Pay push

NUPW threatens industrial action over stalled wage talks with Govt

The dark cloud of industrial action is once again looming over the Freundel Stuart administration, with the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) warning that it has had it up to its neck with the myriad broken promises to restart the stalled public sector wage negotiations.

NUPW President Akanni McDowall told Barbados TODAY that the Prime Minister’s promise, made during the televised meeting of the Social Partnership at the Hilton Barbados Resort on August 11, to quickly restart the protracted pay talks, has not been kept, even though the union has formally written to the Ministry of Civil Service demanding that they return to the negotiating table by October 31.

“We have given the Ministry of Civil Service until the end of October to respond and if they don’t do it we will then take industrial action. We have to ‘up de ting’ because they have not even acknowledged our letters,” said McDowall.

He recalled that the Prime Minister had initially promised at the ruling Democratic Labour Party luncheon on July 23 to review the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) at the end of September with a view to determining whether Government would be able to afford the proposed pay hike, or a subsidy demanded by the unions, to help public servants cope with the taxing NSRL until the two sides agree a deal on pay increases. It is a position which Stuart repeated at the August 11 national consultation with trade unions and employers.

And in view of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler’s recent pronouncement that the NSRL had raked in $50 million in the three months since it was increased to ten per cent from two per cent, the NUPW, which has demanded a 23 per cent pay rise for its members, is insisting that Stuart must keep his promise and pay up.

Speaking in Parliament earlier this month, as he introduced the National Social Responsibility Amendment Bill 2017, giving legislative teeth to the NSRL increase, Sinckler said the controversial levy had raked in $50 million between July 1 and September 30, adding that this figure did not include the Value Added Tax earned on the levy.

It is based on these upbeat figures that the union is sticking to its wages demand for civil servants, who have not had a pay rise in nine years.

“We want to continue negotiations, especially based on what the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance would have said at the Social Partnership meeting. We need to have a meeting to determine what the salary increase would be, because that could only be the logical place for the discussion at the moment.

“The question is no longer whether or not public servants will receive a salary increase because all of the indicators that the Prime Minister has been waiting on have been successful. So it is time for us to talk money,” the NUPW boss stressed, adding that the push for a coping subsidy until the completion of wage negotiations was still very much on the table.

14 Responses to Pay push

  1. Kevin October 24, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Barbados has debts and deficits to settle firsts.

  2. Saga Boy October 24, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    This attitude is killing this country. Selfish politically motivated immature persons like Akani is going to push us over the brink. All of us will suffer if we do not work together to make this country earn its way. Civil servants want more money but are not interested in productivity or assisting the private sector in facilitating investments and business expansions. We have a private sector that is one big buying club. They have been doing the same thing since slavery, buying and selling and price gorging. They are not interested in agriculture because they make more money importing and selling things that can be grown here. Private sector companies involved in retailing, tourism and you name it all have overseas registered companies. They earn foreign currency that never make it to our shores. Time for the government to conduct a proper audit to determine the level of foreign currency leakage. And we have the consumer that does not recognize that their lifestyle is also to blame for the current state of the economy. We have a foreign lifestyle that requires foreign currency that we do not earn. Meanwhile all around us economies are in shambles and we are annoyed that Barbados is not doing better. What is it you are doing to improve the current situation?

  3. hcalndre October 25, 2017 at 1:09 am

    @Saga Boy; The Union leader is there to improve the workers standard of living, the people elected a government to improve the country`s services for every one. Ten years and all the party has done is to raise taxes on the same working people over and over on the same wages. Speaking of Tourism, the government spends millions on tourism and not agriculture, have you not heard that? Tell the government to bring Integrity legislation and have the politicians declare their assets on entering political arena. Now you want to dictate where and who people spend their money with, check the very politicians and see if the spend their money locally.

  4. Mac October 25, 2017 at 1:53 am

    Saga Boy

    Take my advice.
    Stop making comments on topics of politics or economics.Doing so shows your ignorance.

  5. Saga Boy October 25, 2017 at 4:26 am

    Mac please enlighten me or shut up.

  6. Alex Alleyne October 25, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Pure POLITICS, its as simple as that.

  7. MIIB October 25, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Debts and deficits so with the highest cost of living in Caricom and prices matching your collinizers people is to smile while doing the work of four whilst getting faeces wiped in your face and leftover to brush your teeth with. I am part of the Union and I don’t believe in one off strikes as it bears no fruit. Exert your authority as them nah listen and unleash a wave of strikes not no one off. Bring the country to its belly as the knees thing nah work. Keep ignoring the civil servants and those that continue to keep this cosmopolitan island afloat. From the garbage men, to the nurses……strike with effect ion not today and then none for four months

    These fields and hills are now our very own….stop lying Irving as you ain’t no lord amongst your people…

  8. Patrick October 25, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Give them the increase and balance it back by sending them home, most of them are very unproductive.

  9. Greengiant October 25, 2017 at 11:26 am

    They simply need to communicate with the union better. The permanent secretary in the ministry of the civil service was once and still is an employee. The most they could do is acknowledge the communication. This whole situation is totally unnecessary.

  10. Helicopter(8P) October 25, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Self centered agendas umbrella under non-nationalistic policies are showing the world what Barbados is made of. It’s either made of Bajan greed or Barbadian pride!

  11. luther thorne October 25, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Give the workers their inctease. The GOVT has done NOTHING for the people of Barbados. It would be very silly to return them to Office.I suspect though that they will money from NSRL to offer a little 6 % increase going into Elections in order to fool somebody.

  12. Milli Watt October 25, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    choke and rob industrial moves……while you at it pres see if you can get my back taxes for me while you at it

  13. Harry October 25, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Now is not the time to be seeking wage increases however the Govt hasn’t set the right example – they restored their 10% pay cut while expecting govt workers – who have not had a pay increase in 8 years to continue to hold strain while the Govt continues to apply every tax they can think of to further reduce workers take home pay. The MOF – who has no financial qualifications, check the DLP website for conformation – does not understand that the more he reduces workers take home pay the less thechance of stimulating the economy.

    @but saga boy “there for the grace of God goeth me”

  14. Darson October 25, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Ten points (10) Saga Boy
    I Totally agree with you:
    Not sure where Mac is going with that argument .
    One point to Harry , elected members are for a time , Government workers are permanent. wages cannot be settled in the same manner.
    The union rep is young and want to make his mark, so I don’t take him too seriously.


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