State Insurance workers back pedal on pay demand

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One month after taking industrial action over proposed pay increases, the line staff of the State Insurance Corporation back pedaled and agreed to take the money management offered.
This came after staff staged sit-in action at work, refusing to do their duties and demanded more than the proposed eight per cent increase over a three-year period that was suggested by management.
Yesterday, shop steward, Robert Joshua told OBSERVER media that the arbitrator’s report was received two weeks ago and the amount management proposed was not increased.
“We reviewed it, we sat down and discussed it and we decided to accept the recommendation as outlined in the report,” Joshua said.
He indicated that staff did not get the counter proposal of 14 per cent that they wanted. However, Joshua said the majority agreed that it was in the best interest of the company if they accepted the proposed sum.
That eight percent pay increase should have taken effect since two years and three months ago.
So, this means that in just nine months, the bargaining agents for the employees will be heading back into negotiations to work out a new collective agreement.
Joshua added that it is now left for salary increases to be tabulated so workers can get their lump sum back pay.
Last month, three days after the continued industrial action, a meeting was held when the Antigua Trades and Labour Union intervened.
Although, staff returned to work, they were not satisfied with the results.
The matter was taken before arbitrator Maureen Hyman-Payne at the Labour Department to address the concerns of line staff and she promised to submit a report to the agents representing staff.
Close to 50 staff members were in support of the action that demanded more money from the indigenous company.

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