Minister of National Insurance and Public Service Brensil Rolle said it is his desire to have an agreement signed between the National Insurance Board (NIB) and the Union of Public Officers (UPO) by the end of the year.
Following months of industrial action from UPO members, Rolle yesterday expressed optimism about the agreement finally coming to a conclusion.
“I would say that they are discussing, it’s continuing and, yes, it’s going well, because there has not been any public outcry,” Rolle told The Nassau Guardian.
The previous industrial agreement expired in December 2018, and since then, the UPO has lamented that negotiations for a new agreement have been “stalled” since April.
Rolle previously set a November 30 deadline for negotiations to be completed, however, that deadline has passed.
Acknowledging the delay, Rolle stated, “I made a commitment that we should’ve been finished by November, and they understand one or two things came up.
“So, I suspect they’re making progress.”
He added, “There have been some updates; I’m going to be sent an update tomorrow (Thursday) morning.”
The latest industrial action took place on December 2, when UPO members staged a sick-out.
At that time, the union’s president, Ghion Roach, cited three outstanding clauses standing in the way of the contract’s completion.
Yesterday, Roach indicated that those outstanding issues have been “ironed out”.
“We went back into negotiations, we signed the outstanding articles and I think we’re pretty much good to go,” Roach said during an interview.
“We had come to an agreement.”
Noting that the agreement was not an official signing as yet, Roach said the union is just awaiting a final “go ahead” from Rolle.
Some of the issues that had been outstanding included promotions of certain groups of employees, a compensation packet, such as lump sums and salary add-ons, and “a couple administrative clauses as it relates to schedules”.