Maintenance workers at the Ministry of Works are hoping for good news today when Cabinet meets to avert possible industrial action in the New Year according to Bahamas Public Services Union President (BPSU) John Pinder.
The workers have been on work-to-rule since last month after negotiations with the government for overtime and hazardous pay as well as promotions stalled.
Mr. Pinder said he is optimistic that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works Philip Davis will be able to secure the financial clearance at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting needed to ensure that the workers receive their wage increases and overtime pay.
“The workers’ concerns are that they have worked overtime and haven’t been paid –they have been entitled to hazardous pay for the last two or three years and they haven’t received it,” Mr. Pinder said. “The promotional exercise is another concern that they have. The stipulation for promotion made it difficult for them to meet the requirements because they needed to obtain a phase three in order to be promoted to a certain rank but we recognised that that would not be keeping line with best practices of the construction industry so we were able to get them a new career path.”
Mr. Pinder said that he does not expect the workers to take any further action through the rest of the year.
“While I don’t expect any industrial action at this time, I can’t say how the workers will react if they nothing happens in the New Year,” he said. “The workers have waited a long time and they have been patient.”
The Cabinet is expected to meet at 10:00 a.m. today.