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Jun 17, 2014

The joint union negotiating team comments on collective bargaining agreement

The joint union negotiating team has signed off on a salary adjustment of six percent, while the increment for those public officers who are eligible will be two and a quarter percent. But don’t get it confused. The unions are not signing the collective bargaining agreement just yet, despite pressure by G.O.B. to get it done. That’s because there are other issues beside finance on the table – like health insurance. Prime Minister Dean Barrow made it clear in the House on Friday that as far as he is concerned negotiations are done, and G.O.B. is not prepared to offer anything else. So where does that leave the collective bargaining agreement? Three senior union executives appeared on the Dickie Bradley Special on Monday night to answer that pressing question.

 

Marvin Blades, President, P.S.U.

Marvin Blades

“We are not saying that whatever is in the proposal, we accept everything or nothing. Let us negotiate; it is part of negotiations for you to bring up the different points, we make a presentation, look at the different components and compromise. And that’s one of the things we wanted to do. We know that there is a fiscal reality that our country faces in different areas and we want to be good between our fiscal reality. So the proposal for let’s say the health insurance is costing the government for a ninety-ten system—because that was the original. Ninety, government; ten, the members. We are saying that we are not sketched in stone for that ninety-ten; we could work out something. Beucase our membership as it stands is paying the whole thing—a hundred percent for themselves. So it is something that they are interested in.”

 

Sharon Frazier

Sharon Frazier, Acting President, A.P.S.S.M.

“I am concerned because of the fact that we have these outstanding proposals. I am in the process of consulting with my membership as we speak. I should meet them later this week with what is the way forward with what the remaining proposals are. I know that there are persons in my association that have great interests in the health insurance; it is something that I just cannot let go.”

 

Kiesha Young, B.N.T.U.

Kiesha Young

“I listened to the C.E.O. from the Ministry of Finance challenging the presidents when they were on another talk show saying when should the negotiations end; it’s been so long. When should it end; when should the negotiations end. But it seems as if though their take on it is now that they feel like they have given enough; it is time to wipe off what’s left on the table. And we are saying no! That’s our position and we’re not going to sign.”

 

It appears, at least from the Prime Minister’s clearly stated stance, that where those negotiations are concerned the door is closed. 

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