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Oct 5, 2015

S.S.B./CWU Negotiate Employees’ CBA

Doug Singh

When we spoke to CWU President Audrey Matura-Shepherd in the wake of the S.S.B. protest this afternoon, she emphasized that the protest was not over the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Still, Matura-Shepherd has maintained that the Board of Directors of the S.S.B. is dragging its feet on negotiating the CBA. Chairman of S.S.B. Doug Singh disagrees.  He claims they asked to receive the proposed CBA at least six months before the expiration of the active CBA…instead they got it eleven months after expiration, in November 2014. Because of various issues, then, the actual proposal wasn’t reviewed by a sub-committee of the Board until April or May of 2015.

 

Doug Singh, Chairman, Board of Directors, S.S.B.

“Since then there have been meetings between the Board management negotiating committee and the unions. There is a schedule of meetings I think that goes through the end of November or into December that has been agreed on by both parties. There is a process of negotiation and a schedule of negotiating items – what takes priority and what doesn’t – what will be negotiated first and what will be negotiated second has been agreed upon. The non-financial items will be dealt with first, and then the financial items afterwards. Nothing will be agreed upon until everything is agreed upon, meaning that it is subject to the overall package at the end of the day. And that was a process. For some reason when election was called we seem to be getting all kinds of agitation now. The process is ongoing. It is my understanding that the only issue with that at this point in time is that the response by the Board did not include a proposal for a salary increase…and that is true. When the Board responded the Board had not received at that time the details of comparables for the different posts – for example if you had clerks at different levels, people at lower management, whatever their title was – what is the prevailing wage in the industry, in the public sector and the private sector. We needed to get all the detailed information on inflation. We needed to get the information on a number of different issues that should be presented to the Board so that the Board can say okay – you are requesting a twelve percent per annum increase which compounded between 2014 – 2016 is effectively forty point five percent increase in salary. What will we counter with? We’re in the process of doing that and we’re hoping that we’ll be able to do that at the next Board meeting.”

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