(PRESS RELEASE) – The Government Negotiating Team (GNT) and the National Workers Union (NWU) on Thursday, March 3, 2020, concluded the process of negotiations for the period April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2022, by affixing their signatures to the Collective Agreement covering that period.
Under this new Collective Agreement, for which negotiations were concluded within the first year of the triennium, workers will benefit from an increase in wage rates as follows: 2019/2020 – 3 percent; 2020/2021 – 1 percent; 2021/2022 – 2 percent.
Embodied also in the agreement are mutually-agreed modifications to the conditions of work, for example, an increase in the ex-gratia award, which is paid upon retirement. The NWU represents non-established workers who generally fall within the lower income bracket.
“On behalf of the NWU, we would like to express our thanks first to the GNT, in terms of being able to conclude another Collective Agreement; there were several other areas we were hoping that the GNT would have considered but, as indicated during the negotiations, due to financial constraints we were not able to achieve it. Nonetheless, we have concluded negotiations and we hope that we won’t experience too many problems with the implementation. We were given the assurance by the Department of the Public Service that if there were any difficulties to get in touch with them, and we hope that when we get in touch with them they respond favourably, timely and efficiently,” noted Lawrence Poyotte, NWU’s Senior Industrial Relations Officer.
Chairman of the GNT, Vern Gill, expressed elation that negotiations between the two parties are over. “Like any negotiation, persons have to compromise and hope that the benefits that are obtained out of the discussion meet some of the interests that persons have and that parties are then able to continue on and manage in the circumstances that are being agreed.”
The process, he added, “was not always easy but at least we persevered and were able to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion.”