Fraternal Greetings to the 69th Annual General Meeting of the National Union of Public Workers: DENNIS DE PEIZA – CTUSAB’s General Secretary
The Annual General Meeting or Conference of any organization, is the fitting occasion for the leadership to report to the membership, and to celebrate the achievements and accomplishments over the past year. It is also the perfect time for reflection and for making fundamental decisions pertaining to charting the way forward.
On this the occasion of the 69th Annual General Meeting of the National Union of Public Workers, the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados joins with regional and international trade union organizations, strategic partners and well-wishers, in congratulating the President, General Secretary, National Council and Staff of the NUPW, on the distinguished service which the union has and continues to offer its approximately 10,000 members.
Following its establishment in 1944, and since being registered as a trade union in 1964, the National Union of Public Workers has become the island’s largest public sector union. It is to be commended on having maintained its vibrancy ever since then, and for unreservedly and unapologetically, stoutly defending the interest of all those who are employed in the Public Service of Barbados.
Within recent times, the issues of safety and health and productivity have been engaging the attention of the trade union movement. This subject is far from being exhausted, and therefore CTUSAB welcomes the fact that the NUPW has chosen as its theme for this year’s AGM, ‘Health and Wellness: The Key to a productive Workforce’.
Against the backdrop of the ongoing discussion that the public service is growing less productive and efficient, it is envisaged that this theme will be fervently addressed. It would be interesting to learn of the strategies that are identified to reduce the incidence of absenteeism and sick leave, loss of productivity and man hours due to the impact of non-communicable illnesses, workplace stress, emotional and psychological disorders, alcoholic and substance abuse. It is also hoped that the discussion is widened to address the issue of the aging workforce.
I am aware that the NUPW has a history of being in the forefront of health care for its members. The union must therefore be commended on its sustained efforts.
As an outcome of the deliberations of this 69th Annual General Meeting, on the theme, ‘Health and Wellness: The Key to a Productive Workforce’, the Labour Movement would be satisfied if the Social Partners were to endorse and advocate a position that incentives should be offered to companies which promote wellness programmes for employees. Further, to encourage companies to provide comprehensive occupational safety and health coverage for their employees, and to develop workplace programmes that are aimed at addressing the issue of alcohol and substance abuse by individual employees.
On behalf of the President, Officers, the Members of the Executive Board and the twelve others affiliates of the Congress, I extend best wishes to the NUPW, for a successful 69th Annual General Meeting.