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BITU serves industrial action notice on CMU

The Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) on Monday said it has served notice of industrial action by unionised staff at Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) unless certain issues are addressed.

According to the union’s Vice-President Ruddy Thomas, there is a “plethora of outstanding issues” on the agenda, which has impacted the well-being of its members at CMU, financially and otherwise, “in what has become increasingly challenging times”.

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The BITU currently holds bargaining rights for administration, ancillary and technical staff.

Thomas explained that the mode and intent behind the engagements, which were scheduled by the management for October 20 to 22 to roll out a new organisational structure, transitional plan and employment arrangement for the workers, have caused several of them to become incensed.

He said that the university’s failure to address the labour issues has impacted the terms and conditions of employment in several instances, and is in flagrant breach of agreements and directives in others.

“This is exacerbated by reports we have received indicating that the university has been employing persons, while claiming not to have an organisational structure approved by the Ministry of Finance or Education, and that these newly hired persons were being paid at significantly higher salaries than incumbents holding similar positions,” Thomas claimed.

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According to him, the “outstanding matters” include: Finalisation of a human resources policy manual, which has been 12 years in the making; completing negotiations on claims which were served in relation to a contract period commencing 2017; remedying a contractual breach related to the workers’ lunch allowance, forcing them to determine which alternate days they can eat; addressing the union on inconsistencies with the recent payment of anniversary increments, where it appears people who are less entitled have been paid in preference to others.

BITU serves strike notice on CMU  Jamaica Observer

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