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Jamaica Fire Brigade employees on work to rule

Monday, September 11, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The National Workers Union (NWU) has instructed Jamaica Fire Brigade drivers and mechanics islandwide to work to rule, beginning 7:00 am tomorrow.

In a release this afternoon, Vice President of the NWU, Arthur Grant, said this is in furtherance to the dispute with the brigade management over the 2015-2017 wage negotiations.

According to the NWU, it called the action after meeting twice at the Ministry of Labour, without any success.

“In an effort to avert industrial action we also wrote to the Minister of Local Government, Desmond McKenzie yesterday requesting his urgent intervention,” Grant said, adding that to this date, there has been no response.

The union said it served a 23-point claim on the brigade with approximately three items agreed to thus far. "This situation is untenable and has caused inexplicable hardship for our members, some of whom have not had a wage increase since 2012," NWU said.

The items of dispute include:
1. Call out/standby allowance
2. Extension of facilities, such as, tertiary grant (for children of public sector workers)
3. Hazard allowance
4. Location incentives
5. Permanent status
6. Protective gear
7. Uniforms
8. Vacation leave allotment
9. Overtime payment

A work to rule means that employees cannot be asked to do any task outside of what their contracts stipulate.

They will not partake in overtime nor do work activities during their breaks, among other things.

The NWU said it has called on the minister of local government to address the situation and treat the members of the Jamaican Fire Brigade with the respect due to them and not allow the matter to escalate any further.

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