BWU statement on BWA pay increases
The following is a statement from the Barbados Workers’ Union regarding pay increases for Barbados Water Authority Workers.
On Friday, September 14 the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) met with the Management of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to address the misinformation concerning whether the workers of the Authority are entitled to the negotiated salary and wages increase for workers in the public service.
The Executive Council of the Union maintains that the decision taken by the Authority to get a legal opinion and the resultant proposal which sought to deny workers of the Authority a salary increase on the grounds of their ineligibility were both unwarranted and inopportune; this, especially at a time when the Authority, like the rest of the country, needs to rely more than ever on cooperation, to the greatest extent possible, across all levels.
The BWU rejected the position adopted by the Authority that the workers’ complaint was on the basis of their legitimate expectation to receive the 5% increase as this suggested that in the past, such application was merely discretionary; that was certainly not the case.
The BWU is pleased that, following some very intense discussions, the perception that the Union was trying to force a position where there was none for workers was corrected. The Union presented information from the Ministry of the Civil Service dating back to 2003 which showed that for the 34 years of its existence, the BWA applied the increases negotiated for employees in the public service on the basis of collective agreement and not discretion.
We were further pleased that, even though belatedly, the Management of the Authority was finally able to secure more recent information from the Ministry of the Civil Service dated August 24, this year to corroborate what the BWU has always known to be the arrangement governing salary increases for workers of the Authority and similarly, for other statutory boards.
The BWA requested an adjournment to Friday’s meeting to facilitate discussions at the level of the board following which the BWU expects that a meeting will be reconvened between the parties no later than Friday, September 21, 2018. AT that time we anticipate that the Management of the BWA would present a comprehensive proposal from the Board that would address, amongst other things, the schedule of payment of the 5% salary increase and the matter of payment of outstanding monies which were agreed since March 2016, as compensation owed to the workers in lieu of unpaid increments with effect from April 1, 2015. (PR)