A trustee of the umbrella Congress of Trade Union and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) has landed himself in hot water with the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW).
Delivering the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) lunchtime lecture on Friday, former president of the Barbados Police Association Hartley Reid stated that the NUPW was “always a problem in CTUSAB”, while revealing that it had defaulted for up to two years on its subscriptions.
“The NUPW was always a problem in CTUSAB, was always a problem,” Reid insisted, while pointing out that as the largest public sector trade union, “they always contended that they should negotiate by themselves in salary negotiations”.
Reid also suggested that relations between CTUSAB and the NUPW were not what they seemed at face value, saying “it might appear to be running smoothly on the outside, but like the proverbial duck up under the water . . .always had issues.
“What we are having now is that the members, certain members of CTUSAB, have decided that they are going to take matters into their own hands and they have gone outside of the President Cedric Murrell [and] the General Secretary Dennis DePeiza and they have now identified and are doing things by themselves,” Reid told those in attendance at the DLP headquarters.
“What they are doing now is forming their own alliances, so that’s why you can see now the NUPW, the BWU [the Barbados Workers’ Union], Barbados Union of Teachers [BUT]. They are out there out front doing their things,” the CTUSAB trustee added.
His comments have seemingly offended top executives of the NUPW, with the union’s General Secretary Roslyn Smith confirming to Barbados TODAY that a formal complaint had already been lodged with the umbrella organization.
She also revealed that Reid’s statements could be the subject of discussion as early as tomorrow.
“We have lodged a complaint . . . and we’re meeting to look at that complaint. That is as far as I would say,” she said.
In a separate interview, NUPW President Akanni McDowall confirmed that Reid’s comments were up for discussion at a 2 p.m. meeting of the Congress on Tuesday.
However, when Barbados TODAY contacted CTUSAB General Secretary Dennis DePeiza he did not entertain any discussion on the matter.
DePeiza also sidestepped the ongoing impasse between the island’s four major trade unions – including the NUPW, the BWU, BUT and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union – and Government over recently announced austerity measures saying, “I really and truly am not entertaining any discussion on any matter that does not involve the Congress of Trade Union and Staff Associations of Barbados. I don’t know nothing more than what I’ve seen in the media and I have no further comment to say [make] on that,” he said.