EMPLOYEES at the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) are calling on their employer to stop continually rescheduling meetings about wage negotiations.
Joined by representatives from their union – the Public Services Association (PSA) – workers protested outside HDC's head office in Port of Spain on Wednesday.
First vice-president of the PSA Felisha Thomas told Newsday that while management began wage negotiations, the HDC keeps rescheduling meetings.
"HDC workers make 2011 salaries. It's 2023.
"While management is not taking the negotiations seriously, the workers are quite frustrated with the nonchalant way they're treating with the negotiations."
In addition, she said, many workers had been contract employees for as many as 20 years.
"There was (a meeting) schedule last week and it was rescheduled.
"Every week, they update the workers and say they're meeting and then call it off. It says to the workers that other things are more important."
In June, the PSA rejected an offer by Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) Dr Daryl Dindial of a four per cent pay hike for 2014-2019, which is now before a Special Tribunal of the Industrial Court.
In a statement later on Wednesday, the HDC said the protest was led by a former employee and a PSA representative.
"While the government has signalled its intention to offer a four per cent wage negotiation to cover mainstream public servants for the 2014-2019 period, the employees have rejected the offer.
"The government has also agreed to provide $1 billion in back pay for those 37,000 public sector workers who have accepted the offer of a four per cent increase, plus increases in some allowances. Several unions have already accepted the offer, and employees are expected to receive their money by Christmas."
In spite of this, it said, the HDC meets with unions regularly, even having one set with the National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) on Wednesday.
It added that another meeting is set for next week with PSA officials.
"These meetings will continue as the corporation works with its staff, through the unions, to develop an amicable and practical way forward.
"The HDC remains committed to ensuring that employees’ concerns are heard and addressed to develop practical solutions."