BWA workers frustrated, BWU reveals issues

YESTERDAY workers of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) walked off the job, an action which ended in a meeting with their Union.

General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) Senator Toni Moore afterwards shared their frustrations which included not receiving increments owed to them; reports that they might not be receiving the five percent increase promised by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley in the June mini budget; as well as reports that workers are to be sent home at some point in time and the decision to relocate the Ministry of Energy to the BWA Headquarters.

“We met with the workers of the BWA to assess exactly their concerns and those concerns expressed are indeed the concerns of the Executive Council of the Barbados Workers’ Union,” she expressed.

With regards to the increments, she pointed out, “For some time now we have been trying to conclude the discussions of increments that dated back to 2006… An agreement was reached regarding how the matter should be settled as far back as March 2016, but up until now, notwithstanding the agreement all monies owed have not been paid.”

“The BWU has been in discussion on how the balance would be paid to workers. And towards the end of last year, we felt that we were close to an agreement on the final figures and how they would be paid. And workers had an expectation that the matter would be concluded in January this year. However, for reasons outside of the BWU that matter has not been concluded. Figures were sent to be verified and I think we can identify with the frustration of workers, that to date no definite position as it relates to monies owed and when these monies owed would paid has been communicated,” it was further revealed.

The issue of the five per cent, Senator Moore recounted that the Unions having agreed on that percentage for all public workers earlier this year, “We would have expected by now that the decision about if some public sectors were entitled to a five per cent increase, would not be on the table, but rather when the five per cent would be paid and how it would be applied in all cases.”

However, the BWU General Secretary further disclosed that what triggered widespread dissatisfaction yesterday was an article coming from one of the media houses where it was reported that if government accepts legal advice, workers of the BWA would not benefit from the five per cent increase.

“The Barbados Workers’ Union was made aware that the Board was seeking a legal opinion on the matter and to that our response was that an opinion was not necessary because the history will show that when central government received an increase, the workers of BWA got the same increase within the same time frame,” Moore indicated.

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