NUPW not backing down from wage fight

Barbados has not seen the end of the battle by the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) to secure a salary increase for its members.

Against the backdrop of heavy criticism of its decision to stage a national shutdown last Thursday and Friday, NUPW President Akanni McDowall has made it clear that, “the NUPW is committed to securing a salary increase for its members, regardless of the party in power, endorsement from other unions or the opinions of social commentators.

“Neither silence, contempt, award or reward will sway us to do otherwise,” the party said in a weekend statement after, from all reports, Government services continued to operate normally last week in the face of the union’s call for “two days of protest and resistance”.

However, the NUPW boss rubbished suggestions that the protest action failed, saying that “initial reports indicate that our efforts were effective, based on the numbers of members who stayed away from work and the respective Government departments adversely affected”.

McDowall was adamant that the NUPW would not be “sidetracked by one-upmanship or the arrogance of devising arguments to prove the strike’s success”.

He insisted that the NUPW’s action was justified, saying that the failure of the Ministry of the Civil Service to respond to the union’s deadline to settle the issue was nothing short of  disrespectful to the island’s public servants.

The NUPW president further argued that it would be unreasonable to expect the union to continue to accept the excuse of a stagnant economy as the reason why no increase could be offered when “new and increased taxes and levies imposed in the past nine years are strangling the livelihoods of workers.

“In short, the cost of living has increased dramatically while public sector salaries have remained the same as in 2008.  Much in the same way that our 23 per cent proposal was not final we would also expect that Government’s zero per cent was not final,” he said.

McDowall also blasted social commentators and parliamentarians who suggested that the union’s stance was political.

“To assume that a union’s stance against a government in power automatically means allegiance with an opposition party is simplistic and unfortunate,” he maintained.

The NUPW president underscored that the union’s fight for its members was not about “attention or trivial confrontation” but was based on the grounds that the island’s public servants deserved better.

“Public servants deserve at the very least the courtesy of a response to a formal request or demand; we deserve some reasonable offer for an increase in response to our initial request. We deserve better because, notwithstanding the oft-repeated issues and challenges within the public service, Barbados still opens for business every day, thanks to the efforts of its public servants.

“We now regroup, review and ready our members for the next steps to be taken in the coming weeks and months ahead,” McDowall said.

34 Responses to NUPW not backing down from wage fight

  1. Jack Ryan
    Jack Ryan January 22, 2018 at 11:52 am

    All those that don’t stand with u will be the first ones at the teller or atm if and when that deposit hit their accounts

    • Hazel Roach
      Hazel Roach January 22, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      You are so true

    • Caroline Boxill
      Caroline Boxill January 22, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      You are so frickin right they want a wage increase complaining everyday .and still cussing the union for trying to get the increase regardless to what the government say you want to tell me since almost 11 yrs with cost of living so high pay packs can’t meet the high cost government happy as Ass nothing in the world to worry about big pension even if they don’t get back in and we crying down the union for trying for us if they didn’t care they wouldn’t fight for the people Bajans just ungrateful and two mouthed stand up to the blasted government shut down the island .Claim no money but can make over a whole road for our superstar Rihanna not that I mind I love her when it was the 50th Anniversary for Barbados 7 mill spend and still them saying them ain’t got no money .yet still to make the citizens of this country comfortable and happy that’s when they saying government brek .man come out Bajans we ain’t taking it no more.

      • harry turnover January 23, 2018 at 6:59 am

        Woman,read what straight talk has to say.Yes,Civil Servants want and deserve an increase …BUT it would HAVE to come WITH MASSIVE LAYOFFS…simply because THERE IS NO MONEY.Proof INTERNALLY and EXTERNALLY
        You seem to be one of those Civil Servants who WILL NOT HAVE TO GO HOME from the way you talk…yes, and a comfortable one at that.
        You are calling for a shutdown ,then what ? Civil Servants,pensioners can’t get their money,people scrambling to get to and from work,Schools in chaos .
        It might not affect you,however. you must think of those not as fortunate as you.
        YOU are being UNGRATEFUL,thinking ONLY about yourself

      • Jennifer January 23, 2018 at 7:12 am

        When them ain’t 2 mouted, them selling out, or worst, being counter productive by joining them suppressors.

        @Harry T – you did not address what Caroline said about government spending, like children in a candy store.

  2. Angela Griffith
    Angela Griffith January 22, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Don’t back down

  3. Gail Jewel
    Gail Jewel January 22, 2018 at 11:57 am

    So many people need a pay rise so who gets priority?

  4. Corey Clarke
    Corey Clarke January 22, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    So thing is can the country stand a march sick out go slow work stoppage and a strike for the next five months not in that order or all together when u have two strong heads butting heads together who stands to benefit? Is the question we all shud ask especially when we’re in our peak of tourist arrival in a long time and they are spending money do we risk all that when we need that foreign exchange now more than ever.or do we sell out our selves one more time like we always do and ignore these I said two strong heads butting who really benefits from all this…

  5. Justin Moore
    Justin Moore January 22, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    “The NUPW president further argued that it would be unreasonable to expect the union to continue to accept the excuse of a stagnant economy as the reason why no increase could be offered…”

    Come on. The country’s economy ACTUALLY IS in poor standing (due to this current government’s callousness). You can’t expect to get a pay increase at a time like this when finances have a huge question mark over them. Even the island’s most vocal economists have said that a pay increase at this time would be a bad move.

    It’s good to fight for what you want, but don’t disregard the truth.

  6. Vashti Brathwaite
    Vashti Brathwaite January 22, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Hmmmm what about the coping allowance or has that been put to bed ??? #justasking

  7. Judith Linton
    Judith Linton January 22, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    For those saying don’t back down, please assist your co-workers when not if, when they are sent home. The money has to come from somewhere.

  8. Heather Williams
    Heather Williams January 22, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Keep fighting. Hope something works out soon.

  9. straight talk January 22, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Akanni you are dealing with a spiteful Prime Minister and the worst Minister of finance ever, you are not a Frank walcott Joe Goddard Leroy Trotman Bobby Morris Dennis Depeiza and Orlando Scott these are the people the suckup to the DLP over the years and fail to give workers proper representation but you are not of that clan and you should be very careful with Toni Moore .

    • straight talk January 22, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      Toni Moor walking hand in hand with Leroy Trotman who was the DLP BWU boss and still is

    • TOMMY A January 23, 2018 at 7:23 am

      This man had the government by its balls when it took back the ten % .he stood back and did nothing.That was a sell out of the same people he claims he is representing .Had he called a strike then ,every one would have supported the strike.Mia did not even debate it, she walk out of parliament. (maybe he was advise not to do or say anything )was seen marching hand in hand with Mia. Biggest misdoing of a union leader. Frank Walcott shut down Barbados when Barrow was pm. will he call a strike under Mia ?SO mr straight talk take the politic out and look at reality

  10. Foster January 22, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    When the Union hold a meeting and 200 persons turn up of of a total membership and a decision is taken that does not represent the total membership . The Union then decides to call a strike based on a vote from the gathering at which not all voted to strike. What result do you expect to happen when the council ratifies the decision taken. The amount that supported the strike is representative of those who attend the meeting. The Union needs to evaluate the decisions.

    • Kevin January 22, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      Thats most Bajans for you. Dont participate, but always want someone to fight in their own interest.

  11. Everick Holder
    Everick Holder January 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Reality has to set in at some point in time. Because of mismanagement and bad political decisions we are now facing this issue.

  12. Kevin January 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Well the union will have to negotiate again after the next elections. The government of the day won this one.

  13. bobby_V January 22, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    @Straight talk: you are SOOO RIGHT ABOUT TONI MOORE. As long as d Duke of York remains in the shadows of BWU. Hmmmmm. SELLOUT ADVICE IS IN ORDER!!!! No proper workers representation, NEVERRRRRRR.

  14. Carson C. Cadogan January 22, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    The NUPW should have held their two day strike on Jan.21 and Jan 22, 2018.

    • harry turnover January 23, 2018 at 7:10 am

      C C C…you got a lot of talk now..meking mock sport and ting.
      Ya right though…MOORE members would have turned out.
      Up to this day Akanni McDowall DOES NOT KNOW how the Prime Minister operates.
      Well said Kevin…that is exactly what WILL happen.The Union Boss went after the shadow( $60 million) and lost the bone ( $49 million )

  15. Saga Boy January 22, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Akani admitted to defeat. If this was not so why would the NUPW have to “…. regroup, review and ready our members for the next steps to be taken in the coming weeks and months ahead?” Regroup speaks to a disorganized entity that has been scattered.

    The fact is that employees turned up to work and did not impact service at the respective gov departments. The NUPW never had the support prior to the action. Less than 100 persons were present a few weeks ago and less than 20 turned up for the so called prayer meeting.

    The boy is immature, power hungry, misdirected, illogical, irresponsible, irrational, unreasonable and failed to listen to the membership at the second last meeting.

    • hcalndre January 23, 2018 at 4:20 am

      @Saga Boy; the knuckle-head PM won this round, which is the 1st, so that means the battle is over. There is an entity where some workers are anti union, the Union fought for the monies due and won, I can`t say if they got their money as yet but the few that were against the action of the Union should not get a dime and you know what, the first month in the year is almost gone and the anti unionists have not been heard from since December last year.

  16. milli watt January 22, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    you are known by the company you keep………Toni Moore still pulling that knife from your back along with Mary Redman et al. Don’t even talk bout Pedro my word oh what a promise can do. you on yuh own bro

  17. Saga Boy January 22, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    I bet you that the NUPW takes no further action for the next couple weeks. They first have a call a meeting with the few members before planning further action. If the private sector which has access to more money than the gov is settling around 2% on the average does the NUPW expect to get more than that from the gov? Should a country be closed for a 2% salary increase that will most likely not be saved but which will go straight into the hands of merchants? The NUPW should be telling its members to go to work, provide the best service, be productive and think about country first. Not all but many public servants don’t have a thing to do on a daily basis. This turn up for work and get paid.

  18. archy perch January 23, 2018 at 2:51 am

    What does Akanni McDowall and Donald Trump have in common.
    Bloated big egos. Its like a Yamaka on their stupid heads.Put power in their hands, and crazy gone crazy.

    • hcalndre January 23, 2018 at 7:42 am

      @archy perch; your party have shown what power can do to a country and its people. That`s why the general election needs a fixed date sometime in the month of September of the last 3 months of the 5th year and by January of the next year parliament should be ready to do the peoples business. Not one person telling the people they will ring the bell when it suits them.

  19. Adrian Hinds January 23, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Akanni McDowall is lickin his wounds; not the NUPW;
    Unless that organization is a one man show.

  20. Sherlock Holmes. January 23, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    The NUPW head clown, where there is a lack of vision this union will surely perish.

  21. Mia Colucci January 23, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Pull up selecta. Wheeeeeeelllllll. Now this one goes out to the NUPW big wigs…. “Dem Flop.” Spragga Benz.

  22. milli watt January 23, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    my word …….. from 30,000 to this stupse. Akanni is there any truth to you going quiet after the next general election and a BLP win resulting in the BWU taking over from where you crashed out.


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