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posted 4 Dec 2013, 15:40 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 4 Dec 2013, 15:46 ]
It took almost nine months and a picket of the Recognition Board office in Port of Spain for the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) to eventually have its long awaited meeting with representatives of the Board on Monday 2nd December.
It was an opportunity, not only to complain about how long it takes for recognition claims to be processed, but to put forward some positive proposals for change.

The Board representatives were reminded that before the Industrial Stabilisation Act in 1965, unions directly negotiated bargaining units with employers. In fact, once a union gets recognition, unions negotiate legally binding collective agreements which are far more complex and detailed than any negotiation over the shape of a bargaining unit.

Given this, the unions argued, the Recognition Board needed to move away from having Examiners (that is, public officers) making recommendations on bargaining units, but that this should primarily be the product of negotiations between the union making the application and the employer.

Additionally, the unions said, there needs to be some strict time-lines to stop employers deliberately sabotaging the recognition process by not replying to Board enquiries.
At the conclusion of the meeting, it was agreed that the JTUM would send the Board a memorandum of its proposals, which included a suggestion that there should be a Joint Working Party to examine the procedures used by the Board with the object of having recognition claims finalised within three months.

Interesting … but don't hold your breath for too long!