Categorized | National News

UTEB Calls UB Back to Bargaining Table

The Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas (UTEB) has been without a bargaining agreement for almost three years and is now calling on the University of The Bahamas (UB) to return to the bargaining table with them.

UTEB President Daniel Thompson said yesterday that UTEB has been out of an industrial agreement since 2017 and while he said he is empathetic to all that the country has been going through since the passing of Hurricane Dorian, it’s the best time to return to bargaining as Grand Bahama and Abaco residents also stand to benefit from an agreement being reached.

Mr. Thompson also noted that some of those residents have had to take on more responsibility as they attempt to rebuild UB’s North Campus.

“The Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas in the aftermath of Dorian understand and sympathize with what has happened in our country,” Mr. Thompson said.
“Critical among what’s happening in our society is that the cost of living has even gone up higher for many of us, not withstanding Dorian.

“In fact, our insurances, our major health insurance plan has increased by several hundred dollars for every faculty and in fact staff at the university. So, starting September many of our members will be taking home $200 to $300, in some cases $400 less in salaries.”

Mr. Thompson said these are the realities that union members are facing and as a result of Dorian, a greater burden has been placed upon these members as faculty has had to take on additional students in their classes beyond the expected level since the passing of the storm.

Mr. Thompson further stated that despite UB President Dr. Rodney Smith expressing his willingness to resume the negotiations, there has been no date set.

“We have given him time because we know the myriad of activities involved in the aftermath of Dorian, but we would encourage him and encourage the university to let’s get back to the negotiation table,” Mr. Thompson said.

“So, we are hoping that the university, through its president and chief executive officer will find the time to sit with us at the table.

“And, we are reasonable you know. We are Bahamians and we’re nation builders. We are nationalists, but we also need to be able to survive.
“We need to be able to feed our families.  We need to be able to get to work. We need to be able to pay our schools fees and our utility bills.”

Mr. Thompson said critical to negotiation is understanding the differences between the university’s Academic Senate and the union, which he said discussions need to be had to separate the role of the university Senate to that of the union.

Prior to negotiations being put on hold, the union and the university were discussing its remuneration package and some lump sum owed.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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