BPSU Calls For March On Cabinet Office

April 21, 2011

Following a meeting held last night [Apr.20] the Bermuda Public Services Union [BPSU] is reported to be calling for all civil servants to march to the Cabinet Office next week Tuesday [Apr.26] at 10am.

A flyer which is being emailed around, and has been obtained by Bernews, says the demonstration is to voice the membership’s concerns. The flyer says should “the membership agree to take a 1.25 percent pay increase or salary freeze, the Government should agree there will be no redundancies at all or no wage cuts whatsoever”.

The flyer also “take all general and reasonable steps to advocate a price freeze for all essential products and services and to consider taking a paycut from their Ministerial salaries.”


According to their website, the BPSU represents more than 3,500 white-collar members within Government, quasi-Government and private sector businesses.

BPSU president Kevin Grant has already publicly called on Government to introduce measures including a freeze on food prices if the union accepts the 1.25% percent wage offer.

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  1. Terry says:

    “BPSU”….?………Well…..since “Service” is terrible, once again it’s the “BPU” ‘s fault. Damn…there everywhere. Jumbled up, backwards…….vers mighy darhk ann storemee…………………….

    • lol….think you have had one too many already!! But I feel you though!!!

      • Terry says:

        Don’t drink the stuff str8….but the irony is if Mike Dunkley and lawyer Pettingill hook up and make up it will be the BPU ( Bermuda Party Union). Of course the “S” is left out because they will kick Mr. Swan to the “CURB”.

        Oh well,…….times for my meds……….

  2. shawn d says:

    u know civil servants are among the highest paid NON college graduates in bermuda why are they always complainin ??? the smallest check prob still over $800 a week take a chill pill some people workin 4 half dat a week

    • S Brown says:

      Actually the BPSU represents white collared civil servants in which many have a university education.

      Secondly, by actually reading the flyer (if the flyer is genuine)the BPSU is asking the government to take steps or advocate a food price freeze. IMO I interpret that to least TRY to make an effort to help people regarding the increasing prices of staple foods i.e temporary deduction on foodstuffs etc. Other countries have done this to help their population.

      Also, from the flyer they are asking for a Ministerial pay cut, in which the majority of the public support.

      As much as you people will come on this site and critisize civil servants, many of them do work hard for the people of Bermuda. Some do not, but a few rotten apples should not spoil the bunch.

      Some people act like the all private sector employees are 100% efficent in which that is far from the case.

      • Thngs that make u go hmm? says:

        Amen I totally agree! Not all civil servants are inefficient. Me as a civil servant, I work pretty hard to serve my country but im constantly slammed for the inefficiencies of a minority of lazy civil servants. Yes, they exist but they also exist in the private sector. I won’t name names…

        • Living in Hells kitchen says:

          I agree to they are not complaining about something that is irrelevant. Ministers SHOULD TAKE A PAY CUT FIRST BEFORE ASKING THE LOWEST PAID WORKERS TO DO SO. Its just not fair to anyone in this country or anywhere for that matter to have to be subject to pay cuts while dis good for nuttin government skates and slides with our money. and they want a pay increase.

  3. sigh says:

    i dont understand how they can demand a guarantee that there will be no redundancies or wage reductions. I highly doubt a government, any government will guarantee this. Guarantee is a very strong word.

    While i may agree in principle with the ideas of the BPSU in this matter, I cannot support this action based on their premise that government must GUARANTEE this.

  4. Up & Ova says:

    Good point & I agree shawndg re many getting paid much less with less or no benefits. However, on the issue of price freeze – that is definitely that must be considered and in fact resolved. Because we are being made to accept pay (salary) freezes with no freezes on food/grocery items and the like. Something’s got to – & must give ease the people up.

  5. Cush says:

    Shawn D well said, and how do you exspect Government to put a freeze on Food . Wow you are sooo off the wall. Food prices are going up all over the world, when oil goes up so does fertilizer, when fertilizer foes up so does food prices. Just but less food we are an over weight bunch as it is take it as a good thing. And yes I am a Government worker but cant stand the tired and lazy attitudes.

    • rubber bong says:

      i understand u can’t dictate the price of goods but the govt can offer tax reliefs on certain goods which should trickle down to the consumer. it may not be much but some ppl need all the help they can get…every person’s situation is unique.

  6. Hmmmmm says:

    What a group of losers. If they want to do something about food prices march on MarketPlace instead. I am sick of my people demanding socialism and communism to protect their capitalistic ways. Food price control and mandated price controls on goods are possible but they go hand in hand with other things that don’t match our system of Government. Typical selfishness. The moment you freeze prices and affect the profit margins of those affected businesses they’ll use that as an excuse to lay off people and the cycle continues. Maynard Dill confessed that you all have it too good now so back off and focus on turning around planning applications faster, getting cheques to people on time and answering the phones for a change. Go and do some work !

    • Terry says:

      Well said Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

      Too much time on facebook, BIAW, and here…..Damn…late for a burr et dee Lubstah Putt………

    • onion says:

      They talk to government,because going to Marketplace will hurt those working for Marketplace (loss of profit so redundancies, etc). Government can lower some of the import duty on products so that they can freeze the price of foods. This is no different from government mandating that you can’t buy imported vegetables if the Bermuda grown ones are ready, you never see them together in a store. If there are Bermuda carrots there aren’t any imported ones.
      As for the “lazy” civil service I have to agree things in Bermuda are done abysmally.

    • M.Bouazizi says:

      You’re right for sure.
      A couple of points….someone mentioned in a post yesterday about bad sentence construction/spelling in a document probably written by a civil servant (for delivery by a Minister). Same person at work here, looks like. Have a look at the first 5 lines of the BPSU proclamation and see how many errors there are…..and what was that comment someone wrote above about highest paid NON College Grads?
      In that same document words used…”Mandated” “Encouraged”. Hmmmmmm indeed…it sounds North Korean to me.
      Do they get paid if they are out on their march?

    • LOL (original) says:

      Just a question what type of duty is charged for food by Government this also effects the price as it is past on to the consumer. Bus drivers are not the only ones who have had to take a pay freeze.


  7. Up & Ova says:

    point taken re the domino effect on prices and related ironies…if anything, if the local essential products cannot be placed on a price freeze , with govt (the incumbent & the next) putting an ease on local biz taxes, and ah hem of course their (the MPs) salary to be kept in line until (if ever) the state of the world economy moderates…

  8. SMDH LOL says:

    if government workers have to take a pay cut then all politicians should take one as well. i’m sorry i’m not a government worker but the hell if i would take a pay cut in these days but yet they still want people to be out there bussing their asses working 60 plus hours for straight pay. HELL TO THE NO!! TELL THOSE DAMM PEOPLE TO TAKE A PAY CUT CONSIDERING THEY DONT EVEN WORK FULL TIME. SORRY BUT I WOULDNT AGREE TO A PAY CUT IF I WAS A GOVERNMENT WORKER. HOPE ALLS TURNS OUT OK MY PRAYERS ARE WITH THOSE WOKERS.

  9. Just Curious says:

    BPSU members need to know.

    The cost of shipping anything to Bermuda ( in the middle of nowhere) is gone up! that because OIL read OIL prices all over the world is gone up! do the MATH! stop whining on everything. there are more than 1000 people without a JOB! who need help not you!!!!

    • Bob says:

      Nonsense–Grocery store profit margins are already obscene. Any increase in cost to ship/fly product into Bermuda can be absorbed and still afford the store owners a reasonable return. And yes the GOB can, if they so choose to, place a freeze on the prices of essential food products such as dairy (primarily milk) water and medicines. Additionally,why can’t doctors reduce their fees in times like these. Health Care is essential and while I get that it’s a business,Doctors and dentist have all but created a fail safe business environment by limiting the competition and as such are doing very well thank-you. What a racket!
      We’ve done the math, Just Curious, and it just doesn’t add up for those at the lowest end of this totem pole.

      • Right on Bob.. Where is it stated that a doctor must charge $85 for a 15 min poke and probe or that to make a profit the grocery store must increase the cost of a particular item %300 when they notice that item it is flying off the shelves.. Greed boss, simply greed…

  10. is this Disney World??! says:

    Ummm…Dear BPSU….

    the government does NOT own any grocery stores….they are all privately owned and operated….the government needs to cut back like so many others around the world and unfortunately that means some workers may need to be made redundant or take a pay cut. The only legal recourse the govt. can probably take in relation to food prices is to lower the tax on imported perishables. I do agree that govt ministers could stand to take a pay cut/freeze on their personal salaries. It would be great to have ppl in office that genuinely cared about whats right for Bermuda more than their own personal ambition, greed, power and prestige and i’m making this statement in reference to ALL 3 parties!

  11. is this Disney World??! says:

    by the way….. is works and engineering so over staffed that we have to now cut “windows” into bus sheltors to keep them busy and cut down precious trees that are actually helping to keep the soil from turning into mudslides during heavy rains?!

    • White-Collar Gumment Worka says:

      Dear Disney World & Others,

      Whilst I would be inclined to agree with you about the efforts of a fellow department I think you have gone a bit of base with this comment. Government entering into this fiscal year has slashed budgets left, right and center to clear the outstanding debt post Ewart Brown. And the first cut was the non-renewal of consultant contracts i.e., redundancies(ex-pats) in addition to closing advertised salaried posts in a number of departments that could be also buffer the unemployment rate for Bermudians who were made redundant from exempt companies.

      And let’s not forget about Bermudians in Training. Training budgets for Bermudians qualifying in specified fields were also cut by more than 40%. So, what happens to them and their future?

      Here’s a little lesson for all who have somehow managed to conjure up a preconceived notion about government and the lackthereof since this announcement came into effect. The domino effect begins at home. The primary source of our beloved island is generated through International Business. Here’s an example to provide a bit of transparency to show that government is taking a stance and is taking cuts/reductions/loss/etc. Last year’s budget saw the Ministry of Education awarded 77 million dollars– this covered maintenance of schools, educational resources, programmes, etc. That budget has now been reduced to 13 million– which now means that your teachers are not fully equipped to educate your children (public) and often forfeit profits from their own salary to ensure that the learning environment is conducive to your child’s learning. Yet, parents spend more time on $300.00 blackberry phones instead of fostering better communication skills and equipping/preparing their children to become future Accountants, Lawyers, Tradesmen, etc.

      And to prove that Government should further consider taxation not just in the food arena but also, the private sector. In the Accounting/Auditing profession alone there is a shortage of Qualifed and Educated Bermudians, each month companies like Deloitte, KPMG, make application with the DOI (Department of Immigration) to employ at least 30 Accountants/Auditors on a temporary basis, at very low salaries. What Bermudian do you know will work for such? The question is not about how many people it takes to construct a wall, but more or less whether Bermudians are being employed and paid to cope with the economic times.

      I guess no one ever considers that some people (and not all W&E workers)have accepted a role just to provide for their families whilst jobs are scarce. I’d rather see 12 guys constructing 1 window instead of spending more time shooting one another because they lack the minimum to even work earnestly.

  12. rubber bong says:

    i think the gist of the action is to show govt that that every one is suffering. we understand that a pay freeze maybe necessary but if we freeze pay and everything around us continue to climb, that puts ppl already struggling in an even worst position. as an example, the qualifying threshold for child daycare has been reduced from an income of $70K down to 50K which puts a high strain on single parents already struggling. the focus is not complaining per se but holding govt to take responsibility for their part in getting the country in this financial mess. if the govt had saved just what was written off in capital project overspends in the last few years, we would be in a MUCH better financial position. we all blame Ewart for wasting out money but he is just one man. the rest of his team that were just as responsible are still in decision making positions. Permanent Secretary Marc Telemaque told Accountant General Joyce Hayward to ‘just make it happen’, Joyce ‘made it happen’ even after knowing that she was missing critical documentation (against financial instructions) and Minister of Finance (now Premier) Paula Cox signed off because she was just a ‘cog in the wheel’. no matter how crazy or un reasonable Ewart was, if everyone else around him had just done THEIR job, we would be in a much different place. In my opinion this march is about frustration at what we the ppl have been receiving over the last few years from the same group of ppl. a general election is around the corner and this is VERY bad PR for Paula and company.

    • Common sense says:

      Very well said it took a team of MP’s and their decisions and management or missmanagement of funds on capital projects i.e Kings Wharf, TCD, Berkeley School and the new Court/Police building to contribute to this economic slump and position we find ourself in. The workers suffer for MP decisions once again…Crying shame

  13. Truth is killin' me... says:

    As long as Paula has got “hers” for her hats…the world is ok!!!GET UP…STAND UP…STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS!!!!!!!!

  14. White-Collar Gumment Worka says:


    Reading the number of comments posted on this site, I must say that I have been rather entertained (and @ the same time just flabergasted). However, the common denominator in this very simple equation is this– despite the current economic climate, the climb in prices on any goods (world-wide or locally) fuel, food, transport, etc. has a global effect and cutting taxes would have serious implications. Conversely, it would make quite a bit of sense to lower taxes or have tax exemptions on certain goods namely food, especially for grocers who import food. In the UK food is NOT TAXED!! Bermuda does not have the resources to sustain and feed a population of 60,000 +. Everyone has to eat so, logically it would make more sense to lower taxes in this regard or invariably until a happy medium is reached.

    Onto another matter, although it is not general practice for Government employees to voice an opinion an earlier sentiment was shared regarding the welfare of the employees and here are a few things to consider since some of the “entertaining” comments are spawned from sheer ignorance. Most organisations (with the exclusion of most exempt companies) are unionised or are required to meet a standard of such. Having a union is essential for the primary reason of safeguarding and/or protecting one’s job.

    Consider this, if the union did not call on Ministers’/Government to make or consider the above mentioned than who would be responsible for highlighting such— I don’t think that any would expect the Opposition to do so when the majority vote lies with THE PEOPLE OF BERMUDA including GOVERNMENT WORKERS! At least in this regard the Union can facilitate action (or as S Brown mentioned genuine action) to provoke a further reaction causing Cabinet to CONSIDER change. At the end of the day Government workers do not receive big bonuses, mortgate subsidies/benefits, nor does Government’s pension scheme seem rewarding (perhaps some of you should look that up), like many exempt companies who at the end of the day can also write off their losses as a tax write off. Or pack the heck up and leave at will moving to another jurisidiction unconcerned about the well-being of Bermudians. I guess that was also something that was merely overlooked!

    In closing, like S Brown quite rightly coined there are many White-Collared Government Employees along with a number of Blue-Collared Employees who obtain post-graduate/university degrees married with a host of qualifications AND WORK HARD. To categorically lump all Government workers as inept or unable to construct a sentence is purely ignorant. There is and will always be an arrogance coupled with laziness in ANY organization where the productivity of an individual is assessed by his or her attitude or overall WORK ETHIC. Don’t get confused people IGNORANCE does not exclude those who post rhetoric comments.

  15. rubber bong says:

    what many of you non civil servants don’t realize is that govt offered a 1.25% increase for the civil service. the civil servants are proposing a counter with an offer to freeze their own pay and reject an increase if it means saving jobs (which we know would come from the lower levels of job types). so if u ask me, they are not complaining, unreasonable and being greedy like many of you think but quite the opposite. they are looking out for the people under them.

  16. Michelle says:

    Well said rubber bong :)

    Unfortunately, ther are still far too many apathetic ppl in Bermuda with a “it isn’t directly affect me so I’m not getting involved/worrying about it ” attitude which is exactly what the ‘powers that be’ bank on.

    The general election is not far away and the ppl of Bermuda must get involved, demand that government officials are accountable for the way in which they spend/use funds.

  17. Its time to STAND UP says:

    Rubber Bong and White-Collar… WELL SAID!

    Michelle, I agree with you wholeheartedly, Bermudians are apathetic…until they receive an awakening!! We HAVE to stand together and I would encourage ALL organisations who are tired of the way the Government is running things to join the BPSU on Tuesday. A collective voice is stronger than any individual’s!

  18. Watching! says:

    And the best part is yet to come! They will be voted back in and the madness will continue. Well done Bermuda! You got what you wished for! Enjoy the free bus rides….if you can find a bus!

  19. rubber bong says:

    they only thing saving the PLP is the sorry state of the opposition. the opposition has trouble just trying to find 36 candidates let alone providing real competition. GIVE US A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE!

  20. Not a bystander.... says:

    I write to show my 100% support for the march.
    What the general public may not realize or know is that civil servants directly see and hear how money is being spent on many unnecessary and frivolous things across many government departments. Meanwhile, redundancies have ALREADY been made to BPSU members and I’m not talking about the temporary workers.

    The civil servants are not selfish, lets get that one point straight! What they are is smart and no longer going to stand by and be taken advantage of. Hence the decision to march to send the message that we demand more from our government. We don’t want more money, we want to keep our jobs!!! We are willing to take a pay freeze. During this economic climate we know we are VERY fortunate to have a job. HOWEVER, with that said, we can no longer sit and watch $$$$$ being spent left right and center after the “austere” budget that was announced earlier this year. The premier will not confirm that she won’t make redundancies. Lets look at the broader picture…. if redundancies are made in gov’t then that is one less person contributing to the economy.

    Having just watched the national address by the Premier, I can’t lie, I am disturbed and dissapointed at the outright statement that cuts will not be made to ministerial salaries. I heard further dialogue indicating “…I would not expect them to do the same taxing job for less”. Well lucky you ministers! Because she has certainly been sending the message that she expects the civil servants to do MORE for LESS. Is this fair?

    Onward and Upward Together!

  21. Face the Nation says:

    Former Premier DREB is comfortably sitting in the pavilion watching the gladiators fighting . While the spectator sport is at its’ zenith , Rome is burning all around us . DREB meanwhile , is sitting back observing from a safe distance the full effects of his handy work ,he sure knew how to work that scapel .
    We are seeing firsthand in our life the sort of blight that took out our beloved cedar trees in nana and papas’ time . Now it is affecting our very quality of life . DREB crippled Bermuda financially , Period . I wish there was a way to punish DREB for his misdeeds and dishonourable service to Bermudas’ purse .

  22. Watching! says:

    And they will return to power! Blah, blah, blah!

  23. shirley Richardson says:


    • liars says:

      you, among other things, need to learn how to spell!

      • shirlely Richardson says:

        Yes I mis spelled some words , but i hope you get the message. we all should take a break from theses cynical diatribes, in fact this dribble everyday is getting quite boring,some of theses folks sound like they are members of the TEA PARTY NATION.IS MY SPELLING OK? IF NOT I’M SURE YOU OR SOMEONE WILL CORRECT ME.

        • Face the Nation says:

          You know Shirlely or Shirley ,however you decide to spell your name is entirely up to you . Have you or anyone in your family in Bermuda ever been part responsible to pay back one billion dollars ?
          Give it some thought whenever you find some quiet time . Maybe you work with figures all day , I don’t know . Reflect for a moment on how difficult it was for you or your parents to aquire a home here ,thats if you indeed have a mortgage , again ,I don’t know .
          On the surface this march may seem to be rooted in selfishness , that seems to be the jest of your message . On a deeper level the upcoming march is primarily a gesture to show and tell the Government that we don’t trust them to carry out mutually agreed arrangments .Agreed arrangments that the powers that be have yet to put in writing so that legally we the people could at least shed the unease that is prevalant through-out the civil service .

        • LOL (original) says:

          The only Tea Party in this country is the PLP tea party. It’s prooved every time you and others open their mouths. Keep drinking the kool air Shirlely. Your attempts to flip the script is making everyone who see it ……………………………

          LOL they luch on the screen

  24. Makes sense! says:

    May sound simple but would anyone be just willing to work harder ,eat less,and be thankful to God for having a job and good health.We have what we need as many in the world have not.

  25. Good Day Bernews folks

    All employees of bermuda college were threaten to take a pay cut or some will have to lose their job. In the spirit of keeping everyone employeed we took at 2.3% cut and was guarnateed no one will lose their jobs. I cannot understand why our ministeries would not do the same things considering the amount of money they get paid and some of them have second jobs. We do realize it will not solve our problems, but every little bit helps. Show some support of people who have lost their jobs and lead by example.

    They would the people to scarfice but what are they doing, beside driving large blue cars in Bermuda. For some of them, you would think they would at least read their speeches before presenting as some of them sound as if they need a public speaking or reading class.

    PLP get it together and lead by example.

    I am just tried and we need to remember this when we go to the polls, change is needed. The PLP is kicking us in the butt so why not kick them out to teach them a lesson.

  26. mangrove tree says:

    I dont think any one has mentioned that senior civil servants, and ministers awarded them selves a 5% increase in Oct last i belive, backdated to to July , this applied to those on pensions as well.
    To hell with the needy,give to the greedy

  27. sr says:

    i hope all bermuda that does not support the plps actions come out in protest & don’t go back until the plp government quits just like they did in egypt



    This government along with its previous successors have both tainted the island with overzealous and overpriced ideas that we as the people of Bermuda continue to foot the bill. Despite the commentary, enough is enough. There are cut-backs that could all be measured AND YES, Government should lead by example. $150.00 per diem, 5% salary increase, + Government credit card?? And yet, civil servants unionised at BIU are more concerned with whether or not there is enough $$ in the pot to sustain salaries and all other costs should a strike take place?

    The globaly economy is on a very slow uprise, but with all of the current warfare, natural disasters, etc. etc., Bermuda is a very fortunate and blessed island coupled with ARROGANCE AND IGNORANCE. Compartitively, for a country that prides itself to be the third richest country per GDP, etc. it does very little in safeguarding the intersts of her people. What baffles me the most is that we have a Labour Government in power that does very little for the common labourer or produces enough labour to help its people sustain during this economic difficulties. And I agree, what is the point in having a Communications Department or PR rep for each Ministry, if the Ministers’ can’t fundamentally string a sentence and enunciate words. This is more than just signing a bill draft and putting it into action whilst adding a notch to “this is what I accomplished in this Ministry”…. In theory, ALL Governments broadcast what their intentions are but very few actually execute them.

    And on another side note– it would be in the best interest of this Government to consider employing better suited and qualified Bermudians (young imho) who aren’t afraid to execute IMPROVEMENT and that should begin with the TRAINEES! Instead of this antiquated political ambassadors who parade half-way across the world to dine at the finest restaurants just to say that they ate there and foster NON-EXISTENT BUSINESS relationships.