TGWU has rejected remarks by Security and Immigration Managing Director John Goncalves that the Branch Officer Charles Sisarello was talking nonsense when he claimed that officers were being paid the minimum wage of £5 an hour.
In a statement issued at the weekend, Mr Sisarello said that pay increases for officers in the past five years have been “small” ranging between 1% and 2.7% and that in comparison to other sectors, this has represented an erosion in their salaries since the year 2000.
Mr Sisarello also said management was “attempting to confuse the public” by stating that if the officers do not carry out their duties, they will be in breach of contract with their client i.e. Government, who would then not pay for the services. The Branch Officer said:
It is more complicated than that. SIL officers are a uniformed body like police or prison officers, and are limited in what kind of industrial action they can take. It is not a question of breach of contract as this can be applied to all strike actions. It is an issue of the security of Gibraltar and immigration.
If officers withdrew their labour the police would be called in to perform these duties, thus their situation is different to other employees. Given the responsibilities of their tasks, our members will only be carrying out a work to rule in pursuance of their legitimate pay claim.
Mr Sisarello added that responsibility for responding to their claim lies with the company and funding must come from its resources which, he says, are a matter for negotiation between the company and Government in the contract to be renewed.
Meanwhile Mr Sisarello stated that it was “unethical” that the company should publish the income of employees but not that of the directors and that Mr Goncalves’ remarks were “not conducive to improvement in industrial relations.”