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Feb 13, 2014

CWU reaches agreement for security officers fired from City Hall

After weeks of tension between Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley and Christian Workers Union President Audrey Matura-Shepherd, an agreement has been reached on behalf of security officers deemed redundant.  The negotiations were concluded today after an extended session at the office of the Labour Commissioner. By all indications, it is good news for the CWU and workers who were let go in January. We got a hint of it from Mayor Darrell Bradley on Wednesday, and it was all hammered out today. This evening, Matura-Shepherd held a very brief briefing to update the media.

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE.

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, CWU

“We were able to get the Council to retain some of the workers, so out of the thirty that would have been adversely affected, we got five to remain and they will remain as park wardens. They are Justin Grant, Whitfield Rowland, Gary Stephens, Lyndon Swift and Ryan Williams. Then we were able to persuade the Council that there were three workers who really got ill on the job…one of them suffered a stroke, one of them has high blood pressure and suffers a nosebleed, and the other one has severe arthritis. And what has happened is that the Council will retain them as employees for now, until they appear before a Medical Board. Once the Medical Board certifies them invalid or not, then they will know what their options are. If they are invalid they will go off and get invalidity benefits. If they are not then they will become redundant and get all the benefits the others got. So that is the other good news and good for them because they really wanted that because of their health conditions. We also have alternative employment for some workers. This is the one where they were saying that they wanted most of the workers to go over to the security firm. The problem we were having with that is that people were going back for three dollars and fifty cents when they were making four dollars and forty-eight cents at the Council. We were able to prevail at that point…that’s one of the best points we really enjoy because all those going over will now get four dollars and forty-eight cents per hour working with Ranger Security. And they are very happy with that because that means that they will not be going there to work for less per hour.”

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