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JM | May 12, 2022

Back in business! NWC resumes operations after two-day strike

Juanique Tennant

Juanique Tennant / Our Today

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NWC closes Spanish Town office to facilitate deep cleaning and sanitisation  – Jamaica Information Service

After two days of islandwide water supply disruptions linked to industrial action taken by National Water Commission (NWC) employees, the company has advised that it has resumed its operations with immediate effect.

In a statement, the NWC noted: “Operations restarted on Wednesday evening (May 11) after an agreement was reached for the employees of the NWC to return to work.

“The agreement was signed by the unions, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, and the management of the NWC who had been meeting for two days to resolve the matter and bring an end to the industrial action,” read a statement from the company.

Two days prior, on Monday (May 9), some 2,000 NWC workers led by five unions representing the staff, took industrial action to protest the ongoing public sector compensation review as well as an outstanding reclassification exercise.

The workers’ strike led to islandwide water supply disruptions, which resulted in the forced closure of several offices, businesses and schools.

Copy of the signed back-to-work order agreed upon between the Unions and management of the NWC as well as the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.

With the now-signed back-to-work agreement obtained by Our Today, it is expected that a compensation review is to be done and implemented within six months.

Under the agreement, the following steps are expected to take place:

1. A resumption of work and restoration of normalcy islandwide beginning with the 11 pm shift on Wednesday. 

2. A consultant will be procured to conclude a job evaluation using the new public sector job evaluation tool and the consultant conducting the public sector compensation restructuring will make the alignment to the new compensation structure public service

3. The exercise will consist of a steering committee involving each of the five unions at the NWC for further local communication and consultation 

4. The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service shall provide the final organisational structure of the NWC to the unions by the first meeting of the steering committee scheduled for Friday, May 20

5. The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service will provide the report of the market survey that was conducted of private sector companies by May 20, 2022

6. The proposal for the compensation restructure for the NWC will be conducted and finalised within three months from May 20, 2022. Thereafter the results of the exercise shall be implemented within three months

7. There will be no victimisation on either side arising from the industrial action

RELATED: Holness appeals to NWC workers to get back to job as unions, utility agree on return to normalcy tonight

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