In T&T: TTEC settles at 9 percent, wage bill pushed to $120M

20 April 2012


Wage increase by the numbers; collective bargaining period 2 years, 9% increase, $510mm value.  Certainly a “tidy sum.”

The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (TTEC) has to pay its workers $510 million in backpay for the period 2009 to 2011, having yesterday accepted the Industrial Court’s recommendation to settle at nine percent with the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU).

That works out to $170 million for each year in addition to $120 million annually for salaries.

Yesterday’s agreement came after 12 conciliation talks between both parties at the Industrial Court, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain.

This followed 15 months of stalemated negotiations with the OWTU. The Commission initially offered five percent which the union rejected before Labour Minister Errol McLeod intervened referring it to the Industrial Court.

Speaking to reporters outside the Industrial Court, Acting General Manager of TTEC, Kelvin Ramsook, said it was “tidy sum” to be paid as the Commission had more than 2,000 employees.

He said the increase will be two percent for the first year, two percent for the second and five percent for the third.

Workers can expect to receive their backpay at the end of August.

This is the fourth agreement that the OWTU has signed for nine percent, the first was for Petrotrin while the second was for National Petroleum, and third was Powergen.

President General of the OWTU Ancel Roget said it was a long and difficult road to arrive at a settlement, which he felt should have occurred a while ago.

The Commission took two weeks to accept the Court’s recommendation.

He said the union wanted more for the workers, but at the same time they respected the Court’s recommendation.

Roget said the OWTU’s next step was to develop and produce proposals for the new rounds of negotiations for 2012 to 2014.

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