Pay split

NUPW divided over 23 per cent pay demand

Signs are emerging that the battle for the presidency of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) could turn ugly, with the contenders already firing less-than-complimentary verbal salvos at each other.

The contest has also exposed a major schism between Deputy General Treasurer Roy Greenidge – the man challenging Akanni McDowall for the post – and his executive, over wage demands for public workers.

In an interview yesterday, Greenidge told Barbados TODAY the union’s demand for a 23 per cent pay rise was “ridiculous” and “unreasonable” and would be taken off the table should he be elected president next month.

“It [the 23 per cent] was worked out specifically but we have lost a lot of ground over the years. It is eight years now since we haven’t had a salary increase and despite the fact that I would like a salary increase, we still have to think of the future.

Roy Greenidge & Akanni McDowall

“In 1991 we took a pay cut and we survived and it is our hope that the country would survive. We are 23,000 civil servants and I agree that we have households, but at the same time I don’t think that we would like to see ourselves in a position where our future generation would suffer as a result of a ridiculous and unreasonable demand,” he said.

Greenidge, a senior immigration officer, repeated a charge previously made by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart that the NUPW, under McDowall’s leadership, had abandoned proper industrial relations protocol by using industrial action as its first option in negotiations, as opposed to a last resort.

This, Greenidge said, had resulted in a tumultuous relationship between the union and Government, something he placed squarely at his president’s feet.

“I think we need to sit down at the bargaining table because there is a bargaining table. I think persons get offended when you go outside of that arena. I think that is probably why we have lost some respect of the Government by not returning to the bargaining table. So that would be my challenge; that would be my cause,” the contender stressed.

It is this sort of position that has led McDowall and his supporters to suggest that Greenidge is nothing more than a puppet of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP), sent to challenge for the leadership strictly for political reasons.

In fact, the NUPW has been demanding that the Stuart administration return to the bargaining table – with the two sides not having met since last October  – and the union’s general council recently voted to take industrial action in a bid to force Government to resume negotiations.

Greenidge last week formally threw his hat into the ring, ahead of next month’s NUPW vote. He was accompanied by other members of his team, including Kimberley Agard, who had earlier brought a no confidence motion against McDowall.

In light of this McDowall has questioned Greenidge’s motives, warning it could well be “another attempt to prevent the union from holding the Government’s feet to the fire”.

However, Greenidge has taken umbrage at the comments linking him to the DLP.

And even though he said it was not the first time he had been accused of being a supporter of the ruling party, he insisted he had “no political affiliation whatsoever”.

“I don’t know about anyone else, but personally speaking I am not aligned [to any political party]. I get very offended when people try to align me. I have a situation where someone used my name and affiliated me and I know that is not going to end that way. I have never had membership of any party and I have never attended [meetings] for any of those political parties.

“Brother McDowall has stated openly that he is surprised that I am challenging him but we are one organization and it is obvious that there has to be some person inside challenging him. We don’t go outside for a challenge, the challenge has to be internal,” Greenidge said.

29 Responses to Pay split

  1. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince March 21, 2017 at 1:27 am

    Forget Roy Greenidge….old school. Yard fowl….

  2. James Austin Bynoe
    James Austin Bynoe March 21, 2017 at 1:40 am

    DLP plan #763943:

    Let’s send a DLP operative into the union to QUITE it down. We need a good house slave, jackass or yard fowl for the job.

    Question: Do we have a jackass or yard fowl for this mission?

    Answer: YES we sure do

  3. Chyna March 21, 2017 at 5:07 am

    Shame on you Roy Greenidge. Akanni for President!!!

  4. Samantha Best March 21, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Everyone knows that a 23% increase is not possible. We all know that the unions begin their bargaining at an unrealistic starting point but that is because their agents lack modern day negotiation skills.

    It’s time unions start looking at contributory health insurance schemes for public sector workers since we will have to start paying at the QEH; paternity leave for fathers; longer maternity leave since doctors are insisting that newborns are breast fed for six months; gym memberships at reduced rates since there is a surge in NCD’s etc. there are a whole lot of areas we can discuss before going to ‘negotiate’. Including giving no pay leave to union leadership during their term of office, insisting that the QEH changes its appointment system so that public officers can use and pay for its services rather than turn up for a 9:00am or 2:00pm appointment that 30 or 40 other persons have and waste hours of productivity.

  5. Greengiant March 21, 2017 at 5:57 am

    So you all really believe it’s in anyone’s best interest to pursue a 23% wage increase? I’m not a supporter of either two major parties after supporting them both. Do you all think a BLP government will give the 23% increase if elected? Do you all think any party elected will give the 23% being asked for by the NUPW?

    If your answer to these questions is no, then the NUPW under it’s youthful leadership has lost it’s way. The older executive members have allowed that young man to self destruct thereby damaging the reputation of the younger generation in the public service. Now you young brilliant brains need to get realistic, don’t allow these older geriatrics to die in their union chairs. Move them, along with my dear brother Akanni and restore the credibility to the NUPW. He too has gotten wrapped in political garb like his mate in arms Beckles. The future of the trade union must avoid elective politics, our landscape has changed. I look forward to seeing young Akanni leading this union in the future, by then he would have matured to the tricks of the other hardened executive members and politicians as well. I know you mean well, but your ship is sailing with old broken mast, and rudder. Akanni you should disembark, send it to dry dock for repairs and rejoin the voyage at another port of entry. Your problem is the older chair warmers who’s only motive is for you to self destruct. Useless smith and the others who have been useless for decades.

  6. Sheron Inniss March 21, 2017 at 6:12 am

    Steupse. Animal Farm playing out here.

  7. Natalie Murray
    Natalie Murray March 21, 2017 at 6:27 am

    Who is Mr. Greenidge speaking for – certainly not the struggling Public Servants in this country.

  8. Dennis Connell
    Dennis Connell March 21, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Roy Who…who? Dont know who he is….but i can certainly smell what he is

  9. Kim Smith
    Kim Smith March 21, 2017 at 6:33 am

    Not good at a time like this

  10. clint March 21, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Roy is demonstrating his ignorance to the process of wage negotiations and disregard to the plight of civil servants which his union represents. I am not a member of this union; however its members have evidence in Greenidge’s position to workers compensation, as to type of representation they would get if he is elected president.

  11. Nathaniel Samuels March 21, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Greengiant, what was your position when the previous executive was in place and just allowing government to do as it pleases and not look for the interest of its members? That is why Akanni and his team came into being. At least that team has done what a union is supposed to do; look after the interest of its members. As for the 23% it will be difficult for that to be achieved but should the union start negotiating at a lower percentage when we know that there will and must be some bargaining? What do you say to the ruling party who just reinstated its 10% cut even when they receive a much bigger salary than most civil servants? That too made the union react as it has should and did.
    Brother Roy is not a puppet of the DLP but rather a poppet of the same party and should take his leave.

    • Peppa March 21, 2017 at 7:59 am

      A rational comment at last.

  12. Kelly Hunte
    Kelly Hunte March 21, 2017 at 7:04 am

    An eight year wage freeze with rising taxes is the same as a pay cut. Mr. Greenidge needs to stop smoking onions

  13. Mariam Makeba
    Mariam Makeba March 21, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Ah boy Roy who sent ya? I smell a rat as de old ppl does say eva since. Ya like ya wukking fa dem , one gine strike de other ain’t gine sttike, one.gine talk wage hike de other ain’t gine ask. DE HIGHER DE MONKEY CLIMB DE MORE YA SEE HE BEHIND.

  14. Tony March 21, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Mr Greenidge it’s soon time for you to retire, so go home peacefully. You should be telling the Government it has to meet with the NUPW. They have shown disrespect to all of the unions even the one whose President is one of dem

  15. hcalndre March 21, 2017 at 7:47 am

    The Union boss of the NYC transit with a membership of thousands is a bajan and I read sometime ago when he was in barbados he told the Union that you don`t sit at their side, you sit on the opposite side. This new wine is too strong for the old skins liking, the house negroes are trying to oust Mc Dowell. Malcolm X said that the house negro would feel the pain when the master is sick and he also said when the master in trouble, the house negro would say, yes we`re in trouble while the field negro had a different outlook. Here comes Roy #2.

  16. RB March 21, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Put your best foot forward, Roy. Some of us appreciate a level head. The fact that this government has destroyed our country does not mean that you can just ask for more money as punishment. I wish it were Froon’s own money you were taking, but it isn’t. With the current state of the Treasury, if you ask for 23% this could only be achieved by laying off even more people than may have to be. What is the greater good?

  17. Ernesta Catlyn March 21, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Greengiant et al your comments indicate your limited knowledge when it comes to negotiation. If you want 10% do you think you will start at 10%. Negotiation, by its very name indicates that you start at one point, usually above what you want and ‘haggle’ up, down and sideways. Come on people, start to think and throw off the political ‘hats’. Speak to the principle of matters, regardless of your affiliation.

  18. Zeus March 21, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Everyday I get something to laugh about in BIM ….best place on earth to live ……19 downgrades …..stop printing money …..government broke …….now I am hearing the union still starting at a 23% increase ….some of wunna serious ……can’t wait for this government to change ……manna will fall from heaven … in we pockets lol

    • Jennifera March 21, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      Zeus – you forgot the 1% looking for concessions.

  19. 3rdsun March 21, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Wunna Gov workers got it real sweet while the rest of the country barely holding out. I hope if wunna get de salary increase wunna increase ya workload by de same amount.

  20. David Hall March 21, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    If Mr Greenidges’ primary reason for challenging the current president is because he feels that the Union needs to have a better relationship with the government then I fear for him. Good relations are built on respect and so far this administration has shown nothing but disrespect to trade unions in recent times. The 23 % request is neither here or there this is simply a negotiation strategy, surely he knows this.

  21. Ernesta Catlyn March 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Zeus, I am trying really hard to understand your point. What was the government’s argument for restoring the 10%? the country had ‘turned the corner’ no? I heard Minister Inniss asked where they will get the 23% from, as well. He never asked where the country will get the 10% from. Why? because he knew the answer – the country had turned the corner.

    As far as I know when you start to negotiate for wage increases one of the things you use is the increase in the inflation rate from the last salary increase. In Barbados, 23% has to be a conservative number.

    • Jennifer March 21, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      @Ernesta – he is part of the 1%, that’s why you cannot understand him.

  22. Lorenzo March 21, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Greengiant and Zeus as Dems iam not surprised by nothing you say for as far as you two are concerned no one should challenge the Government on anything.The MPs got back their 10% and not a word from you as where the money would come from but Mr Mcdowal fighting for overdue increases for his workers is a big problem as it is obvious that 23% is not possible but by negotiation might receive 10%.

    • Jennifer March 21, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      Lorenzo u forgot that one carson c cadogan too. All of them is part of the high flyers club.

  23. Johnathan March 21, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Green giant,Zeus and the politically blind Carson Cadogan are the mouth pieces of the inept Democratic Labour Party and will say anything to appease to the disrespectful administration. I think the union members would be really stupid to elect Roy Greenidge who never found it possible to oppose any of the former Presidents but in the evening of his days is trying to remove the only President in the last 10 who has fought for workers. He should retire and leave the young people to deal with their affairs. The hateful young lady that wants to run as his assistant who had previously brought a no confidence motion shouldn’t even be considered as she seems to have entered the race with improper motives.

  24. Sherlock Holmes. March 21, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    I have said all i had to say about the head clown at the NUPW in time he will reap the benefits of the seeds he continue to sow.

  25. Natalie March 22, 2017 at 5:54 am

    @ Johnathan you forgot Sherlock Holmes!


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