Police Statement: Cut/Pension Offer

March 1, 2012

The Bermuda Police Association released a statement last night [Feb.29] saying that they are “prohibited from agreeing to the Government’s request or any other offer as long as we are bound by contract.”

The Association said they were considering Government’s option, however during deliberations questions arose regarding the legal ability of the Association to agree to the request.

“We have since been advised by our lawyer that due to the way the Association was established by the Police Act, 1974 and the Bermuda Police Association Regulations, 1968, the Association is restricted by law in how it can represent its members. We are advised that the Association does not have the scope or power of a normal trade union,” said the statement.

The full statement follows below:

As most people will be aware, the Bermuda Police Association was asked by government to consider taking a 9.5% pay cut that would be mitigated by a freeze in pension contribution for a period of one (1) year.

Since that time, we have been considering that option along with other options designed to save government money, in the spirit of the request. However, during our deliberations, questions arose regarding the legal ability of us, the Association, to agree to the request. We considered it prudent to seek legal advice on the matter.

We have since been advised by our lawyer that due to the way the Association was established by the Police Act, 1974 and the Bermuda Police Association Regulations, 1968, the Association is restricted by law in how it can represent its members. We are advised that the Association does not have the scope or power of a normal trade union.

Our limited powers and objects do not allow us to agree to any variation of the conditions of service established by the Permanent Police Tribunal. We have been further advised that should we, the Association, agree to the Government’s request, we may render ourselves liable to redress by individual members through the judicial process.

Based on the legal advice we have received, we are of the opinion that the Bermuda Police Association is prohibited from agreeing to the Government’s request or any other offer as long as we are bound by contract. Our current contract expires at the end of September 2012, so there may be an opportunity to consider options during the new contract negotiations.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Interesting says:

    It is interesting how your headline says that the offer was declined when in actual facy the statement says that they are prohibited as to what they can do.

    • Paul says:

      The headline appears biased and intent on causing disaffection against the police. Bernews must understand that they have a responsibility to appear and be unbiased in reporting. This headline is misleading and in fact outright false. From what I read, the police were willing to accept the proposal bar its prohibition.
      CHANGE THE FALSE HEADLINE. Respect those who secure us.

    • all clogged up says:

      Sooooooooo…..They declined it because the offer was prohibited under the current structure…..HATS OFF TO BPS, THE ONE GOVERNMENT FUNDED AGENCY WITH BACKBONE AND THE WILL TO PLAY BY THE RULES AND THE LAW.

  2. Watcher says:

    c’mon BERNEWS, adjust the headline, the Police have clearly stated that as they aren’t a union they can’t unilaterally agree to the proposals on behalf of their membership. They have not refused the deal, gov’t will just need to look at another way to do it, it will be difficult as the police also have contract officers and each contract would need to be changed maybe an individual mandate for each officer?

  3. BIU says:

    It will be interesting to see if the BIU accepts this offer. Chris Furbert has publicly said that he is “PLP for life” which I take to mean that he will support the PLP no matter what they do, good or bad.

  4. Miriam says:

    Perhaps I am missing something. The whole world is having problems with finances. So, if the police decline, are they now willing to see many of the foreign police sent back home? Just saying.

    • Watcher says:

      Miriam, read the actual article and not the headline, the Police did not decline! the matter hasn’t even gone to a vote of their membership the Police association is not a union hence they are not empowered to represent the members of the service in this matter, Gov’t will just need to come up with a creative way of addressing the matter with each individual officer.

  5. rocky two says:

    And the government did NOT know this when the approached the BPS? Just shows once again how little thought/reasearch goes into this government’s idea’s!

  6. Winnie says:

    Willing to see many of the foreign police sent back home, hmmmm,lol. Maybe 8,9,10 years ago in todays Bermuda I think not. Its a psychological thing with numbers, up to strength,not up to strength. If you noticed in the last budget the monies allocated to the BPS is back up to par. Govt def won’t play with police strength in todays Bermuda.

  7. Kickin says:

    More than likely G’ment knew this from day one, now they’ll blame the Police association of not having the country at heart…. Gonna have to spin it some way!

  8. Rockfish#2 says:

    @ rocky two,
    Another example of incompetence! Cox should have directed the relevant Civil Servant/Government Department to do the research BEFORE approaching the Unions.

  9. VOTT!! says:

    Govt has been jerking the police service around for years. Govt owed them back pay and owed them pay increases that had been agreed upon years prior. So now that govt’s well has run dry govt went to the Bermuda Police Association looking for relief and were told “sorry we can’t cooperate for legal reasons”. Sounds like someone in the police ranks told their lawyer to “find a valid legal loophole so that we don’t have to do this.” Hmmm.