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Oct 5, 2015

S.S.B. Employees Protest over Clothing Allowance

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

Today, employees of the Social Security Board from all branches countrywide protested for half an hour during their lunch break. The organization provides its employees with uniforms every eighteen months, but those uniforms came in very late. CWU President Audrey Matura-Shepherd told News Five that the protocol is clear that if the employees do not get their uniforms, then they get a clothing allowance in lieu of those uniforms. She says that the union has tried on multiple occasions to get S.S.B. management to do what is right, and with no positive response the staff had no other option.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, CWU

“The action that the staff took today was not directly related to the CBA. The CBA does address uniform and clothing allowance, but it’s not under the new proposals that they are upset. It is that there is a standing proposal, a standing agreement, a standing procedure and the management has not complied with it. And we have the letters to prove that we’ve tried to get the management to do what is right and they don’t want to. And it is simply, they had not given the staff their uniform in time; November would have made one year since their uniform was due. So because for the last ten months, they have been using anything they have or old uniform if they had them in a fairly okay condition; it means that they were entitled to their clothing allowance and management is saying no.”

 

Doug Singh

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

“Why would you protest after you have already gotten all your uniforms? I must say that they have chosen today to take a protest action on the uniform, but everybody…it is my understanding that everybody except a small handful had received their uniforms up until last week and the small handful that didn’t receive their uniforms would have been receiving it on the fifth, which is today. In addition to that, the employees get a consideration I understand every Friday as casual day so they don’t have to wear uniforms. There’s a bit of consideration that management does, but we really need to start to look at this thing from a business perspective, from a benefit perspective to the contributor of the fund, which is what we are there to protect and what those employees are there to serve. And at the end of the day, those pensioners out there, who have not received pensions since 2002, I don’t think will be happy to hear that the employees of Social Security have used two  hundred and seventy-seven thousand dollars of their money for uniforms and want more. I think that is unconscionable. I hope that they reconsider their position and I think I am speaking on behalf of the Board.”

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