Workers at Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) can expect to receive their outstanding back pay in time for Christmas.
However, they will have to wait until next year to enjoy any further increases in their pay packets.
After nearly a year of wages negotiations interrupted by deadlocks and industrial action, GAIA Inc and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) have finally reached an agreement.
The final round of talks took place this afternoon at the airport, with sources intimately linked to the discussions telling Barbados TODAY not only had GAIA Inc agreed to meet the outstanding back pay amount, but it was also prepared to up the workers’ pay by seven per cent next year.
This is in keeping with negotiations for a three-year agreement covering the period 2015-2017.
Based on today’s agreement, the 400 airport employees will also be entitled to whatever increase is granted by Cabinet to the island’s public sector workers.
The union had initially demanded a 16 per cent pay hike, but airport authorities had countered with a 15.5 per cent offer. However, Cabinet had rejected both proposals, insisting the airport workers would have to settle for the same pay raise as public servants.
That position had led to a breakdown in the negotiations last month and had triggered immediate protest action at
However, the union agreed to put its action on hold as the two sides returned to the bargaining table earlier this month with a scaled down offer on both sides.
In the meantime, the NUPW is still demanding a 23 per cent pay hike for public sector employees.