NUPW too hasty, says BUT president

A split has emerged within the labour movement over the latest demand by the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) for an immediate and successful end to wage talks with Government.

The Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) is suggesting that the NUPW was a bit hasty in giving the Freundel Stuart administration until next Tuesday to conclude the talks, which have been ongoing for two years.

Cognizant that Parliament must be dissolved by the end of March of this year, NUPW President Akanni McDowall told Barbados TODAY last Friday that his union was not about to 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.

However, BUT President Pedro Shepherd told Barbados TODAY in an interview this morning that the NUPW, which is the largest public sector union here, was grasping at too many issues at once and should give the process more time to work.

Shepherd argued that the sister union should first complete negotiations on Government’s offer two weeks ago of a lump sum payment of $49 million as a coping subsidy for public workers.

The NUPW has rejected the offer and has proposed instead that Government pays a $60 million lump sum, which would allow for an across-the-board $2,500 payment.

However, Shepherd contended that Government’s financial constraints must be taken into consideration when the unions make demands of the administration.

“Whatever you get people are going to say it is not enough, but I believe that you have to compromise because we know the economic and financial situation of the Government. So we have to come to a compromise where both people are going to benefit from whatever the offer is and then move forward to negotiating for salary increase,” Shepherd said.

Following the presentation of the May 30 Budget by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler the BUT had joined the NUPW, the Barbados Workers’ Union and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union in demanding a 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.

Shepherd insisted that the BUT was still committed to the coalition, but said his union, which falls under the umbrella of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB), was not yet prepared to consider industrial action.

“Let me first say that the BUT and the CTUSAB is not yet in the same industrial action mode. We have to first meet and discuss this issue and first hear what Government is offering and what they have rejected before we go into that particular mode. The BUT certainly is not in that mode as yet because we have to look at the scenarios for ourselves,” Shepherd explained.

“The BUT is still on board with the coalition. We have not met as a team of late but I believe that with the current negotiations and proposals, the coalition would once again meet and discuss them. However the CTUSAB would have received the proposals which the Ministry of the Civil Service gave to the NUPW. We have our own scenarios, which I cannot go into at this moment. I believe that we would get Government to settle on something that is mutually beneficial,” he added.

12 Responses to NUPW too hasty, says BUT president

  1. allison archer January 9, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    Isaiah 3: 12
    As for my people women rule over them and childten are they oppressors & they which rule thee lead you to error, destroying the way of your paths

  2. allison archer January 9, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Should read

    And children are their oppressors

  3. Calloutlies January 10, 2018 at 2:46 am

    This is so funny, I was saying for years that Shepherd will eventually turn on you guys. His timing is perfect. He is a big Dem and it was only a matter of time. I Continue to tell my fellow teachers that this man must not be trusted.

  4. Ernesta Catlyn January 10, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Dem or no Dem, Pedro is simply a very weak personality. He has NO leadership ability whatsoever and I keep saying that if he is the best the BUT can produce, then that union will continue to be in trouble. He is a CRY baby, sorry to be unkind but it is true.

  5. Alex Alleyne January 10, 2018 at 9:10 am

    POLITICS, …..divide and rule.
    Next you all will be killing each other.

  6. roger headley January 10, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Pedro, me today and you tomorrow. Don’t forget! It will soon be revealed what you were promised. Same warm over soup

  7. Adrian Hinds January 10, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Public sector unions continue to pull Barbados down. They are by an large the laziest set of people in Barbados that Bajans via their tax dollars have to find a huge set of money to pay every month with little results to show for it, and it’s even worst when they are bold facely playing politics.

    • MARIA Holder January 10, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      Really? The persons that work in the banks and department stores and gas stations etc. are public workers. From where I am sitting Barbadians have little to offer by way of customers service, whether private or public.

  8. Joshua January 10, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    What else do u expect from a DEM like Pedro. The last NUPW President stall everything for 8 years then retired after he got a promotion.

  9. Randolph January 10, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    What a Judas is Sheperd.He has now shown his true colors as a DEM.I hope the BUT deal with him to suit.

  10. MARIA Holder January 10, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Et tu Brute? Then fall Caesar

  11. hcalndre January 11, 2018 at 7:22 am

    Shepherd boy, what is your motive? its 10 years that the civil servants have not got an increase in salary, say what you are waiting on. Are you another DLP Union leader?


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