Submitted by Chavone
As an employee of GAIA I feel a need to bring light to the situation unfolding at the airport , this government is a bunch of bullies and the nupw aint no better so we the workers are out to sea without a paddle in a leaking canoe.
I know the public have their views on what is transpiring but very few know the whole situation. Now back last year we were fighting for a 3.5% that was owed to us and it was owed to us because we had negotiated and it was agreed that we would get 7.5%, at that time the public servants had already had their negotiations and was awarded 10% we were told we are not public servants the airport is run by a board hence the GAIA.Inc. Now we had received the first half which was the 4% then the public servants was place on a wage freeze because of the state if the economy their wages are garnered from the government treasury GAIA wages comes from the money made at GAIA our salaries does not come from the treasury. In fact government uses Gaia profits to subsidize other failing government entities.
The general secretary of the nupw Dennis Clarke came to us the Gaia employees and paying members of nupw and told us that the government had asked us to put our remaining 3.5% on hold because the public servants was on a wage freeze and it wouldn’t look good that we were getting a raise and them on a raise freeze the staff agreed to that even though at that said time the airport had made a profit of 9 million dollars and all that was profits after all expenses.
What we did not know or was not told was that the NUPW president Walter Maloney and general secretary Dennis Clarke (who was our bargaining agent) had gone into a closed door meeting with the prime minister and GAIA acting Ceo at that time and director of finance and had agreed to taking the 3.5% off the table. It was only when we came back asking we were told we weren’t owed anything, the new executive of the Nupw and general secretary keep telling us that Dennis Clarke had said that he hadn’t agreed to anything but no one could reach him and he was never available, but McDowell assured us he had spoken to Dennis Clarke and that the rumours circulating was false.
Fast forward to where this dragged on until it came before the chief labour officer who more or less told them whatever was agreed on in that meeting stands, no minutes were never produced from that meeting it came before the minister of labour who told them the meeting did in fact take place and why dont the union put forth new negotiations for the employees , everyone was pushing for new negotiations even the Ceo of GAIA had held meeting telling the staff they had no claim to the 3.5% and basically telling them to get the union to put forth new negotiations. The Nupw was hesitant with dropping that claim although we all came to realize that Dennis Clarke did agreed to take it off the table therefore misrepresenting us as no one knew before hand what he had done, the sad thing is around that said time GAIA directors received a pay increase they were not ask to hold off because of a wage freeze people like the Ceo , director of finance and engineering were given an increase, do you know how the staff felt knowing that?????????
The airport is still in the profits margin of millions of dollars ever so often we see and hear from the print or air media how good tourism is doing, every year since then it have been better and better yet we cannot share in the profits that are being made on our backs by our sweat how is this fair ??????? Since 2010 all we had ask for is a fair raise seeing the money being made we were even told that they can afford to give us a 23% raise after the nupw had gone over Gaia books but we are not greedy we just want to eat good we would like to shop and not be anxious when we get to the cashier.we had ask for 6% for 2015 we weren’t even going back to 2010 a 5% in 2016 and 17.
Somehow i feel we were hoodwinked by GAIA the NUPW and this government who is now telling us 3% premium or nothing , that’s 3% on whatever the public servants are awarded, so now its back to a wait and see position. Why wait ???? are we now public workers again , suppose we accept can we now ask for the same benefits back as well can we now have back 21 sick days instead of the 6 we now have ???? can we enjoy increments on our salaries??????? will you pay us for all bank holidays?????? can we also half these half days of work the government workers are given for certain holidays ????.
A staff of 402 that all want the same thing, to be treated fair we might not all know our worth but trust me enough of us do, how can we be the welcoming smile that meets the tourists when we have nothing to smile about not when we know it can and should be better.
Will someone have a heart ????????