Officials of the island’s largest public sector trade union will get an audience with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to discuss important issues, from time to time.
Stuart and the top brass of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) agreed to the periodic meetings following a two-hour discussion at Government headquarters today.
And Stuart has indicated his willingness to reach a similar agreement with the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU).
“I am always pleased to meet with members of trade unions, since I am an avid believer in the role of the trade union in the development of the Caribbean,” he said.
“The history of the Caribbean shows that the trade union movement played a significant role in the unfolding and humanizing of our society. We cannot underestimate the importance of the trade union to the continuing development of Barbados. Therefore, when the union is uncomfortable about certain issues I want to be informed.”
Several of those issues were raised during today’s courtesy call, including appointments for public workers, the Barbados Revenue Authority and the Sanitation Service Authority, and the 2007 Public Service Act.
The Prime Minister told the union officials, including president Akanni McDowall and acting general secretary Roslyn Smith, that recommendations for changes to the legislation would be presented to Cabinet shortly.
“We are trying to make the Act as user friendly as possible. No piece of legislation will be perfect, but where we see gaps we have to try to make an improvement,” Stuart said, insisting that it was not necessary to repeal the Act.
“All aspects of it are not unfriendly or imperfect, but we are trying our best.”