BITU sees threat of labour dispute at CMUWednesday, October 20, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) says that failure of the Caribbean Maritime University's (CMU) management to discuss several outstanding issues could escalate into a serious industrial relations dispute at the university.
BITU vice-president, Ruddy Thomas, told OBSERVER ONLINE yesterday that the union currently represents the CMU's administrative, ancillary and technical staff at the university, who are up in arms over several matters involving themselves and the management.
Among the issues involved are the mode and intent behind certain engagements which, he said, were scheduled by the management for October 20 to 22, to roll out a new organisational structure, transitional plan and employment arrangement for the workers, which has caused several workers to become incensed.
He said that information the union has received has indicated that the university has been employing persons, while claiming not to have an organisational structure approved by the Ministry of Finance or Education, and that these newly hired persons were being paid at significantly higher salaries than incumbents holding similar positions.
He said that while there is need for consultation with the union on these matters, which is most frequently spearheaded by the head of human resources, the management of the institution appears to be “doing their own thing, while treating the union's letter with scant regard”.
Thomas said that the union had advised the Ministry of Education of the situation at CMU, including the most recent actions, and is currently awaiting their intervention in the escalating situation.