am

      Jennifer, I know that the bajans still have that slavery mentality and the most of them still have that massa/slave thinking and again you are correct. Why would they feel for a government and not for the people who have their families to take care of and have sympathy for a few people who make up the government that cares little about the people`s need for the last 8 years but making sure win or lose in the coming election they are financially secure. Why are bajans so anti union, most of the work places in barbados that have a certain amount of people should have a union shop and you must join the union if you want to work for them.

  10. David February 14, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Antoinette the lady did not make herself. That insulting comment was unjustified.Please comment on the merits and demerits of the issue and forget the personal insults.Grow up

  11. David Hall February 14, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Government has a responsibility to address the hardships being felt by Barbadians. That is what they were elected to do. Whether that comes via a wage increase or a reduction in taxes or a posture from government which demonstrates that it correctly understands the pain of its constituents can be decided. But no one must fool themselves into thinking that the government has been sensible in dealing with serious issues especially in light of the recent restoration of politicians and company 10% pay; while persons have been holding strain for about 8 years.

  12. Troy February 14, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    This DLP administration must not be made to feel that they are untouchable and do things as they please. That’s why the country is in such a mess. Someone has to speak out against the nonsense this administration is doing. Time to tighten the screws NUPW

  13. Lorenzo Johnson February 15, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Antionette Sealy,you along with Carson Cadogan,Coralita,Zeus,GreenGiant and other Dems always on these forums trying to justify nonsense,deal with the issues not the person.


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