The Unite union is staging a walkout today following the move by the GGCA on the civil service agreement.
Unite says that, as people are aware, the GGCA membership rejected the Civil Service Agreement in a ballot vote held weeks ago. Notwithstanding this rejection, the leadership has gone ahead with a consultation process at the request of the Chief Minister.
"The result of this process and its publication has astonished both Unite the Union and NASUWT (although we cannot speak for them) by stating that only the GGCA can negotiate any agreement with the government, they consider that neither of the other two unions cannot intervene in the negotiations, besides the fact that Unite the Union has the largest number of government employees union members and NASUWT is the 3rd as regards number of members. We cannot understand how the GGCA can attempt to re-negotiate the Civil Service Agreement which was rejected by over 60% of its members," says Unite.
They add that the GGCA has no legitimacy to negotiate on its own any of the points raised in the 'defunct Civil Service Agreement' unless the other two unions are involved. GGCA members should have been advised to avoid false expectations. Even the pay offer of the said agreement is not exclusively to the GGCA but to the three unions. All matters affecting Gibraltar Government employees, such as General Orders, Unsatisfactory Attendance, Promotion etc. is a matter that concerns all union members in the Gibraltar Government and the three unions have to be participants. Unite adds that the GGCA only represents a sector of government employees. This is a fundamental issue that has to be assumed by this entity. Were the GGCA to agree changes to the General Orders with the government without the consent of the other two unions, 'we would enter into dispute with the government.'
Unite says it will 'not abandon the legitimate rights of our members in the Gibraltar Development Corporation which we have always supported their claim for an end to the discrimination that has existed for over 20 years,' adding that the GGCA, which has no negotiating rights over the union members in the GDC, cannot dictate a solution to these members.
'STRUGGLES FOR JUSTICE'
"We are saddened that a trade union can state publicly that they reject the aspiration of fellow workers in their struggles for justice as GDC employees are and have been doing. We consider that this position is totally unacceptable and wholly anti-union and a total lack of solidarity. Normally, it is a government or an employer that prevents union members from achieving their rightful and just claim.
"In this case, it is the GGCA “union” which is against the GDC union members and employees being recognized as fully fledged Civil Servants, when they perform the same work in the different government departments, beside the fact that both the GSD government and the GSLP opposition fully support the integration of the GDC into the Civil Service," they say, and add: Our members in a gesture of goodwill and in effort to find a satisfactory solution, accepted a 3 year transitional period. Even this flexible stand is not accepted by the GGCA “union”.
'NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE'
The stand and attitude of the GGCA has given Unite the Union members at the GDC no other alternative but to protest against this organization. "As such our members will be staging a walkout on Friday and marching to No. 6 Convent Place to hand in a letter to the Chief Minister requesting the Chief Minister to continue the process we feel already started and to ignore the comments by Mr Tampin and then proceeding to G.G.C.A. Headquarters to demonstrate the opposition to the position taken by this entity.
"It is with regret that we have to take this unprecedented step but we cannot allow that a union organization work against the interests of working people by permitting discrimination."
What do YOU think?
Have your say in Facebook