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posted 2 Dec 2013, 16:08 by Gerry Kangalee
The Labour Advisory Bureau (LAB), the Education, Training, Research and Publication arm of the National Workers Union NWU) conducted the second of its interactive Seminars on Friday November 29 and Saturday November 30, 2013 at the Transport and Industrial Workers Union (TIWU) headquarters in Laventille. 
The seminar dealt with the issue of collective bargaining and was entitled FROM PROPOSALS TO SETTLEMENT. 
Eighteen (18) trade unionists representing six (6) unions participated in the interactive two - day sessions of the Seminar. 
The facilitators were Frank Sears, President of NWU and former Health Safety & Environment Officer and Organizer Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU); Cecil Paul, Deputy President NWU and former General Secretary Council of Progressive Trade Unions, former Chief Labour Relations Officer OWTU; Sylvan Wilson, former Acting Chief Labour Relations Officer OWTU; Gerry Kangalee, National Education and Research Officer NWU and former Education and Research Officer OWTU; Dave Smith, General Secretary NWU and formerly Area Officer NUPE of the United Kingdom, Regional Officer UNISON and Director of Communications National Union of Government and Federated Workers and His Honour Gregory Rousseau, Industrial Court Judge. 
The Course Outline on Day 1 included among others: 
  • The Historical, Political, Economic and Social Perspectives of Collective Bargaining
  • The Social Wage
  • A Vision for the Future
  • The Legal Framework (Industrial Relations Act Chap. 88:01
  • Workers, Shop Stewards and Branch Officers involvement in formulating and approval of Proposals
  • Labour theory of value
  • A model proposal
  • Preparation of Proposals and proof reading
  • Submission of Proposals to the Employer and the Ministry of Labour and the covering letters
  • Selecting Negotiating Team and Date of Commencement
  • Union’s Rules and Protocols for the Negotiations
  • The issue of protest action during Negotiations
  • Communicating the Proposals to workers and reporting on the state of the negotiations
On Day 2 the Seminar dealt with:
Collective Bargaining Issues (job evaluations and descriptions, financials, transparency and disclosures, Employee Assistance Plans (EAP), definitions).
Third Party Intervention on Breakdown of Negotiations.
  • Reporting the Dispute
  • Submission of Memorandum
  • Conciliation Procedures
  • Referrals to Industrial Court
  • Pre-Trial Hearings
  • Preparation of Evidence and Arguments
  • Conciliation and Arbitration at Industrial Court
  • Reporting to Workers at stages of Third Party Interventions
  • The Human Resource Manual/Handbook and the Collective Agreement
  • Trade Union Rights, Responsibilities and Facilities
  • Contract Labour/Outsourcing and Job Security
  • Negotiating Wages and Salaries and the Arguments
  • Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)
  • Understanding the index of retail prices for COLA Negotiations
  • Consolidation, Expiration and Implementation of New COLA
  • Negotiating Cost Items
  • Negotiating Leaves of Absence
  • Negotiating Other Provisions of the Collective Agreement
  • A brief review of a model collective agreement
In 2014, the Labour Advisory Bureau will continue to provide this service of Interactive Seminars to workers and trade unionists geared towards developing the skills and competence required of Industrial Relations Practitioners and those interested.
The LAB also sees an urgent need for succession planning in the Labour Movement and the need to educate a cadre of young trade unionists to not only match but also surpass the capabilities of the employer operatives in the field of Industrial Relations, Labour Economics and the politics of Labour.