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Strike avoided as SSA issues resolved

ALEX DOWNES, [email protected]

Strike avoided as SSA issues resolved

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Management of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) has given into the National Union of Public Workers’ (NUPW) demands to have eligible workers appointed. 

This, coupled with the decision of the suspended SSA supervisor Michael Stuart to retire, has averted plans for industrial action at that facility.

NUPW president Akanni McDowall spoke to the media yesterday morning at the union’s headquarters in Dalkeith Hill, St Michael, following a near three-hour meeting between the SSA workers and NUPW.

The meeting, which saw dozens of SSA workers head to the union’s headquarters around 6:30 a.m., was held to address three crucial matters.

These matters were the outstanding issue of appointments, what the union deemed as the unfair treatment of 61-year-old SSA supervisor Michael Stuart and the signing of the collective agreement.

“The management of SSA has agreed to complete the appointment of all eligible SSA workers by the end of this month,” McDowall said.

“We received the information late yesterday evening [Monday] that the workers of the SSA would be receiving their appointments before the end of this month.

“Of course, what the union has to do, and what we always do, is that we try to make sure that whatever agreements are reached are placed in black and white. So we still have to make sure that information is sent to us in writing,” he later added.

The matter of supervisor Michael Stuart took an interesting twist, as McDowall said the scores of workers who showed up were ready and willing to take action on behalf of the supervisor who had been suspended for a year.

Despite their intent however, Stuart announced he would instead be retiring from the SSA after consultation with his wife, family and friends.

 “Of course this was a very difficult decision for me because we were willing and ready to fight for him,” the president said.

“I felt as though Michael Stuart would have been wronged; but at the end of the day, a man has to listen to his wife,” he added.

As for the collective agreement, McDowall said there was still some additional information to be added, and one more process the agreement needed to go through, before it was agreed to by the management of SSA. (AD)