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Oct 9, 2012

Partial agreement shows progress, but more negotiations ahead

While it has already been a long and rocky road, the negotiations are still not over. Public Service Union President, Marvin Blades says the signing of the partial agreement simply shows the progress, but there are several issues remaining on the table. But ministers Faber and Gibson also committed today to ensuring that it won’t be another four years.

 

Marvin Blades, President, Public Service Union

Marvin Blades

“The collective bargaining agreement journey began with P.S.U., B.N.T.U. and APSSM, better known as Staff Side, began in September of 2008. But little did we know at its inception that it would be such an extensive and trying journey. Our first few steps took the form of the submittal of twenty-three proposals to the government December of that same year after which we were promised counter proposals sixty days later. A response was received by Staff Side on the day before the end of the sixty days waiting period in February of 2009, stating that the proposals cannot be considered until proper costings were attached. Fast forward to today, this event merely represents a progress report to our membership and to the general public. We now continue to diligently work towards the resolution of the outstanding proposals, while encouraging our members to stand as avant-garde to ensure that we come to some resolve.”

 

Charles Gibson

Senator Charles Gibson, Minister of Public Service

“Those items which were not considered or were not part of the partial agreement are now on the table for discussions and I am now pleased to announce to the media, Mr. President with your kind agreement, I think today we had a negotiating meeting and I think there was one before. So the negotiating process is going on. It’s an ongoing activity and we will try to complete it as quickly as possible.”

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“The government ministers that are on this subcommittee, who are not always directly involved in the negotiations have given their commitment to the union side that we will try as best as we can—the commitment is coming from our side that we will do whatever we can to make sure that he continued negotiations move very swiftly so that we don’t have this kind of lingering and delay.”

 

One of the issues still on the table is a thirty percent salary increase requested by the unions. But Faber says that at this point, it would not be responsible of the government to agree to that salary increase when it is in a financial bind.

 

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