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Aug 24, 2015

B.E.W.U. Awaiting B.E.L.’s Response to Proposed Agreement

Marvin Mora

Exactly one month ago, we spoke with Marvin Mora, wearing his hat as President of the BEWU.  Mora said that the union was cautiously optimistic after meeting with Minister of Labour Godwin Hulse following a deadlock in negotiations with B.E.L. Board over salary adjustments demands. Prior to that meeting, staffers went on a three-day peaceful protest when B.E.L decided to put conditions on an eight point two percent increase that BEWU requested to be carried out over a four-year period. Union members didn’t agree with the conditions put forth by B.E.L. because they deemed them to be unfair. And when the attempt at mediation didn’t work with Labour Commissioner, Ivan Williams, because of the union’s lack of confidence in his ability to mediate objectively, they called for a meeting with the Minister. Well, since that meeting, the Minister has submitted a proposal that the union is open to. But since that has happened, the B.E.L. Board has yet to accept or reject it. So, what’s the hold up? We’re not quite sure. But Mora says that the prolonging has made the members a little antsy.

 

Marvin Mora, President, BEWU

“So far we are waiting. We are waiting for a response coming from the Minister of Labour. The last thing was his proposal. The Union looked at it and we were amenable to it, but we have not gone back to our Union for ratification simply because they were supposed to take that back to management and for B.E.L.’s Board to make a decision on it. Based on that decision, whatever that decision spells out, we have to ensure that we can translate it in numbers, figures and put it down in a form so that our members can understand. Once that happens, then we can move on for our membership to be able to make a decision which is process in and of itself that takes time and that is why we are hoping that the Minister can expedite the process and we can get some results and get some updates.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“If you are able to, can you give us a summary of that proposal from the Minister?”

 

Marvin Mora

“Well, to be honest with you, that is the reason why we haven’t taken it to the membership. Even though it is a proposal, we don’t know what out of that proposal B.E.L. Management will agree to, if any at all, so that is why I don’t want to do that because I don’t want to pre-empt a situation that could get confusing at the end. We want to ensure that when we get back word from that them that their agreement or the proposal, that B.E.L. Management has accept or if they do accept, is one that I clearly outline and will be specific and detailed and I can present it to the members and then we can make a presentation to the media.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, so you are saying that you are waiting until the company looks at it and give their first point of view on that?”

 

Marvin Mora

“Not really. We are waiting on whether they will accept it or not and if they do accept, whether they accept it holistically or if they have something in the agreement that they are not willing to accept. But that is between them and the Minister at this point in time because it’s his proposal, not ours.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Is there a time-line when all of that would be done?”

 

Marvin Mora

“Not really, but I can tell you that the membership is not too happy about it and the membership is getting impatient by the minute, yes.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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