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Feb 4, 2014

CWU President says it needs at least 2 weeks to settle issue of fired workers

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

Matura-Shepherd says that by only asking for two weeks, she is showing extreme goodwill, since the union could demand its month notice. That request has been formally submitted to Mayor Darrell Bradley, who had previously agreed to give workers until this Friday. But the CWU says it needs more time to do a proper examination of the reasons for the redundancy and for the privatization of the Security Department. Matura-Shepherd says that after just a cursory examination, she has some serious concerns and cannot see how the privatization could be a cost-cutting measure. To shed some light on the matter, the CWU will be bringing in financial experts.


Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, CWU

“According to the Mayor this is all about money, saving money. And there are some salient points that worries us. For example, the new security officers going over to Ranger Company will only be paid three dollars and fifty cents per hour as opposed to the four dollars and forty-eight cents they are getting per hour at the Council at this moment. And their work time will expand from an eight hour shift to a twelve hour shift and they will not be entitled to overtime because the way the shift is being rotated is that one run into the other and there is no overtime. That is cost saving and so. From a strictly labor point of view and a human resource management point of view that is not good news for the security officers. It is up to them to say if they want to go on; if those eighteen want to stay with the company. When we look at the savings now, as opposed to what the council is paying right now and what they are going to pay Ranger—Ranger through the contract which the mayor says has not been signed as yet, but is being negotiated. Ranger through the contract will be charging the council seven dollars an hour; that’s what we are told. It might be a little more, but the ballpark figure is seven dollars an hour. So you look at it. You are moving from a system where you are presently paying the employees four dollars and forty-eight cents an hour to work for you to a system where you are going to pay a private company seven dollars an hour and we are still trying to find out and work out the savings. That’s to me very critical because at the end of the day, it is all about money. And so, because of those things, we are bringing in our financial experts. One week is not enough for us to crunch the figures and show the mayor what our position is in terms of the savings.”


So basically that is where it stands today. The CWU has written asking for two weeks but has not received a response to that request. Meanwhile, the union is working on a proposal which would serve the best interests of the workers.

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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