PR – The Bank and General Workers Union (BGWU) wishes to update the public on the ongoing negotiations between the Union and Republic Bank Grenada Limited (RBGL). We believe it is crucial to provide accurate information to clarify any misconceptions surrounding these negotiations.
The BGWU received a letter from RBGL on July 14, 2023, offering a revised offer for salary increases covering the period from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2023. The revised offer proposed a 9.25% increase, an improvement from RBGL’s initial offer of 6.25%.
Simultaneously, RBGL circulated an interoffice memorandum to all staff, suggesting that the Union had been unresponsive to prior communication on the matter. The Union received the letter via email at midday on July 14, 2023, around the same time the memorandum was distributed. It is important to note that this claim by RBGL is misleading and seeks to create a false narrative regarding the Union’s commitment to the negotiation process. Notwithstanding, the Bank was advised by the Union prior to its release that 9.25% was not going to be accepted.
RBGL’s revised offer include the combination of their performance Merit system with the economic increase being negotiated. They asserted that this combination would result in an overall increase of 16.25% for staff, surpassing the 12.25% proposed by the Minister. However, it is crucial to clarify that the Merit system is solely based on performance which is controlled by RBGL. As a result, the majority of staff members do not qualify for a salary increase under this system. The Bank at its own discretion changes the criteria for qualification, making it difficult for workers to benefit from this.
B.G.W.U reiterates that Negotiations for a New Collective Agreement concluded on March 13th, 2023 in keeping with the Collective Agreement and the Labour Relations Act 15 of 1999. For the Bank to re-engage in Negotiations at this stage in contrary to the Labour Relation.
The BGWU remains committed to reaching a fair and mutually beneficial agreement with RBGL.
Initially, the Union position was a 15% increase over three years. However, the BGWU accepted the Minister’s recommendation of a 12.25% increase over four years, demonstrating our willingness to compromise and reach an agreement that would be fair and mutually beneficial. Regrettably, RBGL has rejected the Minister’s recommendation and increased their offer from 6.25% to only 9.25% over four years. We find this offer inadequate, considering the significant rise in the cost of living.
The BGWU expresses our deep regret for any inconvenience caused as a result of the ongoing industrial action. We sincerely appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate through this challenging
period. It is important to note that the decision to take industrial action comes with a financial sacrifice, as RBGL has chosen to dock the salaries of the staff during the strike period.
The BGWU remains steadfast in advocating for the rights of the working people of Grenada. We will not be swayed by RBGL’s management’s scare tactics and dissemination of misinformation. We firmly believe that honesty, fairness, and respect should form the basis for resolving this matter to benefit all stakeholders.