The content originally appeared on: ZNS BAHAMAS News

The Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) has reached an agreement with the Bahamas Hotel Management and Restaurant Employers Association (BHREA). 

BHCAWU President Darrin Woods released a statement about the new agreement. He said, “we are pleased to announced that we were able to conclude, pretty much, the negotiation phase of this industrial agreement that has been outstanding since 2013 and the membership would have ratified an agreement last evening at a special called general meeting for that purpose.”

Woods further explained, “originally the union was asking some 25% over five years but of course we were back and forth and we kind of modified our position. The real contentious part of it would have been when we would have negotiated a 14% increase over the five year period. We said to them in no uncertain terms that we can’t sign an agreement where the tip category persons will not be getting an increase. So we were back and forth with that up to last night.”

The union president called the new agreement a win-win situation. ”And so out of that we were able to get lump sum payment, movement in the base rate for everybody, also increase in gratuities and the like. So we think its a win-win particularly for our membership. And what it does it kinds of puts them in a position to increase their buying power because that was always our thinking behind what we were trying to do. We wanted improve the base of our people to position them, to empower them and to make sure they are able to go into the various lending institutions to be able to qualify for credit.”

The next step is to have the agreement