$11 million more

Union wants Govt to up its $49 million offer

Government’s offer of a $49 million lump sum payment to civil servants in the form of a coping subsidy has failed to impress the membership of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW).

In fact, they have rejected it saying it is simply not enough.

The proposal, which was first discussed at a meeting held two Fridays ago between the union and Government representatives at the office of the Ministry of the Civil Service, was formally made to the union in writing last week.

It is for a one-off payment to the workers, with those at higher end of the salary scale receiving a two per cent payment while those at the lower end would receive five per cent, based on a sliding scale.

To sweeten the offer, Government also proposed to make the payments tax free, and also promised that they would not be subject to any deductions by the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).

However, at the end of the day the payment still amounts to less than $2,500 for the average worker.

From left, NUPW First Vice President Fabian Jones, President Akanni McDowall, Acting General Secretary Delcia Burke and General Treasurer Asokorie Beckles during today’s meeting at the NUPW’s headquarters.

During a sometimes animated meeting this afternoon at the NUPW’s Dalkeith headquarters, which was attended by approximately 300 of its members, it was suggested that Government’s offer was at least $11 million short, with the workers demanding a $2,500 across-the-board payment to carry them over until the completion of protracted wage negotiations.

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, NUPW General Treasurer Asokorie Beckles said the union would dispatch the $60 million counterproposal by tomorrow morning, along with a deadline by which Government must respond.

“Coming out of tonight’s members’ meeting we discussed what Government would have proposed to us, which was a sliding scale between two and five per cent. The NUPW members have decided on a counterproposal – the union put forward three [recommendations] to our membership and they have decided to take one of those proposals to the Ministry of the Civil Service to take to the Prime Minister of Barbados,” he said, adding that members were fed up with the length of time the process has been taking.

“Our members are saying that these two years is long enough and they have set a deadline for negotiations to be completed and we also would be sending this to the Ministry of the Civil Service as early as tomorrow,” said Beckles, who did reveal what would happen if the Freundel Stuart administration did respond in the prescribed time frame.

The NUPW, which has demanded for a 23 per cent pay hike, has been joined by the Barbados Workers’ Union, which is asking for a 15 per cent increase for its members, as well as the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union and the Barbados Union of Teachers, in requesting a subsidy to help public workers cope with the taxing National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) and other measures imposed by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler in his May 30 Budget as part of a $542 million austerity package.

However, NUPW Acting General Secretary Delcia Burke explained that even though Government’s offer was in keeping with the union’s demands for a coping subsidy, it simply was not up to mark.

She pointed that to date the union had only received written scenarios from the Ministry of the Civil Service, which did not constitute a solid offer.

“I think a lot of the problems arose because it was not a firm offer. I think they felt insulted because the Ministry of the Civil Service offered what they called scenarios and in the letter they advised that they would have to take it back to the Prime Minister to have it approved. So as it stands they have not made a firm proposal and the workers felt slighted and insulted because after all this time something concrete should have been on the table,” Burke said.

23 Responses to $11 million more

  1. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba December 28, 2017 at 1:00 am

    that 110 + 7 mil lost between hilton and blue horizon would come in handy there hummmmmmmmmmmm

  2. Kevin December 28, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Chupse, $2,500 tax free is better than $0.

    • hcalndre December 28, 2017 at 3:11 am

      @Kevin; are you a civil servant? you are more of an apologist or a house negro who would be willing to sell out your brothers and sisters. Maybe $250 would satisfy you? Keep fighting for the members, brother McDowall.

      • Kevin December 28, 2017 at 9:25 am

        No I work in the private sector and trust me, there is a disconnect between those in the public and private service. We cant get away nor does get the things you in the public service can get away with. Many of us aint getting no subsidy, many of us aint even get bonus.

  3. luther thorne December 28, 2017 at 2:30 am

    Call Elections
    New Mandate needed.
    Mark Adamson PDC Leader needs to cease and desists.
    Are you supporting DLP ?

    • Kevin December 28, 2017 at 9:28 am

      Adamson does criticize both the BLP & DLP. That’s a true independent there. But its only when he criticize the BLP that people like you does go after him. Keep it up Mark. Don’t let these yardfowls deter you from speaking out against both the DLP & the BLP>

  4. Shaquille December 28, 2017 at 2:48 am

    These people always complain about every single thing. I recently got my pay award at work in lump sum Bds$300.00 for one year which when calculated is an increase of $25.00 month. But as i am at the middle of my salary scale we are given it as a bonus award in lump sum but it will not actually be added to my salary in 2018. I will still work for the same salary i have been working for the last 5 years. Welcome to private sector non unionized employment.

  5. archy perch December 28, 2017 at 5:01 am

    Go on your promised hunger strike luther thorne. Or are you like Mia withe her broken promise already.

  6. Felicia Gibson Holder
    Felicia Gibson Holder December 28, 2017 at 6:34 am

    Desiree Joseph

  7. Tony Webster December 28, 2017 at 6:47 am

    If it looks like a rat, and walks like a rat, and smells like a rat…it’s a rat.

  8. Saga Boy December 28, 2017 at 8:47 am

    The logic of these unions escape me at times. They are reckless and irresponsible.

  9. Saga Boy December 28, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Is 300 enough to reject a proposal? Is this the position of the majority of the workers?

  10. petra December 28, 2017 at 9:02 am

    where is Govt going to get these funds from. just take the offer and move on its tax free. don’t be unreasonable. 300 persons can’t speak for all of us

  11. Carla December 28, 2017 at 9:16 am

    @petra and saga boy

    Then you should have come

  12. Annie December 28, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Omg. I here praying for my income tax return..500. One way and 700 another way and by way I mean year. Wanna think I making noise for 1200. That I won’t aappreciate 2500. What you meannnnn. Look wanna being greedy.. 2anna know how foolish the big boss is get? Wanna hune let yhat man decide to travel and go quiet.? Deal just floating in limbo? Man wanna playing pon monkey field with my money.

  13. Saga Boy December 28, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Ms. Burke looking real sad. Look like she tired. Ms. smith does look the same way.

  14. Concerned Barbadian December 28, 2017 at 11:17 am

    May I ask! Does the Government and unions on the island not bench-mark salaries, time in grade or time of service with cost of living expences? There should be a standard formula across the board, and all calculations derived from that standard. To fellow Barbadians living abroad it seems as though citizens who are public servants are the prime ones who disreguard the present state of economy on their soverign nation and use the unions as cutlasses once used in the sugarcane fields.

  15. R Branch December 28, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Can you folks pease remember governments DO NOT JUST PRINT MONEY they need YOUR taxes to pay you these funds so u can demand whatever you want now but just bear in mind u will pay it back later. Just a thought from the outside.

  16. milli watt December 28, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    not a cent for this crowd chris………almost into next year one or two more lies will get us to March and any number can play. I can’t get a crumb and dis crowd calling fuh big cash nahh

  17. Greengiant December 28, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    The N U P W is as bad as or worse than government. All this inside information they want us to believe they have. They first wanted 23%, then a coping subsidy.

    Now an offer or offers are on the table, they are now submitting a counter offer. The Union is delaying this payment to the workers, why are they only now making an offer after the government proposed one. They could have made a proposal for the coping subsidy, like they did for a wage increase.

    This is petty negotiating, get your facts and figures correct before attempting to represent the workers earnings. This is shameful by McDowald, Beckles, Burke, Smith and company. What are you all really about? You are fertilizing fodder while the animals die of hunger and thirst in the pastures.

  18. Geoff Small December 28, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    The next offer from the government should be, take it or leave it. Then Mr. McDowaid should have to explain to his membership and the Barbados public why he did not accept the offer. This is where facts and figures are important for Mr. McDonald to support his no to the offer. Mr. McDowald has given the bargaining power back to the Government The Government may now argue that they gave the best affordable offer at this time. I see it as a win for the Government and Mr. Akandi’s lack of vision.
    Mr. McDowald by accepting this offer and you wil,l have started a bonus regime?

  19. harry turnover December 28, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Knowing Stuart and DEM wunna best tek it ya.
    Suppose he come and tell wunna that for the workers to get 11 million more he would have to see how the NSRL works for another 2 months and he gine take another 3 months to analyzed it ? wha wunna gine do ?


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