NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Operations at the National Insurance Board (NIB) returned to normal on Monday, after employees staged a two-day sick out last week, severely crippling operations and forcing the closure of several NIB outlets in New Providence and the Family Islands.
Yesterday, Union of Public Officers (UPO) President, Marvin Duncombe, confirmed that the majority of the union’s 400 members were feeling better and therefore returned to work.
Duncombe said management agreed to meet with union heads yesterday, to continue negotiations on a new industrial agreement that has been stalled now for several weeks.
Meanwhile, Labour Director John Pinder told Eyewitness News on Monday that he has addressed both sides – the union president and his team as well as the Director and Chairman of the NIB Board as it relates to the existing impasse.
Pinder said he was expected to intervene yesterday.
“We are supposed to have a meeting to get this matter resolved favourably. I don’t see it as a very burning issue [at NIB], Pinder told the media on the sidelines of an ILO Conference at the National Training Agency.
“I think the NIB union must understand that while NIB appears to have money, we know they are only the custodian; they are only holding onto monies for sick persons, pensions and unemployed benefits. Those are benefits that persons have paid into.
“Simultaneously, management has to recognize that unions have to improve on their past industrial agreement and they try to get a little more in the new one agreement, so I think I can intervene to make some favourable recommendations that both sides can live with,” Pinder said.