NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The University of the Bahamas’ Public Managers Union staged a demonstration yesterday over the status of negotiations for its new industrial agreement.
Over 30 of the union’s 45 members held signs and placards demanding the university to negotiate its industrial agreement in good faith.
Cassandra Lewis, the union’s president, said the middle managers have been without an industrial contract for over two “long” years.
“PMU and UB have made attempts to advance the negotiation process forward with very little progress,” Lewis said.
“In June 2019, PMU advanced a proposal to the University of The Bahamas.
“Consequently, the university has had set backs from one proposal to the other.
“The university sent back a one-page proposal that PMU found very insulting and lacking in good faith.
“As a result, PMU requested that the university advance a proposal that is fitting of consideration.”
The union is seeking to come to a fair agreement on the medical coverage for its members, among other matters.
“We are very very conscious of the financial state of the university and so we are not being unreasonable in our request and our quest for a contract that is livable as it relates to our members.”
Lewis said the union has made numerous requests for the counter financial proposal, which she claimed the university promised to send by the first week of January.
She noted however that they failed to meet that deadline and two other extended deadlines agreed upon – the latest being by January 16 at 5 p.m.
“The constant back and forth, cancellations, and the delay of meetings on both sides, but we’ve been very cordial, very considerate,” she said.
“We’ve reached the point where the university has been blatantly disrespectful towards the Public Managers Union and we no longer are prepared to tolerate any further delays.
“We admonish the university and all those related who has the authority to have the university sit with us and come to a conclusion on a reasonable final proposal for the staff fin the middle management here at the University of The Bahamas.”
She added that the union is hoping to return to the table between January 27 to 29 to complete negotiations and finalize a document.
Lewis also insisted that the union is prepared to take whatever action necessary – within their limitations.
The University of The Bahamas could not be reached for comment up to press time.