Unions Return to the Table for Talks

Friday, November 23, 2018 7:13 PM- George's, Grenada
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Talks between the Government’s Pension Engagement Committee (PEC) and the Public Sector Trade Unions and Staff Associations, resumed today at the Pension Secretariat. This was in response to the calls made by Government, civil society and the church for the current dispute to be resolved in an amicable manner.

Chairman of the PEC, Mrs. Beryl Isaac was joined by Minister Oliver Joseph, and they both welcomed back the unions.
At this meeting, documents of letters were exchanged by both sides and the Chairman of the PEC, having expressed the view that this was a positive development, that the parties should continue formal discussions in a more in-depth manner to negotiate a settlement to this dispute.

Leader of the Trade Unions and Staff Associations’ team, Senator Andre Lewis stated the two points they considered to be of utmost importance, being the 25% advanced payment of pension and the issue of payment for those workers who withdrew their labour.

The unions also requested an almost immediate response.

However, Minister Joseph indicated to the Unions and Staff Associations team that the Cabinet was totally involved in the 2019 Budget which is being debated now, and that he is expected to report back at Monday’s Cabinet meeting. He therefore could not give a commitment to respond by the 4:00 p.m. deadline.

Minister Joseph urged the unions to take the interest of their members and the nation into consideration. He reiterated that it requires both sides to work towards a resolution of the problem.

The PEC reaffirmed its withdrawal of the 2% advanced payment of pensions to allow for negotiations without any precondition. The committee emphasized that the negotiations between the parties must be fact-based and must be conducted within the confines of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

The meeting ended with an expectation by the PEC that negotiations would continue Thursday, November 29 at 10:00 a.m.




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