Speak for yourself, Shepherd!

President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall has suggested that his counterpart in the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT), Pedro Shepherd, is out of touch with his membership.

Reacting to Shepherd’s recent suggestion that the NUPW was a bit hasty in giving the Freundel Stuart administration until next Tuesday to conclude pay negotiations, which have been ongoing for two years, McDowall said while he had no interest in getting involved in any war of words with a sister union, the BUT leader’s position was not reflective of the general mood within his own membership.

“I expected brother Shepherd to say what he said. However while it comes as no surprise I am not sure that Shepherd is speaking 100 per cent for his members,” McDowall told Barbados TODAY.

“I really don’t think he is fully representing what his members want at this point,” he added.

In an interview on Tuesday, Shepherd told Barbados TODAY that the NUPW, which is the largest public sector union here, was grasping at too many issues at once and should give the pay process with Government more time to work. In fact, he argued that the NUPW should first complete negotiations on a lump sum coping mechanism for public workers before pushing for a 23 per cent pay hike for its members given the Government’s current financial constraints.

Pedro Shepherd and Akanni McDowall

Shepherd also said while the BUT was still committed to the trade union coalition, it was not prepared to consider industrial action just yet.

However, McDowall expressed full confidence that in the event Government fails to respond to next week’s deadline by the NUPW, membership of the teachers’ union would respond in large numbers if called upon to strike.

“Everybody in the public service understands why the NUPW is taking this course of action. I know that teachers are fully behind the idea of getting their salary increase and I believe that every public servant would be willing to do what is necessary so that we receive that increase,” McDowall told Barbados TODAY, adding that “sometimes as leaders we have to be careful about making generalizations, but I am very sure that most of the teachers are willing to do what is necessary”.

With just days remaining for the Freundel Stuart administration to respond to the NUPW’s ultimatum for it to pay up or else, McDowall said that the union was not going to be deterred from the mission.

He also stressed that even though there were diverging opinions within the trade union movement, the common goal of protecting the workers was still the same.

“The NUPW is prepared to do what is necessary to make sure that our objectives are achieved. So if it means contacting the other unions for support then that is what we will do, but at this point I am not going to share what the strategy is going to be if Government continues to ignore our demands.

“I can tell you that we are absolutely prepared to do whatever is necessary to ensure public servants get what is rightfully theirs,” he stressed.

10 Responses to Speak for yourself, Shepherd!

  1. Sherlock Holmes. January 11, 2018 at 7:53 am

    More and more it is clear that this boy is very immature and his ego consumes him. The term self importance was coined for people just like him.

  2. Bajan boy January 11, 2018 at 8:17 am

    Shepherd I a DLP surrogate and is plying for time for Freundel Stuart he St. Philip counterpart.

    • Mark My Word January 11, 2018 at 9:56 am

      Bajan Girl you a BLP yard duck

  3. 3rdsun January 11, 2018 at 8:49 am

    I wonder if McDowall will use these same tactics when BLP get in
    as he is seen cosying up to de Bees

  4. Saga Boy January 11, 2018 at 9:01 am

    At least one Trade Unionist speaking with sense. It is a matter of affordability. If the Gov can’t afford it now, it means that the DLP will not be able to pay them what they are asking for. It is time to work together to save this country and not try to destroy it like union, traditional and social media is doing everyday.

  5. Ryan Alleyne January 11, 2018 at 9:11 am

    10 percent reinstated with back pay. No consideration for saving the country.

  6. Alex Alleyne January 11, 2018 at 9:41 am

    I love it, next I want to see a shoot-out in the middle of broad Street between you 2.

  7. RB January 11, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Mr Shepherd is a big DEM . It was only a matter of time for him to do such. Stupse

  8. milli watt January 11, 2018 at 10:46 am

    shepherd is a big DEM McDowall due for a big pick when the BEE land…… and FRUNS still ain’t saying nuttin lololololol

  9. Unappointed for 17years January 11, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Shepherd need to be remember that a lot of teachers came into the service with barely making five 5 years and have a secured salary via appointments….MacKie do you…continue to fight for your people.


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