Industrial Court member, Albert Aberdeen, yesterday agreed to a nine per cent wage increase for non-academic staff members of The University of the West Indies (UWI).
According to a union rep, this does not mean that the workers would see an immediate hike in their salary at the end of the month since these proposals will now have to be forwarded to Finance Minister Larry Howai for his approval.
The workers were represented by the Oilfields Workers Trade Union.
From around 1.30 p.m. yesterday, scores of employees gathered outside the Industrial Court, St Vincent Street, Port of Spain to lend support to their colleagues in court.
Around 3 p.m. there was a shout of joy when they were told that part of their journey was over but they were soberly reminded that there was still a way to go.
According to the union rep, "Right now we are in the process of working out how the nine per cent is going to be spread, namely we want four per cent, this year, three per cent next year and the other two per cent the year after."
Yesterday was a culmination of events that began on Monday with a vigil by the staff members which continued just after midday on Tuesday as they visited different departments in a bid to sensitise their other colleagues on their action.
One key union member who spoke to the Express earlier this week said that on March 1 their demands were reduced from their initial request of 35 per cent to nine per cent.
He added that Ministry of Finance officials said that they would forward the demand to the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) for her consideration and they needed two weeks to do so.
However, according to the union representative, the two weeks have since passed and they got no word from the Ministry and as a result they decided that from Monday they would take their demands to campus principal, Prof Clement Sankat, in the hope that he would gently remind the "holders of the purse-strings of their commitments".
He added that he understood that UWI's student population may pay a price as a result of the "vigil", but they were left with little choice as some of their members had been working for 2007 salaries in 2013 and that it was not fair to them or their families.