Video: MP Roban On 4.6% Government Pay Deal

July 29, 2013

Following the deal between the Unions and Government that will see workers take a 4.6% deduction, we need to look at the overall picture including workers facing rising costs and potential impacts elsewhere in the economy, said Shadow Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban.

Last week Premier Craig Cannonier announced that all six Unions and their memberships agreed to a 4.6% deduction in their overall package.

All Public Officers will receive one unpaid and un-worked day per month for two years, there will be a pay freeze until 2015 and incentives offered for workers to take early retirement. The Government said they expect the one unpaid day off to save approximately $21 million a year.

It was also announced a Tripartite Economic Committee would be formed consisting of representatives of the Government, the Employers Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the BTUC.

It was agreed they will “correspond with private sector organizations on the Island to inform them of the concessions” and to “request their cooperation going forward.”

Mr. Roban asked how Government workers “exposure to the costs in the community are going to be addressed. From grocery stores, from our businesses, to the utilities, the banks, and the increasing costs that workers are exposed to.”

“We think that is very crucial, and that if that component of the discussions cannot be adequately addressed and an arrangement found that relieves some of the exposure of workers to those costs, there could be really very little positive effect in this agreement for workers.

“So we hope that every effort is made with the Tripartite arrangement that the Government, Unions and businesses have agreed to formulate has a level of success.”

Mr Roban continued, “Our Government workers are people who live, spend, exist and rely on the Bermuda environment for their livelihood. So they are exposed to the costs just like everyone else.

“So if they are getting a reduction in pay that means less money they have to spend, that means potentially there is less money in the economy. That could impact jobs elsewhere.”

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Comments (32)

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  1. pawdi says:

    **** the oba … got poor black people and old people taking pay cuts what *****.. what about people making 75 k a year or more why not cut them? You ***** **** want to cut pay of people makin 700 a week .. **** the new government

    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      You a punk I’m white making alittle over 500 a week and you talking about old and black people making 700 a week. Deal with it we all are sufffering maybe with the exception of the historically wealthy.

      LOL stop the race thing got nothing to do with the t in China now.

      • Mazubo says:

        Historically and presently most white people have and still make more money then black people so (pawdi) has a point.

        • LOL (original TM*) says:

          You should change your most to some cause I’m guessing you don’t know what most people make. So he might have a point based on a historical point of view. Durring the election we had conversations on here and really the numbers work out to be something like 5-10% of whites have that “old money” everyone else does not. So until some people realize the generalizing like you and your friend’s statement above it really just amounts to haten.


    • Bermyman says:

      Ask Ewart! he is a multi millionaire?

      The people making 75k per year in the private sector are paying taxes to pay your wages, there is not enough tax $$$ to pay wages anymore and the country owes money. It is not the fault on the current government they are the ones who inherited the PLP’s borrowing.

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

    The banks need to ease up on ALL people’s mortgages for a few years but I know they won’t. They’ll just say to come in if you have any issues payin’ on an individual basis and take your house from you!

  3. DarkSideofTheMoon says:

    The sad part about this is that the private sector wants to vilify the public sector and cry for blood and now that the blood is on their hands I hope they don’t cry out when the $42 million dollars taken out of the economy only accelerates job losses in the retail (private) sector. You get what you wish for.

    • Bermyman says:

      When debts from the civil service outweigh revenues from the private sector then you have to cut costs. If you max out your credit card do you keep spending or cut back on expenditure??

      What people have to realize is that the Civil service has over employed and borrowed money to give people jobs. It is a mess! The previous government wasted money on cost overruns on projects in excess of $100m? How may jobs and wages could that $100 million have secured for government workers had it not been squandered or paid into the pockets of private individuals in cahoots.

      Think about it! think about why this is happening, there is no smoke without fire.

      • Young Bermudian says:

        Public service, not Civil Service. Civil Service is only BPSU.

  4. Worker says:

    Has there been a thought to what workers will do in return or some workers I may say. For example since jobs are to be completed in a certain time will Not for what ever reason like not enough time since you have cut my hours. Time will be stolen by other means unfortunately. The good workers will gradually become ordinary ones sorry to say people everything has a price.

  5. Ant si says:

    you know every body just needs to be quite. technically they haven’t even been given a pay cut. they have been given 12 extra days off without pay. this will not effect their pensions or deductions etc.

    everyone is trying to make it look like they are hurting, but in actually everyone else in the country has had to make sacrifices during this time. you all have called for them to make sacrifices and now that they have you are still not happy.

    if you all want to effect change on food prices etc then you do something about it and don’t expect government to hand feed you ideas. boycott stores go to only the store with less expensive prices till they all start to drop prices. what more do you want government to do.

    they have already given tax incentives to stores and business and you still complain. complain to the chamber of commerce. complain to the business with their high mark up.

    why does local produced food cost so much more than imported food. think about it. we needed change we got it. I personally feel that government workers got off easy. should have been a 5% cut without a day off. and I don’t want to hear bout the different pay scales. everyone has struggles regardless of how much you make. and it was fair to go across the board.

  6. Rockfish says:

    How is this going to effect the education system? Will the teachers take their days during the summer break? Seriously was all this thought out and planned before the decision was made? If so where is the information for the public? Transparency my azz.. I need answers as a parent how this will impact my childs education. I pay about I pay one day less of taxes each month to offset the inconvenience that may be coming my way.

  7. Claudio says:

    A reduction of pay or no pay. Which would have a more devastating effect on the economy?

  8. SoMuchMore says:

    the pee l pee must remember due to their spending sprees, etc., we’re in this mess.

  9. 4dtractors says:

    Please people, we will all have to make do.

    I am one of those taking that cut, it’s about time, stop being selfish and thinking of yourselves only. People in Bermuda are blessed with an abundance of luxuries and if you don’t believe that you have not looked outside your small neighborhood.

    We will all survive but if we all fight selfishly for our own betterment we will divide society. Societies should come together in crises. The Government appear to have moved forward with a numbe rof initiatives to help and we need to support them.

    If my paycut goes towards one of the 150 new jobs at the Pink Beach Club then I am happy for that new employee and I will simply do without something for a couple of years.

    • words of wisdom says:

      I’m sure u own a house and our well off. People like u r wht I call selfish

      • LOL (original TM*) says:

        Unfortunatly people like you wofw are like the crab in the barrel you don’t want anyone breaking away unless it’s you init.


  10. 4dtractors says:

    @ rockfish, I would hope the teachers as vocational professionals will support the comunity in such times of diffuiculty.

    We should stop ficussing on the negative and be thankful to those that are sacrificing to help others. Our gratitude will encourage more goodwill and better community spirit and less poverty and crime.

    • Unjrust Realities says:

      Vocational professionals???????? Please elaborate!

  11. Vote for Me says:

    The announced pay deal for Public Service employees is quite interesting and I hope it will be followed up with some practical analysis and discussion.

    For example, what is the full estimate of reduced government spending that will arise from the agreement? I think the target was 15%. If this deal gives 5%, where will the other 10% come from.

    How will taking an extra day off per month affect areas such as teachers, prison officers, policeman, garbage collection, bus drivers, nmarine and ports etc. Everyone is already complaining about the difficulty to deliver services with full staff, what will happen when there is less staff.

    There is an argument that if there was no reduction in pay, there would have been layoffs. Was this the real alternative or was it a veiled threat?

    Bermuda clearly needs to reduce the cost of living. Would it have been better for the unions to wait until they got feedback from government on their talks with Belco, the banks and grocery stores before finalising the agreement? Surely government would have felt more pressured if the salary agreement was not settled. it would have also been better for Bermuda if the union discussion resulted in lower costs for everyone.

    If we listen to some of the comments on the blogs and social networks, there is clearly some disquiet with the agreement which may make it easier for teh unions to call for demonstrations in the future if there is limited success with the government discussions with the private sector.

  12. 4dtractors says:

    The unions did the deal with teh Government without talking to or balleting their members. When they held meetings it was already a done deal and they had a patsy set up to raise and second the motions.

    Questions were raised in the meeting that were mpromised responses but these were empty promises no responses were received and the deal went ahead.

    Clearly for such an important decision memebrs should have been consulted and balloted. The unions however do not support their memebers they support themselves with their members subs.

    I fully agree that we should make sacrifices as do most of the union members, however they unions have run rough shod over the processes and proceedures. While the Govt. may be praised for their role the union should be ashamed. I doubt that they will get much support from the memebrs if they suggest future negotiations as we cannot trust them to take our concerns seriously. Members shopuld start voting with their feet and stop paying their dues.

    If we were to stop paying our membership dues we could afford another couple percent saving for Govt. This clearly is a regulation that should be changed, I would rather take a pay cut than support fat cats who do not listen to their members.

    • Mazubo says:

      I don’t know what union you belong to but a proposal was given by Govt. to take a 15% cut the unions proposal was 5% a motion was moved to accept the 5% and majority voted for it. 5% is better then 15% What part don’t you understand?

  13. Bulldog says:

    @4detractors that deal was voted on by all the memberships. You are either poorly informed or dishonest to say anything to the contrary. Govt offered as 15% paycut… The TUC came up with this alternative which saves the government more money than they needed and amounts to a 4% reduction, meaning that our rates nor benefits were touched. Think about the alternative… A 15% pay cut would ruin me as a married man with a young child and a mortgage. There would be no way that my family could survive. The Govt. is taking credit for this deal but what they were offering as a take it or leave it deal would have ruined many of us and plunged the economy further into recession. We have seen in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain that austerity measures only deepen recession. So this deal was the better of two evils. This statement is neither pro not anti-government. It just was what it was…

  14. 1minute says:

    They got to keep their jobs, which is a deal now-a-days.
    I work a non-government job and I take home less than I did 5 years ago. They expect me to also do the work of the person that they got rid of and I still have to work 5 days a week, every week. Government workers get an extra day off (no pay) that they could do a lilttle hustle if they want…

  15. Navin R. Johnson says:

    Mr Roban what would you suggest? Is a nominal pay cut for all better than reducing the Government by half which is closer to the number we really need and would eliminate the deficit?

  16. Bermuda Boy says:

    Roban, I’d like to see you get a PLP tongue ring. Maybe that would stop your verbal diarrhea.

  17. Mr Roban why did the PLP hire so many Government workers in the first place!? This guy is a complete chip bag! BTW you PLP ministers are popping out of know where all of a sudden, where the **** where u 1 year ago!? The PLP a bunch of noise thats all u were and all u ever will be a can’t take any of them seriously!! Where is the missing money gone ROBAN, o i forgot the PLP answer the easy questions can’t answer the tough ones!!

  18. Realist says:

    Mr.Roban is part of the reason why the Civil Service has to take a pay cut!

  19. Union member says:

    The union dues being reduced?

    • Mazubo says:

      As a union member ya talking stupid. Ya paying just over $600 a year and you get Holiday pay, vacation pay, sick pay, overtime, compassionate leave, maternity leave, paternity leave etc, etc. LMAO

  20. Alvin Williams says:

    With respect to the 5% pay cut and it’s impact on government workers wages. One thing is not been put to the fore and that is the lost of spending power that would have gone directly into Bermuda’s economy. Bermudian workers can look to be squeeze even more in the wake of the tax breaks given to areas of the Bermudian economy such as the hotels. Even if Bermuda’s tourist economy should rebound; we are talking about the long term; in the short term government is going to have to find this now missing tax revenue and guess who they will be looking to for that? The workers of this country. Now there are growing demands that the banks; Belco; insurance payment; all should be lowed in the sprit of this so-called shared sacrifice; but we should not hold our breath if we are thinking that this government is going to do something in this regard. Yes they will make nice sounding specches such as the earlier comments of the government finance minister Bob Richards concerning the high cost of electricity. But since than we have heard nothing as to what the OBA government is going to do with respect to Belco. In fact they will do nothing in the absence of any real protests from the people. In other countries people would take to the streets in protest. They don’t believe that we will do anything and I give you an example where Bermudians will not be taken seriously in thier protests over the high cost of living. Every one grumbles obout supermarket prices; but in the run up to Cup-Match if you stand up in one of the aisles of those supermarkets; you would run the risk of being run over by those gorcery carts filled to the brim as if some one told Bermuda that a famine is about to hit. Yet if we were serious about the high cost of food; all we would have to do was to stay away from the supermarkets for one shopping weekend to show our displeasure of food prices in this country. But that is going to be real hard for most people. I remember back in the day when I was part of a protest up on paliament hill; protesting over the price rise of a dozen eggs going over a dollar.That protest failed because most people said they could not do without thier eggs even for a short period and how much does a dozen eggs cost today four some times five dollars? Governments do not move unless the people pushes them; even the PLP when it was the government and talked about doing something about the high cost of food; the bare essentials if you will; but as soon as the food importers started crying that if they lowered thier prices; they were going to be bankrupt; we heard no more. No it is all up to the people and when it comes to so-called shared sacrifice if we are not careful and show this country that we are serious than this so-called shared sacrifice will be bourne just by us.

  21. Rockfish#1and#2 says:

    The union is damned if they do and damned if they dont.