the Barbados Water Authority have
agreed in principle on proposals that will
save the jobs of 300 employees.
Union general secretary Sir Roy
Trotman informed reporters this
afternoon that details were still
being negotiated with management
of the BWA.
However, Sir Roy said while
management still had a few reservations
about some aspects of the union
proposals, they were “onboard” and
would continue discussions so as
to achieve a final conclusion.
In a news briefing immediately
following a general meeting with the
workers at its Solidarity House
headquarters, the BWU boss disclosed
that the proposals, which will result
in greater efficiencies, include the
introduction of a two-shift system, the
surrendering by workers of double
time pay, and management and board
members cutting meal allowances.
“We will have final decisions later on,
but the immediate benefit out of all this, will be greater levels
of efficiency. From the worker point of view, the immediate
benefits will be, a position where, the national demand which
there was for persons to lose employment, some 300 or so,
at the Water Authority, our expectation is that nobody will
be going,” assured the veteran trade union leader.
He sees the implementation of these proposals as “very”
positive for Barbados, and suggested that they could be
a possible template for others to consider.
Sir Roy said the agreement would mean a fresh work ethic
for Water Authority employees.
“We are ready to surrender the demand for double
time on Sundays and Saturdays and that will be a significant
give-back on the workers’ side, but our position is, that it’s
something on which we had tended to reach an agreement;
we committed ourselves to it, about 15 years ago,” stated the
BWU general secretary.
He noted that during this period, the authority was not
ready with certain conditionalities which the union had put
forward. “Now 15 years later, they are telling us that they
are ready. And so we are quite happy that we will be able to
meet those kinds of demands and we will be looking, as well,
at having a two-shift system, so that some of the work can be
done, not merely between 7 [am] and 4 [pm], but between 7,
and say, 11 at night”.
“So we”, he declared, “are looking very, very positively at
uplifting, at the level of the Water Authority, and that
will be a step forward for how our work might be looked
in the future, elsewhere.”
Sir Roy said the aim of the two shift system includes
creating higher levels of efficiency and productivity and to have
a swifter response to the demands of the public.
He told reporters that the workers voted
unanimously to support the union’s submission
that over time be cut in an effort to save their jobs and “make
Barbados more productive”.
Sir Roy pointed out that unlike in the past when, as he
claimed, when management failed to take on the workers’
complaints or proposals for greater efficiencies and
productivity, he hope a team effort this time, would turn
“Our colleagues today have received our report and they
are all in favour. They have some questions marks regarding
some other areas of weakness that they are and we are under
instructions to continue to having talks as to how to make the
overall relationship better in the interest of the country as a
whole. But we are onboard,” asserted the BWU leader. (EJ)