Pay date

NUPW gives Govt ten more days to respond

Pay up or else!

This is the latest ultimatum that has been issued by the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) to the Freundel Stuart administration following two years of protracted negotiations over a wage increase for public servants.

The NUPW, the island’s largest public sector trade union, has been demanding a 23 per cent pay hike for its members. It has now given the Stuart administration until January 15 to put a firm offer on the table, otherwise it says Government could be faced with a full blown public sector strike.

The development comes amid widespread speculation over when Stuart will announce the date for fresh general elections.

Cognizant that Parliament must be dissolved by the end of March of this year, NUPW President Akanni McDowall told Barbados TODAY that his union was not about squander its chances of securing a salary increase for its members by allowing the matter to drag on until Stuart finally decides to ring the election bell.

In fact, he suggested that failure by the ruling Democratic Labour Party to act on the outstanding pay matter could ultimately determine its fate at the polls.

“We gave the Government until the 15th of this month because if they do not give us a salary increase soon and another party forms the next Government then we will have to start salary negotiations all over again, which could take an additional two years,” the NUPW president said.

While acknowledging that a supplementary vote would be needed to meet its current demand and that it could take some time before the increase gets final approval, he further warned Government that it was running out of time.

“As we all know Parliament dissolves early in March, so we are letting Government know that they need to make a decision by January 15 or face industrial action,” McDowall said.

The NUPW president also revealed that the union’s National Council had met on Thursday and given the green light for any industrial action deemed necessary to ensure that Government accedes to the workers’ demands.

“National Council met on Thursday and approved what the general membership would have instructed the union to do and that is if Government does not come back to the table with a proposal for a salary increase by the 15th of this month, then we will take industrial action,” he said, while insisting that the deadline was a realistic one, as talks had been ongoing for the past two years to no avail.

“This is not something that just started, this is more than two years that we have been negotiating salary increases for public servants. It is just that we are saying now that enough is enough. We have now run out of time for Government to make a decision. This is now or never. They have to make the decision or they never will,” he argued.

The development comes just over a week after Government offered to make a $49 million lump sum payment to civil servants, which was rejected by the NUPW.

Instead, the union is proposing a $60 million lump sum which would allow for an across-the-board $2,500 payment.

However, McDowall made it clear that this was not a substitute for the proposed pay increase, which has been outstanding for the past ten years. In fact, the NUPW wants both matters settled within the next ten days, but as a caveat, McDowall said the union was now willing to put aside demands for a monthly coping subsidy for public servants once the pay increase and the lump sum “coping mechanism” were forthcoming.

Following the presentation of the May 30 Budget by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler the NUPW had joined with the Barbados Workers’ Union, the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union and the Barbados Union of Teachers in demanding the subsidy as a means of helping public workers cope with the drastic increase in the National Social Responsibility Levy, which rose from two to ten per cent of the customs value of locally produced and imported goods.

However, despite a massive protest last July, which was strongly supported by the private sector, and loud cries for relief from virtually every quarter of society, the Stuart administration has so far refused to budge on the onerous tax measure, which was one of several included in Sinckler’s $542 million austerity package that aims to close the country’s worrying national deficit of five per cent of gross domestic product.

58 Responses to Pay date

  1. Jack Ryan
    Jack Ryan January 5, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Where is the BWU in all of this. Thought they would seek this opportunity to stoke the fire for workers they represent. OR ARE THEY TOO BUSY RUNNING WITH THE HARES AND HUNTING WITH THE HOUNDS.

    • Kevin January 6, 2018 at 2:26 pm

      Lion and the lamb, lion and the lamb……. BWU is private sector. They dont dare act so bullish towards the private sector. Lion and the lamb…

      • tedd January 6, 2018 at 2:45 pm

        the BWU also represents a large number of public sector workers

  2. Carson C. Cadogan January 5, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    More blackmail from this idiot.

  3. Joan Brome
    Joan Brome January 5, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    Think you’re right

  4. Carson C. Cadogan January 5, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    All the Govt. has to do is to put the $49 million on the Bank and leave it there.

    Whenever the man who was promised a Diplomatic post by the Barbados Labour Party is ready for it, it would be there.

    I am sure the workers would welcome it.

  5. Saga Boy January 6, 2018 at 12:36 am

    This NUPW President has gone mad. He is absolutely insane. The BWU is letting him take the lead and carefully monitoring the response from the public. Less than 50 workers attended the last meeting at which the President received a mandate and he behaves as though this is the wish of the vast majority of civil servants. It does not make sense.

  6. Marcus stephens January 6, 2018 at 3:27 am

    It takes an idiot to know one.Press forward my brother,press forward,don’t be sidetrack.We got your back.I repeat we got your back.Solidarity Forever.Stay strong.

  7. Almar H Cave
    Almar H Cave January 6, 2018 at 5:49 am

    I am always lost as to the reaction of ‘john public when it comes to public servants. Akanni McDowall is fighting a good fight but to others he’s wasting time or threatening the government. The coping subsidy was to be given every since last year but again government dragged their feet on it. They offered 49 milion, the union refused and suggested 60 million. The government could’ve replied long time but now again would rather drag it out. Akanni McDowall I got your back. When the 15th comes and no positive word shut the island down. Force the election on then if they continue to ignore us.

    • Caroline Boxill
      Caroline Boxill January 6, 2018 at 6:41 am

      You couldn’t say it any better bajans to blasted frighten just talk talk talk Don’t ever fight for what’s right

    • Michael Turton
      Michael Turton January 6, 2018 at 9:45 am

      The fact is ” THERE IS NO DAMN MONEY TO PAY” we have to fight for other benefits and most critically protect jobs. The Gen Sec of the BWU suggested a reduction in the NSRL; this potentially has the effect giving you cash by increasing spending power and would also protect jobs in the private sector. My suggestion is to also widen the basket of goods, so we don’t have to struggle to by food.

    • Seanstar Bradshaw
      Seanstar Bradshaw January 6, 2018 at 9:47 am

      So..umm what happens if elections are forced and the DLP gets back in…what next??

    • Gillian Skeete
      Gillian Skeete January 6, 2018 at 9:51 am

      Seanstar Bradshaw what do you think?

    • Carson C. Cadogan January 6, 2018 at 9:57 am

      you have no idea what you are talking about.

      What coping subsidy???

      The General secretary of the BWU said and she was back up by MARY REDMAN that the Unions MADE NO AGREEMENT WITH THE GOVT. She does not know what the PM is talking about.

      Not everyone has short memories like you.

    • Almar H Cave
      Almar H Cave January 6, 2018 at 10:41 am

      Very good question Seanstar Bradshaw.

    • Seanstar Bradshaw
      Seanstar Bradshaw January 6, 2018 at 11:15 am

      If they get back in and desperate measures HV to be taken then shut down the island completely if need be once it’s for a good cause but idt it’ll make a difference ya can’t squeeze juice from a frozen lemon…

    • Almar H Cave
      Almar H Cave January 6, 2018 at 11:20 am

      Seanstar Bradshaw I don’t think at this point In our history with all that is happening socially and economically, that the DLP will be returned to power. If it does happen I would be very surprised and wonder if something fishy didn’t take place.

    • tedd January 6, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      Tom Adams legislated salaries when he could not agreement with the union. this could have been done with the coping subsidy. this would have weakened the union as workers would feel that the unio0n was too greedy to allow the workers to get the money. Also it shows me the gov had no plans to give the workers a subsidy

    • Seanstar Bradshaw
      Seanstar Bradshaw January 6, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      I talk to ppl at random and they do still HV lots of supporters who strongly believe in them and are voting for them without a doubt and most are saying they are not voting hvnt heard anyone saying they are definitely voting for the blp or any other party… Just ppl online voicing their frustrations with everything going on …but then again…the same thing happened last election so …don’t hold ur breath… actions speak louder than words…no matter who is in power we need them to do what’s best for our country at any cost. Sorry…just my observation/ opinion

    • Almar H Cave
      Almar H Cave January 6, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Fair enough

  8. Don Keyote January 6, 2018 at 5:54 am

    Message to the NUPW:

    The Government cannot, repeat, cannot agree to an increase public sector salaries.

    So you will have to do what you have to do… in conjunction with the BWU, of course.

  9. Harry January 6, 2018 at 6:09 am

    Govt cannot agree to increase public sector salaries while that is true, restoring MP’s salaries to their original level ( after all as one stating its their money) makes difficult for the Unions to accept that particular argument.

  10. Caroline Boxill
    Caroline Boxill January 6, 2018 at 6:44 am

    That’s why the Government is not budging cause elections close by .sorry the island didn’t get shut down last month when it was Xmas rush this is a dead month not much going on .Got to hit them where it will effect the island

    • Carson C. Cadogan January 6, 2018 at 9:59 am

      You are an idiot.

  11. Margaret January 6, 2018 at 7:10 am

    @Almar when David Commissiong took the fight to court, bajans behaved the same way. ‘Let Govt do what ever it wants to do. Pay your taxes and shut up’. Fight on Akanni.

  12. Roverp January 6, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Are we saying a union can not ask for a pay increase after over nine years of wage freeze? Have we become so protective of an incompetent government?

  13. Roverp January 6, 2018 at 8:12 am

    If a government can not run a government with increasing taxes, wage freeze and unions that initially were poppets of the said government that shows the level of incompetence and poor management of this government.

  14. Saga Boy January 6, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Roverp how would you run the country? What would you do different in order to maintain the current level of social services and employ over 20,000 public servants?

  15. Janette Reifer
    Janette Reifer January 6, 2018 at 8:43 am

    They salaries are grand. Civil servants want what is owed to them. If handout are given out. Then pay up. End of discussion

  16. Meakai January 6, 2018 at 8:50 am

    60 000 000 ÷ 2 500 = 24 000.

    Mamma Mia!

  17. Meakai January 6, 2018 at 9:00 am

    30 candidates
    14 seats
    74,121 votes

    30 candidates
    16 seats
    78,851 votes

    24 000???
    2 500???
    Pay date????

    • milli watt January 6, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      I like these numbers

  18. Nol Queen
    Nol Queen January 6, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Hi,it hurts,but we have LIFE,really getting tried.

  19. Winnie Meade
    Winnie Meade January 6, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Look i am so sick of you lot just dam talk talk come on do what must be done no more free lunch and drink say no you want the workers to get what is theres now mo more talk ok

    • Caroline Boxill
      Caroline Boxill January 6, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Correct correct correct . Now if nothing happen last year curtains are slowly pulling closer how will it happen now

  20. petra January 6, 2018 at 9:30 am

    they find the 10 percent for themselves. public workers deserve an increase don’t back down. don’t let these haters frighten you

  21. chris hill January 6, 2018 at 9:37 am

    it is not obvious the Government is walking all over the NUPU with their president assisting them. just get on with it finally, strike and get the money, complain and procrastinate well get nothing. put up or shut up.

  22. Greengiant January 6, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Would be quite interesting to see what the B L P would do for public servants if they assumed office after the general election.

    The N U P W has wasted too much time with negotiations, they are too indecisive, asking for too many different things. They should have focused on getting the people’s back pay over the last two years, even if it meant getting a payment every six months. Now the coping subsidy would make sense had they gotten the workers’ back money.

    All the talk and threats he’s making now makes no sense. What would his case be if the parliament was dissolved tomorrow, and the government changed? Actually, he’s already placed the civil servants on notice, that he will have to give the B L P two more years.

    Now the technocrats within the public service commission, the Ministry of finance and the Central Bank won’t change even if the government does. So please tell us Mr. President why would it take another two years to complete negotiations? With the current opposition calling on the government to pay up, and do so now, why would they not do the same right after assuming office?
    Can anyone tell me why not?

  23. Catherine Jones
    Catherine Jones January 6, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Long time wateing

  24. hcalndre January 6, 2018 at 10:33 am

    @CCC & Saga Boy; you 2 are the best, it puzzles me to see that these politicians demanded the 10% be returned to them ASAP if not it will bring hardship on them and their families and they got it, these are people that lives comfortably off the backs of the poor taxpayers, 10% or no 10%. Did you 2 ever had a job and a family to take of, or Union member? the truth is that I would employ the 2 of you to work for me in a heart beat. This government going to have a show on Monday afternoon to swear in a GG at a cost, no money to have the sewage fix which is a national disaster

  25. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow January 6, 2018 at 11:09 am

    If the government cannot service the water and sewage …tell me where are you in the food chain?this Government is tone death to the islands population

  26. Ralph W Talma January 6, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Yes, A fair days’ work for a fair days’ pay, but a 23% increase when the Treasury is scraping its barrel is not a viable option. Perhaps, 10% this year and a promise of a further 10% during the extant budget period might work.

  27. archy perch January 6, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Now figure this. The former Central Bank Governor, Dr. Delisle Worrell is advocating massive cuts in the number of public workers to help save the island’s struggling economy. The Private Sector Association, through its Actuary Chairman, Charles Herbert has for years been demanding such cuts, and the government has been resisting as its says it is trying to save public workers jobs. The government was forced to send home some 1500 NCC workers a while ago, much to its own disgust. Now the NUPW has chosen a former election date that was held in January 2008, to give the Administration until January 15th this year to pay what they are asking for to the workers, or “we striking”. Dr. Worrell nd others are advising the government to go borrow from the IMF, never mind the organisations anti large public service posiitions taken in the past. The DLP government is resisting that move also.The crooked BLP has promised the rascals in the private sector a basket of goodies should it win this year’s general elections. Both Mia and Herbert have spoken with confidence that monies would be released back into the economy once the crooked BLP regains power and she is the first uman Prime Minister. Public workers have their choice. Vote for the Dems who are saving your jobs, or vote for the double-talkers who you can read between the lines and figure out things for yourselves. The NUPW leader has his eyes on a prize, but you workers need to keep your eyes on your jobs.

    • Carson C. Cadogan January 6, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      Well said.

      There are still some BLACK people in Barbados who have common sense.

    • hcalndre January 6, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      @archy; what`s going to be the promises of the DLP this time around? no lay-offs again? but 3000 went home, no privatizing of the buses but there is no on time bus service, the PM says the 22 down grades on Barbados is no problem but can`t get a loan from any where, $4 B in debt, only the IMF will help them but they are scared of that. All the taxes, the NSRL., have not help, light at the tunnel and Easter have not arrived as yet with only a matter of weeks to go so what`s is their game plan or untruths, archy boy? What about the sewage, a national crises.

  28. milli watt January 6, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    this might not be a bad strategy for the DLP. They might lose the next election which leaves the recurring wage bill with a BLP that wanted the pay hike (would like to see how they would handle it). If they win then they got a mandate and could send home the excess.

    • harry turnover January 7, 2018 at 7:13 am

      Exactly !! and even say that going to the IMF will be the LAST RESORT and dilly dally like the lay offs .
      No lay offs BEFORE the last election…then lay offs AS THE LAST RESORT after they won.
      This time it might be No IMF before elections…then IMF as the LAST RESORT IF THEY WIN

  29. Saga Boy January 6, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    The strategy is to get to FORCE the DLP to layoff employees with the help of all the unions. How can you explain the BWU union agreeing with Massy to lay off workers while they make millions in profits and the NUPW threatening to strike against a gov struggling to pay wages?

  30. Carla January 6, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    If the Dlp wants layoff they should start with their friends that they bring post 2008, which has skyrocketed the public sector wage bill.

  31. Saga Boy January 6, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Carla those people hired were your brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles. This student adversarial combative approach does nothing for Barbados. The unions needs to start talking about productivity and how their members will help to build Barbados. We need to earn our way. Employees need to stRt working. Become more effecient and speed up decisions and the processes to earn foreign currencies etc. The BLP will not work miracles.

  32. luther thorne January 6, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    Only those people driving the ML cars would defend the DLP.
    Only a mother whose son is/was a Prime Minister in a DLP would defend the DLP.
    Only lackeys, aplogists, syncophants and people from St.John – the poorest and most backward parish – would defend the DLP.

  33. patty January 6, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    stupid statement luther…bitter, sad, you seem bitter

    • harry turnover January 7, 2018 at 7:36 am

      YOUR’s IS the STUPID statement …after ALL that has happened and is happening in Barbados you are STILL defending DEM ????… mussee from St.John…in other words you ARE a JOHNNY.
      You seem bitter though that time is running out for yard fowls like you.
      Only SMOKE will stop the BEES not chupid talk from wunna yard fowls and paling cocks .
      The time wunna spent to talk and write SH8 about MIA and the BLP .could have been spent storing enough SMOKE to ward them off.
      Woman,go and light ya fires and collect ya smoke.Ya gine need it in JUNE.
      If ya want to talk SH8,camp out on the South Coast, where you seem comfortable .

  34. Carson C. Cadogan January 7, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Not a cent more, the country cant afford it.

  35. harry turnover January 7, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    McDowall,why the hell you don’t accept what the PM offered ?you mean to tell me that after all this time,you still doan know the type of man Stuart is and how he operates ???
    You gine call a strike and then what ??? the same workers can’t get their salaries on time,pensioners scrambling, places who depend in part on Government funds to cope with salariese in potta
    5 % of the yearly salary of workers at the bottom say $24,000 equates to $1200 lump sum.
    2 % for those at the top say $144,000 equates to $2800 lump sum.Don’t know if that $49 million will cover that,but McDowall wants every man jack to get $2500 lump sum knowing full well that the PM is a man that does not like to be pushed.

  36. Mia Colt January 8, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Listen to me. Do like the private sector suggested and send home 8,000+ government employees. The remaining employees can then receive the increases that the union is fighting for.

  37. Carson C. Cadogan January 8, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    The Govt. has to pay out to the workers the $49million according to the formula that the Govt. has worked out. Start paying the workers from payday Jan. 2018.


    As the old Bajans used to say, “”don pay he nuh mind””.

    This all politics on his part.

  38. Tony Webster January 9, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    The C.B.B. printing pre$$…needs more ink. We are surely to see the second coming….before we run out of ink. Yes? No?


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