Inniss describes NUPW’s pay demand as ‘grossly unreasonable’

A member of the Freundel Stuart Cabinet is imploring the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) to look with pity upon the administration, which is having a tough time meeting its fiscal responsibilities.

With the NUPW threatening industrial action to force Government back to the negotiating table, Minister of International Business, Industry, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss today said any such action would further threaten the island’s already fragile fiscal position.

“I note that they are now threatening to take industrial action. I really hope that common sense can prevail upon the management and leadership of the trade union to realize the fragility of our economy and not to engage in any activities that can cause further dislocation to this economy and society,” Inniss pleaded in his contribution to the debate on the 2017/2018 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure.

The NUPW General Council on Monday decided to engage in industrial action at a yet to be announced date, to pressure the administration to resume talks on the union’s demand for 23 per cent pay rise for public servants.

The two sides last met in October last year, during which they made no progress, and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler made no provisions in the Estimates for salary increases.

The union insists that its research has found that Government can afford a wage hike, and it has dug in its heels even further following the decision by legislators of the ruling Democratic Labour Party to restore the ten per cent that was cut from their salaries and that of senior public servants in 2014 during the height of austerity.

However, Inniss today told fellow parliamentarians while trade unions were expected to demand pay rises from time and time – and Government had a duty to meet with the unions – any demand must take into consideration the state of the economy.

“I certainly am not going to fool myself into believing that any 23 per cent increase in salary is palatable and acceptable in that context,” the minister said, adding that trade union leaders should be knowledgeable enough to realize that what they were asking for was “grossly unreasonable”.

In fact, Inniss contended that the wage bill was already too high and far from granting a pay increase, Government should sever even more workers to lower its bill.

“If we are to cut wages and salaries the way it really can be cut, apart from what we did many years ago, is to reduce the size of the public sector. Is that something we are prepared to do? My view, and I have been very consistent on this, is that I hold steadfast to the view that the size of the public sector can be reduced, but I wish it be done as we increase the size of the private sector, because massive unemployment in Barbados brings with it serious social dislocation that can affect us maybe two and three generations down the line,” he said.

His position on cuts is directly at odds with that of Sinckler, who in January gave the assurance there would be no more mass lay-offs.

In wrapping up debate on the resolutions to restore the ten per cent, Sinckler had said he preferred “a process of attrition and reorganization” to reduce both the size of the public service and the wages bill.

13 Responses to Inniss describes NUPW’s pay demand as ‘grossly unreasonable’

  1. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall March 16, 2017 at 3:12 am

    You’re a moutha disgrace always trying to mislead the Nation and still voting for what you criticize. Shame Bush you, Davy, Mar-Mar drink.

    Reply
  2. Steve Thomas
    Steve Thomas March 16, 2017 at 5:49 am

    Why would it be a grossly
    Unreasonable when you all just took a 10% increase ….really, I think you all just talk for the sake of talking!

    Reply
  3. David E Hall
    David E Hall March 16, 2017 at 6:17 am

    While i would agree that a huge pay increase for public workers is not likely. Mr inniss and his party must understand that the unconscionable action by he and his colleagues in restoring their 10% pay should be admitted as a mistake in trying to help people understand that the country is really in trouble.

    Reply
  4. Sunil Brome
    Sunil Brome March 16, 2017 at 6:23 am

    What is grossly unreasonable is the fact that you MPs opted to retore your 10% cuts, thinking that it would be good for you and not for the people of Barbados too. It goes to show a lack of respect for these people. If I were in your shoes I could not fathom the idea of doing such while telling the country about its dire economy. Ministers clearly are not to sacrifice.

    Reply
  5. Iteebah Cadogan
    Iteebah Cadogan March 16, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Wasn’t it grossly unreasonable wen y’all gt back wanna 10% to?

    Reply
  6. hcalndre March 16, 2017 at 9:28 am

    @Donville Inniss, you and your band of inept, incompetent, heartless pack demanded the 10% be returned to your paycheck while the civil servants are working for the same wages the last 8 years, are you`ll saying that you could not survive with the cut? and what happened here is that you`ll did not lose 1 red cent because the 10% was in something like an escrow account on hold for you`ll. As Steve Blackett said, “We are a caring, nice and kind party”. Who believes you are just like you.

    Reply
  7. Lorraine Trotman
    Lorraine Trotman March 16, 2017 at 9:31 am

    What is ‘grossly unreasonable’ is way the way the people of this country have been governed in the past 9 years. But I guess you’re blind to your own deficiencies.

    Reply
  8. F.A.Rudder March 16, 2017 at 10:30 am

    It just shows that national pride and unity does not exist and selfish ideology has taken its place. Just think about the ants and their kingdom or reflect on the crabs in a bucket. Get what I mean!

    Reply
  9. Vonda March 16, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    When you got back your 10% you did not refused it. The civil service have not received one red cent from your Government. Guess that you have no heart. All of you all have plenty money but you all still expect the poor people to continue to suffer. I hope the the civil servants will do your Government justice come Elections. Then you will know what is ‘Grossly Unreasonable’.

    Reply
  10. O'Livia R Harewood March 16, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    A 25% increase is ridiculous in Barbados that’s really ridiculous what are you doing for the people who voted and got you where you are today? Stop comparing yourselves to America for there are so many issues here when it comes to money: cut backs left and right in health and education from federal government. High taxes across the board (water, electricity, clothing, food ,etc from both city and state. I came to( BIM )2 yrs ago and when I saw the conditions of the beautiful island I was shock and I am a Barbadian

    Reply
  11. sticks and stones March 16, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    What govt ought to do is give them their demands then retrench as many workers as possible leaving the blood letting from the public outcry to fall on the shoulders of the NUPW, Govt has said time and time again that finances are short and cannot meet the Unions demand yet Union remains adamant ,Well if Union believes that govt can do better then Govt should go ahead with the Unions demands and with the same heavy handiness the Unions keep throwing in govt face and in turn with a rapid fire of retrenching after giving the raise Unions asking for

    Reply
  12. jus me March 17, 2017 at 6:38 am

    YEAH!!
    But what they askin don’t come to one day income from Internet PORN.

    Reply

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