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NIB workers stage protest

President of the Union of Public Officers (UPO) Ghion Roach said yesterday that his members will continue on work to rule as the union is unable to meet the November 30 deadline set by the minister to continue delayed negotiations on its outstanding industrial agreement. 

Members demonstrated outside of NIB’s Baillou Hill Road headquarters yesterday for a third time.

“We still have not completed negotiations,” Roach said. 

“The minister set a deadline, but we will not meet that deadline.” 

Minister for the Public Service and National Insurance Brensil Rolle set the deadline to November 30, according to Roach. 

He added that negotiations have been stalled since May, and the union was given the deadline last month when it applied for a strike certificate.

Roach said, “The minister had agreed to negotiate in good faith that we would be done by the end of November, which is a few days away.”

He said he has been unable to reach Rolle.

Rolle was unavailable up to press time. 

At the demonstration, Roach, who was flanked by his members, said, “Throughout this process, they have sought to take things away from the worker.

“Everyone knows our argument against the increments. They wanted to decrease our increments – pay rises that we’ve seen for the last 20, 30, 40 years.”

NIB has said that, “While typical agreements in The Bahamas have ranged between six and 10 percent in salary increases over a five-year period, demands made upon NIB by the union have been calculated to be in excess of 20 percent for the five-year contract.”

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