Pay talks to resume, amid talk of an NUPW compromise

It’s back to the negotiating table for Government and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) on April 4 for a resumption of pay talks, with the union appearing quite willing to compromise on its demand for a 23 per cent hike for public servants.

“I think everybody in Barbados by now knows what the union’s position is on a salary increase. We are asking for 23 per cent, but I want people to remember that 23 per cent is really the maximum; that is the desired amount. But we negotiate and then we come to some kind of agreement with Government on the amount of money that should be given to public servants,” an upbeat NUPW President Akanni McDowall told Barbados TODAY this morning.

However, he said the onus was now on Government to show that it could not meet the maximum demand since “the union did not simply pull the 23 per cent out of a hat.

“We had a team of competent economists who sat down and came up with the percentage that we should ask for,” he told Barbados TODAY, while insisting that there should be an increase of one kind or another for public servants who have been faced with difficulties amid tough economic times that have affected their general purchasing power.

At the same time, McDowall rejected out of hand the recent suggestion by outspoken Government minister Donville Inniss that the union’s pay demand was downright unreasonable.

While referring to Inniss as a “wild card”, the NUPW president also took issue with comments made in the Senate yesterday by the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Senator Darcy Boyce that even “a nice, comfortable” ten per cent pay rise would deal a devastating blow to the economy.

With the wage negotiations currently at a delicate stage, McDowall said it was not only “highly inappropriate”, but “bordering on disrespectful” for Government ministers to be pontificating on the matter without being armed with the necessary facts.

He emphasized that the NUPW’s position was based on facts, therefore it was up to Government to show it could not meet the wage demand.

The union has been threatening to stage industrial action unless the Freundel Stuart administration resumes their pay negotiations which had been stalled since last October.

However, after receiving confirmation from his General Secretary Roslyn Smith today that Government had agreed to meet with the union on April 4, McDowall said the NUPW was prepared to hold off on its planned strike action, since it was never its intention to disrupt the country.

“I think what we have to do is to work towards developing a harmonious industrial relations cliemate between the Government and the union and to have this meeting, I think is a step in that direction,” the union president told Barbados TODAY, adding he was hopeful of an agreement. 

7 Responses to Pay talks to resume, amid talk of an NUPW compromise

  1. Nathaniel Samuels March 23, 2017 at 1:59 am

    Well done, Brother McDowall. Keep up the pressure and if they complain, ask them to give up that reinstated 10% salary.

  2. Greengiant March 23, 2017 at 6:45 am

    He will end up looking unprofessional and silly. I really do like this guy, but he needs to reduce the militancy and think things through much more.

    • Sherlock Holmes. March 23, 2017 at 7:26 am

      He has always looked that way he is plain and simple an immature boy.He will never change his silly and pompous attitude so do not hold your breath.

  3. harry turnover March 23, 2017 at 9:07 am

    A salary increase and 5000 Public Service Employees gone home.The Guvment will of course dilly dally until close to election time and then give them a double digit increase over 3 years and then say that the BLP has plans to send home 5000 Public Servants as well as to devalue the dollar if the BLP is elected.

    Of course if that plan backfires AGAIN,they will come AGAIN and say that the sending home of those Civil Servants and the devaluation will only be the LAST RESORT and may the Lord help us when they AGAIN decide on that LAST RESORT DATE.

  4. Observer March 23, 2017 at 9:37 am

    It’s a shame that some of you is such a chicken here is a man that is looking out for the welfare of people and instead of supporting him you are on the side line talking a bunch of trash,if he wasn’t doing anything you’ll be crying a little baby,Support your union or let government continue to treat people any old way

  5. sunshinecanada March 23, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    observer, who and what are u talking about?

  6. greengiant March 23, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Observer is just high on emotions. It’s okay to fight, but there’s something called, Peace Keeping. You fight wars to make peace, fighting one war to create another is an exercise in futility. That’s what some of us don’t understand, but i’m sure Brother Akanni will learn. This will make him a tremendous leader in the future, but at the moment, he’s either being mislead, or allowed to self destruct, and that’s shameful of those around him with years experience. I wonder whose interest are they serving. Certainly not the workers.


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