Labour Commissioner, Cyrus Griffith has issued a second invitation to the unions’ negotiating team for a pre-conciliation briefing on 21 October.
In the letter dispatched today, the Labour Commissioner also proposed another attempt at conciliation, involving the disputing parties, on Tuesday 22.
The second invitation was issued after the unions’ negotiating team failed to show up for Friday’s conciliation talks. The Government Negotiating Team accepted the initial invitation from the Labour Commissioner and showed up for today’s conciliation meeting as well as the pre-meeting on Thursday.
The unions also failed to show up for Thursday’s pre-conciliation briefing, choosing instead to present a letter to the Labour Commissioner, requesting that he use his good office to encourage the disputing parties to return to the negotiating table.
Friday’s letter from the Labour Commissioner also advised the unions that their failure to attend conciliation constitutes a breach of the Labour Relations Act and the procedures outlined in the Collective Labour Agreement between the unions and government.
The conciliation talks are aimed at breaking a deadlock in negotiations declared by the GNT, given the wide disparity in proposals presented by either side for wage increases for public officers.
The unions’ revised demand, represents a 24% increase in salary for public officers over the next contract cycle, 2020 to 2023 which is expected to increase government’s wage bill by $89 million, just one million less than the original proposal. Government’s Negotiating Team is offering public officers increases amounting to $27 million, as part of an overall package that also includes
pension restoration to qualifying officers.