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Social Partners to meet today

ALEX DOWNES, [email protected]

Social  Partners to meet today

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MEMBERS of the Social Partnership are looking forward to getting down to business with new Prime Minister Mia Mottley – from as early as this morning.

Following the swearing-in of Cabinet ministers yesterday at the Bay Street Esplanade, president of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), Akanni McDowall, who was among the guests, revealed he and other Social Partners would be meeting today.

“She [Mottley] said we meet tomorrow morning [today] at 10 for a Social Partnership meeting. During that . . . meeting, what I will discuss is the manifesto I would have presented to the four political parties during the election period,” he told the DAILY NATION.

“Within that manifesto it speaks about salary increases, appointments and those other issues that are pertinent to the trade union movement in Barbados.”

McDowall said he had a good feeling after listening to Mottley’s address.

In that message, she said she would be meeting with the Social Partnership twice a month and, in accordance with the Barbados Labour Party’s policy, continue to operate without the ten per cent cut of their parliamentary salaries.

Instead, they would donate that portion to charity as they did in the past.

“For the Prime Minister to be starting on a note where she plans to have bi-monthly meetings with the Social Partnership, it really augurs well for our relationship going forward,” McDowall said.

“I think that [the ten per cent cut] is a very good step too. What it does is that it shows public servants you are willing to stand in solidarity with them, you understand the plight of the public servants,” he added.

That ten per cent cut was first instituted by the Democratic Labour Party Government in 2014 as a measure to help reduce the fiscal deficit.

Two years later, however, the Government restored the salaries and back pay for the time the cut was made.

President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Eddy Abed, who was also present at the swearing-in, said he was also looking forward to the meeting with Mottley.

“Yes, we want to get the information from the Prime Minister as to what she expects from the Social Partners and more importantly, we are all putting forward our ability to assist in any way we can,” he said.

“The [opportunity] is one we cannot afford to lose [to] put the pieces of the puzzle together.” (AD)