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Jan 21, 2015

An Update on the Collective Bargaining Agreements of the CWU Members

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

Matura-Shepherd provided an update on the status of collective bargaining agreements with all entities whose workers are represented by the Christian Workers Union, including the Belize Port Authority and the Belize City Council. Those two, especially, have been in the news lately. She reiterates that for the success of collective bargaining agreements, the involvement of workers at every level is critical.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, Christian Workers Union      

“CPBL is the only one for which we have fully signed and we must give credit to them to the past General Secretary and President—they had put that in motion. What we did was very minor. Belize City Council already delivered and there has been brief response from the mayor. We are awaiting now full response so that we can sit and negotiate differences; he has indicated that there are two points of contention. We are hoping that we can reach agreement on that and sign. Social Security Board…we’ve already delivered that CBA and we are awaiting the response from them and we publicly call them out to give us a response because 2015 is the year we will be negotiating for all our workers. We feel equipped and able. For Belmopan City Council we have already delivered and also awaiting negotiations. We also have indications from the Belmopan Council that they hope to sign that CBA before the next municipal elections and we are most grateful. We again publicly call them out to come to the table; we are ready to negotiate. The First Caribbean CIBC Bank, it is being drafted because it is the workers who have to get engaged and pushed their own CBA forward. St. Martin’s Credit Union and Port of Belize already drafted. We have submitted already to the employees to give response because the employees have to give response and after they give response then we will submit it to management. For Belize Port Limited, it is being drafted. Again this is one where the workers will have to get used to the fact that they must participate at all levels. For the B.S.C.F.A., it is already delivered and awaiting negotiations, but we will give an update with what has been happening there with what has been happening there which might have an impact on how we move forward. At NICH, nothing drafted yet. We are trying to get the workers engaged. At the Statistical Institute of Belize, it is being drafted; the one they had before and given to the last executive went missing. Central Bank of Belize security officers already delivered and being negotiated. This week we had some negotiations on it and there are being continued negotiations. Central Bank of Belize staff, it is being drafted. The quicker these staff members, these employees help with the drafting the quicker we go to the table. Belize Port of Authority is also being drafted. What is critical here is that a CBA will move up the ranks as fast as the union members do their share in working in finalizing what they wish the union to represent them on.”

 

Matura also took the opportunity to announce the creation of the post of Labour Relations Officer which is being filled by Earl Jones, previously with the Port of Belize and the Belize Central Prison.

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