Finance Minister Colm Imbert instruction to the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) to start outstanding negotiations in 2022 is nothing but a ruse to keep the trade union movement quiet.
So said president general of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) Ancel Roget, adding that neither he nor the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) which he leads is impressed or fooled by Imbert’s pronouncement.
He queried how this will work, when there are approximately 17 trade unions with two and three periods of collective bargaining outstanding, and no date for completion has been identified.
“No mention has been made to deal with these outstanding negotiations. It is just a ruse to keep the TU movement quiet, if we are so fooled. The OWTU and JTUM are not fooled or impressed by that.
“Just to say he has instructed the CPO to commence negotiations does not satisfy us,” Roget said.
He said it was regrettable that while Government is imposing its will on the people, the trade unions are constrained because of the state of emergency (SoE) from taking to the streets.
However, he said the SoE will not last forever and when it is ended they will act accordingly.
Roget expressed solidarity with disgruntled teachers and nurses as he addressed a virtual post-budget forum hosted by the trade unions and credit unions.
Teachers undertook two days of “blackout” to demonstrate their disagreement with the Education Ministry's decisions on the return to physical classes.
“Our teachers, like our nurses and frontline workers, work very hard. We depend on the nurses for our safety and to take us out of this pandemic. We continue to depend on our nation's teachers to educate our youths, even in this trying time of a pandemic.
“That disrespect displayed to both our nurses and teachers in particular, we feel it is wrong, and therefore we express solidarity for our nation’s teachers on their day of blackout.
“When the SoE is over, we will do what we know we must do,” he vowed.