Line staff at the St John’s Cooperative Credit Union will enjoy an 8% salary increase following the completion of negotiations between the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union (ABWU) and management of the St. John’s Cooperative Credit Union.
The salary increase is outlined in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement which will cover the period 1 January 2021 – 31 December 2023. The agreement makes provisions for a lump sum payment in the first year, followed by a 5% salary increase in the second year and a 3% increase in the final year.
Another highlight of the agreement is the harmonisation of the company’s retirement age with Social Security’s pensionable age. The line staff will also have an early retirement option beginning at age 60.
Industrial Relations Officer at the ABWU, Fernando Samuel, expressed thanks to the management of the Credit Union for an “interesting round of negotiations” Samuel underscored the importance of maintaining vibrant communication.
“We had an impasse on certain items but I’m happy that we were able to conclude on amicable grounds. Although these [negotiations] can be contentious matters, we believe that frequent dialogue minimizes friction, so we encourage more communication,” Samuel said.
General Manager of the St. John’s Cooperative Credit Union, Jennifer Whyte, described the negotiations as an “important process” that required a lot of forward planning and strategizing. Whyte said she was pleased that both sides were able to arrive at an agreement that is beneficial to all the parties involved.
“As long as we have the best interest of the organisation and the employees at heart it’s always a win-win. It’s always a good end,” Whyte stated.
Both parties, along with line staff representatives affixed their signatures to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement on 24 February 2022.
The Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union also represents the Supervisory and Confidential employees at the Credit Union. These negotiations are nearing completion.
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