The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) has pledged to do whatever is necessary in the interests of representing its members.
This assurance was given by NUPW president Akanni Mcdowall as he delivered the union’s New Year’s message.
In the statement, he said while the NUPW was “fully committed to the consultative process in resolving disputes in the interests of harmonious industrial relations and service to the public, we are equally committed in the interests of satisfactory worker representation to employ any legitimate means at our disposal to ensure the rights of those we are mandated to represent are respected and protected.”
Following is the full statement from NUPW president Akanni Mcdowall:
Fellow citizens /public servants I am greatly honored to address you on the eve of a new year, on behalf of the Executive Committee, National Council and Secretariat of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) at the end of what can be described as a very challenging year in the history of our Nation and the trade union movement.
Now that the festivities of the joyous holiday season have all but subsided, it is time that we take stock of the unresolved events of the past year, and their consequences on us in the New Year in our efforts to ensure that the rights of workers are protected.
The Union was forced to grapple with the unfair retrenchment of our NCC (National Conservation Commission) brothers and sisters, in some instances who would have rendered 10 to 14 years of service. The matter remains unresolved as it continues to languish in the bosom of a sleeping Employments Rights Tribunal.
Our Customs’ brothers and sisters, who are being asked to transition to the Barbados Revenue Authority – a process that has caused us to experience some difficulty.
Also, we saw our Barbados Investment Development Corporation (BIDC) brothers and sisters forced to retire because of their age, and discriminated against, after they would have rendered yeoman service to that institution.
We remain eternally grateful to all of our public servants who showed commitment, dedication and resilience, especially our Sanitation Service Authority brothers and sisters who stood in solidarity in July – as we marched against disrespect, discrimination and the forced retirement of our BIDC brothers and sisters.
The public service can now attest to the commitment, dedication and resilience of public sector workers.
However, let us not forget public workers have suffered much and gained little. They have without dissent forgone in the national interests, the benefit of salary increases, despite in the last six years astronomical rises in the cost of living fueled by high taxation.
So my fellow Barbadians, while the leadership of the NUPW is fully committed to the consultative process in resolving disputes in the interests of harmonious industrial relations and service to the public, make no mistake about it, we are equally committed in the interests of satisfactory worker representation to employ any legitimate means at our disposal to ensure the rights of those we are mandated to represent are respected and protected.
Therefore, as we start this New Year with some uncertainty, the talks of mergers, increased austerity measures, outstanding health and safety issues; the Executive Committee of the NUPW solicit the continued support and solidarity of our members as we endeavor to lobby Government for appointments, better working conditions and outstanding salary increases for our members.
I end by asking those who have not already joined to do so now to ensure you have that ‘insurance’ policy in the event of problems at work. We need your support -don’t let yourself become a victim of complacency!
On behalf of the members of the NUPW, I’d like to wish all Barbadians a productive and prosperous 2016.