CXC workers continue protest action

By CMC, Jamaica Observer

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Protest action by dozens of workers at the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), entered another day on Friday.

The employees have taken protest action to voice concerning over a restructuring exercise at the council.

Barbados Today reports that major restructuring changes started to unfold without notice and in the middle of negotiations with trade unions.

It’s reported that last week, some workers were told that they would be made redundant at the end of June, while at least two others saw their positions advertised among numerous vacancies published on the CXC’s website over the weekend.

“The staff of the Caribbean Examinations Council has advised the Barbados Workers’ Union [BWU] that they are off the job,” reported the BWU’s Deputy Director of Industrial Relations Dionne Howard on Thursday morning.

We’ve met with the workers, we have heard their concerns at this point. We have reached out to the company. We have shared the concerns and are awaiting word from them as to how soon we can have a discussion regarding the concerns.”

In a statement, the BWU revealed restructuring discussions were to be continued on June 3, but CXC’s management unilaterally determined the outcome when they posted advertisements for positions, which were on the table for discussion.

“This action by the management was the final straw for the staff at the CXC who have been experiencing a number of challenges with the management. The Executive Council has found the management of the CXC to be insulting and disrespectful, not only to the secretariat but to the staff of the Council.

“It is unconscionable to post jobs currently held by persons on the market and those persons having no idea that their jobs are under threat. This, in no way, takes the shape of typical industrial relations practices and the Executive Council of The Barbados Workers’ Union understands the pressure and frustration of the workers and endorses the action taking place today,” the statement said, while revealing that the BWU remained open to returning to the negotiating table.