Tuesday 19 November, 2019

Dissatisfied PWA withdraws from TUF over salary negotiations

The Trade Union Federation (TUF), an umbrella body of almost all trade unions on the island, could very well find itself minus one member tomorrow.

The membership of the Police Welfare Association (PWA) voted today to remove itself from the TUF, citing its inability as a member to make any headway with government over salary negotiations.

The decision by the PWA to part ways with the TUF is as a result of the former’s dissatisfaction with two proposals presented to it by the government negotiating team (GNT) having to do with two triennial agreements namely the 2016 -2019 agreement and the 2019 – 2022 agreement.

Travis Chiquot, President of the PWA, told Loop News that his organization had no choice but to inform the TUF of its decision to come out from under its wings as this was a mandate given to the PWA executive by its membership.

“Members are saying they are getting nothing from the TUF so we need to come out,” Chiquot said, adding that the proposals by government were “a win, win for government.”

One proposal from the government was in effect for the PWA to accept a lump sum of $1500 and start negotiations with the GNT for the 2019 – 2022 triennium.

The other proposal in effect was to negotiate benefits for the 2016 – 2019 period but with the acceptance of a wage freeze of zero percent for the same period.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet may have gotten wind of the decision by the PWA to reject the GNT proposals when he gave firefighters and police officers hope of a salary increase and a pension plan but gave no indication when this will happen at yesterday’s commissioning of the Babonneau Fire Station.

Speaking at the commissioning of the fire station two years after it was constructed, Chastanet, in giving recognition to the role firefighters and police officers play in the protection of life and property, mentioned his government’s ambition to compensate the firemen and women and officers of the police force to the extent that they ought to.

“Every day they are doing a job with their life at risk. We appreciate what you are doing despite the State not being able to provide you with the resources you need,” he told the men and women of both services who were in attendance at yesterday’s commissioning.

“We want to raise your salaries, create a pension plan,” the prime minister said.

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