Minister Fahy On Two-Day Tripartite Retreat

November 20, 2013

Based on the discussions at the recent two-day retreat, it is “clear that the collective thinking of Unions, Employers and the Government is aligned,” Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy said.

The Minister was speaking today [Nov 20] in the Senate about the Tripartite Retreat held last week at the Fairmont Southampton on the 14th and 15th November. The two-day event was focused on the economy on day-one and labour relations on day-two.

The Minister said that aaround 120 individuals representing Unions and employers attended, as did Premier Craig Cannonier, the Minister of Finance Bob Richards, the Minister of Economic Development Dr. Grant Gibbons and the Minister of Tourism & Transport Shawn Crockwell.

“Based on the output from these discussions, it is clear that the collective thinking of Unions, Employers and the Government is aligned,” said Minister Fahy.

“The documented views, opinions and ideas generated as output from the Retreat discussions will now be shared with the Economic Tripartite Committee and used to help shape the work of the Committee as we move forward in the best interest of Bermuda.”

The Progressive Labour Party previously said they were “mystified” by the One Bermuda Alliance “claiming that collaboration is needed while also excluding the Party from the Tripartite discussions.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Madam President, I’m pleased today to report on the Tripartite Retreat held last week at the Fairmont Southampton on the 14th and 15th November. The two-day event was focused on the economy on day-one and labour relations on day-two.

The first day of the event was hosted by the Tripartite Economic Committee.

Senate Colleagues will recall that in July this year a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Bermuda Government and the Bermuda Trade Union Congress (BTUC) was signed. The Government sought the BTUC’s assistance in helping to reduce the current deficit through cost cutting measures.

One of the agreements reached in the MOU was the formulation of a Tripartite Economic Committee. The BTUC’s position that any economic recovery initiatives for Bermuda that involves unionised bargaining groups should have union input was accepted by the Government representatives.

Madam President, it was against this backdrop that as part of the MOU the formulation of a Committee with the active participation of all tripartite partners was agreed and accepted by the Government.

In October 2013, the Premier appointed me, the Minister of Home Affairs, as Chairman of the Tripartite Economic Committee. The Retreat provided a platform to commence our work as a Committee.

Madam President, day-one of the Retreat was designed to invite wider input into the work of the Committee with a view to engaging the delegates in robust discussion aimed at addressing Bermuda’s current economic, social and workforce challenges.

Around 120 individuals representing Unions and Employers attended. I was joined on the first day of the Retreat by the Premier, the Hon. Craig Cannonier, the Minister of Finance, the Hon. Bob Richards, the Minister of Economic Development, Dr. the Hon. Grant Gibbons and the Minister of Tourism Development and Transport, the Hon. Shawn Crockwell.

The summit began with the Premier, the Hon. Craig Cannonier challenging the group to engage in constructive and meaningful dialogue to try and fix the issues the Country is facing.

Madam President, over the course of the day the group was given several presentations, including an economic overview from the Ministry of Finance regarding the state of Government’s debt and revenues.
Minister Richards reiterated the sobering fact that Government must get the deficit under control and increase economic growth.

Meanwhile, Minister Crockwell provided an overview regarding the steps being taken to revive Bermuda’s tourism product, while Minister Grant Gibbons noted that some positive steps are being made in the area of economic development.

The Department of Statistics provided a presentation on the rate of unemployment and the afternoon rounded out with a discussion facilitated by Dr. Janet Fergusson.

Dr. Fergusson posed questions to the group aimed at stimulating dialogue about the Bermuda’s socio-economic condition, the way forward and how to achieve solutions.

Madam President, based on the output from these discussions, it is clear that the collective thinking of Unions, Employers and the Government is aligned. The documented views, opinions and ideas generated as output from the Retreat discussions will now be shared with the Economic Tripartite Committee and used to help shape the work of the Committee as we move forward in the best interest of Bermuda.

Madam President, it was determined at the Committee’s wrap-up meeting at the conclusion of the day that specific presentations from private sector stakeholders and the Opposition will now be organized so that the Committee might have the benefit of a more holistic view of potential collaborative opportunities as well as specific points of integration.

Over the coming weeks these partners will be invited to present specific information. The information gathered via these presentations will aid in the development of a detailed economic recovery work plan intended to guide the Committee’s collaborative efforts.

Madam President, day-two of the Retreat was hosted by the Labour Advisory Council and was dedicated to labour relations training in the areas of Negotiation, Mediation, and Arbitration. The training was facilitated by Evelyne R. Matthews and Arthur T. Matthews of Matthews and Matthews Consulting which is a human resources and labour workforce company. Both trainers serve as adjunct faculty members at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labour Relations.

The training day was intended to sharpen the skills of all those engaged in the labour relations space and to strengthen working relationships between all of the parties – Government, Unions and Employers.

Madam President, the two day Retreat was both informative and productive. I am grateful to all those who attended the event and I look forward to the future with great optimism.

Thank you Madam President.

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Comments (36)

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  1. Ra's al Ghul says:

    The PLP are “mystified”…no surprise there.

    • Ian says:

      As a born and bred generational Bermudian, I do not feel safe under this governments rule. Their very existence is the result of a well executed socio-political experiment [constructed by foreign consultants] that tricked a bunch of small town yocals into believe they were something other than the UBP. They have also proven, much quicker than most skeptics predicted, that they will cater to foreign interests, above and beyond pretty much everything, even to the extent of winning the next election by any means necessary [i.e. creating a new voting support base once they figure out the least tasteless way of doing it]. Oh yeah… all “for the benefit of Bermudians” as they like to put it. I’m not a fan of impassioned opinions but the OBA is, without a doubt, Bermuda’s SELL OUT government – no surprises there.

  2. Mazumbo says:

    I don’t trust this guy !!!!!!

    • jt says:

      Of course you don’t.

    • Joonya says:

      Why not?

    • Mike Hind says:

      Then I guess we all should, seeing as you’re wrong… and I mean completely wrong!… on a regular basis.

    • Say Say Say says:

      We know you don’t like Fahy, Mazumbo and we know why. It has to do with the word ‘lilly’. And if someone said the same about you you’d be crying the race card – why am I surprised? Same old song, same old words. The only language supporters of the Putrid Leeching Party can speak.

    • Lennie says:

      Mazumbo. Please spell it out for us to understand clearly, what is it that you do not trust about Sen. Fahy. I want to know as do many others. Do you know something we don’t…If not just go far far away and please do not bother to comment unless you are constructive.

      • Mazumbo says:

        Because he’s pro- foreigner and so so Bermudian

        • Lennie says:

          For real Mazumbo??? So the Job center, the 10% discount at the grocery stores, just a few things Min Fahy has completed completed this WEEK..these only benefit foreigners?? com on mate..you can’t see because you choose not to. What have you done for Bermuda???

          • Mike Hind says:

            Don’t confuse the issue with facts! “Mazumbo” has smear to spread and mud to sling! Truth be damned!

        • Mike Hind says:

          nonsense.

    • Mazumbozo says:

      Face it Mazumbo. The reason you don’t trust Fahy is – he’s not just ‘white’ – he is ‘lilly white’ and you just can’t handle it.

  3. Realist says:

    Keep up the good work Minister Fahy!

  4. swing voter says:

    So they wanted to be included at the table to draw a line in the sand and threaten anarchy? LOLOL

  5. DarkSideOfTheMoon says:

    Someone said he isn’t even a real bermudian. Is this true?

    • swing voter says:

      non of us are ‘real’ Bermudians…..the FCO can ship all of our black, white, and in-between a**** to any Overseas Territory without notice….yup Northern Ireland subjects can be ‘transferred’ here if the FCO sees fit. You’re not British, nor Bermudian. You’re a BOTC (aka British Subject with no rights to British Citizenship)…..welcome to reality

      • Robert says:

        WHAT ????!!!! you better get a grip !!!! Thats has to be the most insane statement you’ve ever made on this blog. Lmao

        • swing voter says:

          BOTC, however, does not confer any right to live in any British Overseas Territory, including the territory from which it is derived. It is the possession of belonger status that provides this right. Acquisition of belonger status in a British Overseas Territory does not automatically confer BOTC, although most people holding such status are eligible for registration or naturalisation as a BOTC upon meeting the requirements of the 1981 Act. Similarly, it is possible to lose belonger status in a territory while retaining BOTC or British citizenship.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Wow…
        I’m pretty sure you’re not correct.

        Care to back it up?

      • Next says:

        WRONG

        • swing voter says:

          read up on ‘belonger rights’

          BOTC, however, does not confer any right to live in any British Overseas Territory, including the territory from which it is derived. It is the possession of belonger status that provides this right. Acquisition of belonger status in a British Overseas Territory does not automatically confer BOTC, although most people holding such status are eligible for registration or naturalisation as a BOTC upon meeting the requirements of the 1981 Act. Similarly, it is possible to lose belonger status in a territory while retaining BOTC or British citizenship.

    • Lennie says:

      Who is..the skink and cahow??Why the hell does that matter anyways???
      The great Dr. Brown is more American than Bermudian…Dame Lois..was she truly Bermudian… NEXT!!!Seriously if that is all you’ve got you are as shallow as the puddles on Front St.

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      We all know what “real Bermudian” is code for.

    • jt says:

      Define ‘real’ and ‘not real’ Bermudian please.

      • Mazumbo says:

        All depends who you ask, most black Bermudians lineage comes from St. Kitts and Nevis and most white Bermudians lineage comes from England. Both groups made great contributions but in different aspects. The elite whites wanted Bermuda to be a playground- getaway for the wealthy (When Voices Rise)and the blacks fought for Equal rights and justice, hence you have Bermuda. To claim a place where you are born and call it home can be complex with the legal aspect of it especially as a dependent territory. Too Jason Souza you have a good point but what do you call a real American and the Native American was there first or a real Canadian or a real Australian etc,etc these lands where inhabited by Aboriginals.

  6. Dark side of the moon. Please tell me who is a really bermudian. There are people who are born here with no rights. When the first settlers arrive I don’t think any one was living on the island. So who and what is a real bermudian dark side of the moon

  7. bluebird says:

    Man it really agrivates some folks CRAW as the OBA is organized and TRYING to do somethings to “SAVE” Bermuda.
    I do sometimes think that some would prefer us to to be poorer than “HAITI” which is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

  8. bluebird says:

    @Jason souse
    The answer to that would be on our penny.
    On the reverse side of our penny is a “PIG” and that has a two fold reason.
    The first would be the PIG was here first
    And the second would be if you speak to a true born Bermudian,although they understand you they will reply UGH!which is a throw back from the PIG.

  9. Illegal immigrant says:

    Dark side of the moon.
    Mrs.Paula Cox was not born in Bermuda,is she in your view Bermudian?

    • Mazumbozo says:

      Illegal Immigr: The answer is yes. Because people who constantly bitch and moan about whether someone is a real Bermudian are really making commentary about whether they are black. In these sick people’s minds, nobody with a white skin could ever be a real Bermudian. Yet a black American can become Premier and lead us to ruin – but its Ok cuz he’s a ‘son of the soil’ – again really meaning that he’s black so its OK.

      We live in a sick society when people can make anything out of race. A bunch of spoiled children.