By Alexis R. Milan
Christian Workers Union (CWU) President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd this week blamed Social Security Board (SSB) management for what she termed as acting in bad faith, resulting in over 300 SSB employees not receiving their salaries on the 26th as they are accustomed to.
According to Shepherd, as part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) currently being negotiated with the SSB, an incremental system, based on performance appraisal is being introduced to replace an existing bonus system, which employees traditionally receive in March. Some employees are for the new system and some are against it, Shepherd explained.
SSB has already included a portion of the new incremental payment in the January 26th salaries, but decided to reverse the payment when the Union declared that they also reserved the right to also demand the bonus. Shepherd accused SSB management of making an unilateral decision without first consulting the union.
SSB wrote to the employees saying that it was indecisiveness on the part of the Union, which resulted in the delay of their salaries, but Shepherd rebutted saying that it was SSB at fault for ignoring the Union’s request for clarification.
Shepherd said the SSB made the decision after consulting with a few union members, but said the decision of a few members does not bind the union itself to any agreement. Shepherd then indicated that employees are expected to be paid their full salary by the end of the week.
She also criticized a whistle blower policy, which each employee must sign. According to Shepherd, the move is in direct contravention of the CBA, which states that the union must be consulted before the introduction of any new policy. Shepherd added that SSB has employed union-busting tactics by treating union members differently from non-union members.