BTUC Refutes Premier & Minister’s Statements

January 30, 2015

The Bermuda Trade Union Congress [BTUC] said they are “utterly disappointed” by the “accusations” made by Premier Michael Dunkley and Finance Minister Bob Richards yesterday [Jan 29], and have reaffirmed to their members that furlough days “are off the table indefinitely.”

This follows after the Premier said “the required reductions in expenditure just have not been fully reached, contrary to the BTUC’s announcement last night,” which was in contrast to a statement from BIU President Chris Furbert who said they had “reached the required number.”

There are also conflicting reports on whether the Premier was invited to be at the press conference held by the BTUC after the meeting on Wednesday, with the Union saying he was invited but could not make it, while the Premier said he never received an invitation.

Mr Furbert began the press conference by saying “We have invited the Premier to be here with us this evening to make this announcement, but unfortunately he couldn’t be with us,” and the following day the Premier said “I never received an invitation to attend the press briefing.”

The BTUC have provided a full account of the meeting, and also called on the Recording Secretary to “release copies of the minutes and the recording to the public.”

The following is the BTUC’s account of the Working Groups meeting held on Wednesday [Jan 28]:

The evening began with the Working Group determining the dollar value to be achieved.

Mr. Martin Law from the Private Sector Group announced that the amount required was $27 million which meant that the achieved amount was $40 million. Questioned by Bro. Jason Hayward, the Financial Secretary, Mr. Anthony Manders, confirmed that the amount was incorrect and the correct amount was now $22 million. The BTUC calls on the Financial Secretary to confirm or deny this statement.

The Working Group proceeded to examine the Government’s proposal titled Consideration for Additional Savings which we were informed was already agreed to by the Cabinet and equated to approximately $15 million. The Premier referred to the same estimate on “Let’s Talk” Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The first four [4] items discussed were “caps” on Financial Assistance, Consolidation of Schools, Travel and the Agricultural Exhibition.

Recognizing that they were pre-approved items from the Cabinet meeting on Monday, January 26, 2015, the BTUC after some discussion agreed that if these cuts are to be made, it was the Government who must justify its position on these contentious items to the public. The BTUC wondered why the Government needed permission from the BTUC for such cuts.

The BTUC realized it was a sad way for the Government to place accountability on the BTUC for their political decisions. Cost savings on these items totaled $7.4 million.

Next, a conversation ensued concerning Overtime. The BTUC recognized that the original cost savings from overtime equated to $2.5 million. After further calculations, it was realized that an additional $2.5 million could be achieved. The proposal consisted of moving double time to time and one-half in addition to the removal of non-essential overtime. The estimated costs were discussed. The BTUC asked the Government team if they felt the proposal was reasonable. As a result it was agreed that the proposal would amount to an additional $2.5 million in cost savings. The next item for discussion was on a hiring freeze for a twelve [12] month period. The BTUC had proposed this item in their original submission.

We looked at the submission in our original proposal of $10 million and felt that the cost savings were understated.

This $10 million in savings was understated for two [2] reasons:

1] The original estimate of $10 million was based on not filling sixty [60] percent of the reported three hundred and sixty [360] vacant posts that are funded. This information was presented by Government’s technical officers who were present. We felt that if the hiring freeze was properly implemented, only twenty [20] percent of the vacant posts would be filled. As a result using the following calculation: [Posts] [Average Salary] 360 X $66K X 80% = $19 Million The BTUC realize that this particular estimate would result in savings of an additional $9 million.

The BTUC realized that $66,000 used in the calculation was a low-end estimate as the Financial Secretary confirmed that the average salary in the Public Service is actually $78,000.00. Understanding that the average salary is $78,000.00, the same calculation achieves $15 million additional savings as a result. A total savings range between $9 million and $15 million. The BTUC asked whether our calculations were reasonable; after a brief caucus, the Government team suggested that an amount of $6 million was a more reasonable cost savings.

2] The BTUC realized that there could be additional cost savings when persons leave the Public Service, as those positions would not be filled. However, the Government Officials were not prepared to agree on estimated figures. The BTUC was confident that an additional $9 million in savings could be achieved through a hiring freeze. However, the BTUC agreed to the $6 million proposed by the Government Technical Officers.

The BTUC discussed that if the Public Service was to be reduced by a hiring freeze and through attrition, naturally, Employee Overhead would be reduced. The Financial Secretary estimated that cost savings would be in the range of $0.5 million. Dialogue ensued around the Uniformed Services paying fifty [50] percent contributions to GEHI. However it was decided that the Government would have to have that conversation with the Uniformed Services as their Conditions of Service which is legislated would have to be amended.

The BTUC agreed to Government’s proposal that the GEHI contribution that is paid for spouses would increase from fifty [50] percent to seventy-five [75] percent as we recognize that the GEHI is currently underfunded. The cost savings is equivalent to $1.6 million.

The BTUC rejected Government’s proposal of one [1] percent increase in PSSF and it was agreed that this item should be discussed in the Pension and Benefit Working Group meetings under the Public Service Reform initiative, which the Financial Secretary agreed.

At this time the Government group caucused. When they returned to the table, the entire group revisited the proposals line by line. At the end of that exercise, the leader of the Government team, Mr. Gary Phillips, approved the cost savings discussed and indicated that we were successful in realizing our goal. No further proposals were discussed as the Government group was satisfied that the cost saving goals had been achieved.

Acknowledging that the press corps was waiting outside, the Government team was invited to make a joint statement. The Government team indicated that they would prefer to make a statement at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, 29 January 2015.

However, the BTUC felt that they were obligated to report the outcome to their Membership immediately. It was at that point, the BTUC 1st Vice President, Bro. Chris Furbert extended an invitation to the Premier to attend this joint press conference through the Government team.

The Government team left the room and it was indicated to us that persons would call the Premier. We waited and then received confirmation from the Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr. Derrick Binns that the Premier was not coming. As a result, we proceeded with the press conference.

To be clear, the full proposal to be presented to the Premier and the Minister of Finance included:

  • Overtime $2.5 million
  • Hiring Freeze $6 million
  • Cap on Financial Assistance $5 million
  • Schools $1 million
  • Travel $1 million
  • Agriculture Exhibition $0.4 million
  • GEHI Spouse Premium $1.6 million
  • Employee Overhead $0.5 million
  • Total $18 Million

These numbers represent a summary of the cost saving initiatives that were discussed.

The statement from the BTUC concluded by saying they “categorically rebuke” the “slanderous remarks” made by the Premier and Finance Minister and “call upon the persons who were actually in the room” — who they said included Dr. Derrick Binns, Mrs. Cherrie Whitter, Mr. Anthony Manders, Mr. Gary Phillips, Mr. Martin Law, Mr. John Harvey and Mrs. Jonelle Christopher — to “authenticate the accuracy of the above mentioned.”

“We further call on Mrs. Jonelle Christopher, the Recording Secretary, to release copies of the minutes and the recording to the public,” added the BTUC.

“We once again have come to the table with clean hands, a pure heart and in good faith representing our Members and urge the Government to begin to display a level of respect. The foregoing has demonstrated that the BTUC met the required cost reductions. Therefore the BTUC reaffirms to its Members that Furlough Days are off the table indefinitely.”

For all our coverage of the ongoing dispute between the BTUC and Government click here.

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Comments (88)

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  1. Bermudian (Original) says:

    and here we go again!

    • Just sayin says:

      Took the words right out of my mouth.

    • Mockingjay says:

      Lets have the RECORDED and WRITTEN minutes publicized, then again it was Government’s people doing the recording so Lord knows how much would be skewed.
      Then again from Gaming Referendum, Jet Gate, secret taping, G.P. cars license plate switch, suspended contracts (Harbor Front), $350.000 election bribe, Chairman resign, Premier resign (and then appointed WTF), $23 Million to B.T.A with SECRECY, claiming to be BROKE and pulling $77 Million out off their @$$ for a sailboat race and now this DUMB S!@+.
      An Internal Investigation would be highly recommended, compared to looking for CEDAR BEAMS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      LMFAO

      • The Truth and Nothing But the Truth says:

        @Mockingj,, you kill me with your comedy !! But your clueless in finance and politics !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Mockingjay says:

          Can you REFUTE any of the claims mentioned above ?
          TIC TOC

          • What kind of bird is that? says:

            Mockingjay my butt.
            More like a parrot.

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            Sure, in Chris’s statement on Wednesday night, he said they had found $22m, now it is $18m and even at $22m it was short of the required goal line, since it could not be agreed whether the goal line was $22m or $27m.
            Now for Chris’s feeling that it was sad for government run past them the cuts government was going to have to make like the financial aid cap… to that it should be highlighted that the union should have an understanding that particular cuts comes as a result of their confrontation with the union, so yes, the union does have a hand in what will happen to financial aid, only accentuated further by the fact that union agreed to it and may no attempt to find a way to get it off. They were made aware of the consequences that could have been avoided, and had no issue with placing them on the whole community for the sake of their membership. The BTUC has accountability as they wanted to be a part of the budget shaping, even if Chris thinks he has a clean conscious on the matter.

    • Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

      You didn’t really think anything was over, did you?

    • This is hilarious says:

      His Furbert has now backtracked…countless times. He thought saying ‘this is how it is’ before the government has a chance to say anything will make the government bow to his demands. Guess what, not happening. Now he is saying THE GOVERNMENT DID ALL OF THIS because he doesn’t want the private sector (unemployed or employed) to rise up against him and the unions. Hmmm… I suggest you wipe your mouth…that brown stuff is leaking out a little too much now and is making itself visible to the general public!

  2. Jeremy Deacon says:

    Was he … wasn’t he – who cares. Let’s just get this settled!

    • swing voter says:

      I’m hoping they read BerNews comments!

    • Independent says:

      @ Jeremy Deacon,

      I have to stop you there and ask a question.

      Does it matter when the Premier of Bermuda gets up and allegedly lies to Bermudians in a industrial matter that can bring the country to a complete stop?

      • LiarLiar says:

        Well the Unions said that they have achieved the $22mn in requested savings and stated that furloughs are off the table.

        Then in their summary at the end it notes the savings are only $18mn.

        So that is a lie right there.

      • Loquatz says:

        I see no sign that the Premier has lied.

      • enough says:

        When it comes to being honest I think that applies to both sides of the table. Watching Christ Furbert at the news conference on Wednesday evening he said, and his words were” Furlough days are not definitely off the table” does he not remember saying this, so why is he now saying that he said they were off the table. If he doesn’t remember then maybe the tape should be re-run. Someone is not being honest and I believe it is coming from both sides. There is so much hate spuing around right now which is really sad and certainly won’t achieve anything. We will never go forward as long as we keep going backwards. I do hope people realize that if the US finally reaches a tax treaty with Cuba, Bermuda can say good bye to International Business, and right now IB is the backbone of our country because tourism is not doing it and never will if we keep this up. Stop disrespecting each other and lets get the job done. Come and work in the private sector and see whats it like to have to work to keep your job, get a 2 or 3% salary increase, if your lucky, 3 or 4 weeks vacation and 10 days sick leave. Have a great day all.

      • fedup says:

        Independent, does it matter when the BTUC consistently lies about everything, contributing to the destruction of the economy?

        Does it matter that these unions are based on greed, selfishness and a lack of understanding of basic economics?

        Does it matter that Bermuda was once the smallest country in the world that had the financial power to lend money to the world bank, yet, just a few decades later are facing a crippling debt?

        It doesn’t seem to matter to any of the union members who just took half a week off of work.

    • watching says:

      we care! it comes down to credibility and honesty.

      • aceboy says:

        Credibility and honesty? Like the PLP displayed? LOL Please…..

  3. Politricks says:

    The Unions state that the average government salary is $78k!

    As per the latest labour survey report the average Bermudian salary is now $60k which is a $2k fall from the previous year.

    So civil servants make $18k more on average then the private sector and have the gall to claim poverty and refuse overtime reductions and a 1% increase in their pension contributions.

    No instead they say place more taxes on the struggling private sector that has shed 5,000 jobs, so we can continue to be paid our normal salaries, plus our overtime and make up our pension contributions.

    Shared sacrifice my backside.

    Some shared sacrifice there.

    • shut up666 says:

      To bad Mitch you should have voted ubp dumb dumb.

      • Politricks says:

        What a stupid answer….but I shouldn’t have expected much more after reading your dopey posts from yesterday.

        So do you actually dispute the facts in my post?

        You don’t care that social programmes and services have to be cut because the Unions refuse to assist in reducing the largest expense of our annual expenditure (45% = salaries/benefits)?

        Don’t answer after the events this week I know the answer.

    • Santa Claus says:

      Keep in mind that certain jobs pay less (kitchen porters, sales clerks, etc.) There are many of these, which brings down that total number. Government does not have any porters etc on their payroll. Most of the Government jobs make less than the equivalent private sector jobs.

      • Politricks says:

        $78k is at the higher end. If you read the above the Unions’ stated that the $66k is at the low end of the scale which is still $6k higher than the average private sector salary nowadays. No matter how it is spun the lowest average public salary is still higher than the average private sector salary.

        Also, what isn’t taken into account are the benefits received. Examples include but are not limited to the Government (i.e. taxpayer) funded pension benefits, 6 weeks vacation, union/coffee breaks, a crazy number of paid sick days that can be rolled over etc.)

        • GRIZZ says:

          Oh stop spitting out nonsense! Someone with 6 weeks vacation is someone who has been there a very long time. Isn’t anything new…happens in the private sector too, the longer you’re there the more vacation you get so wht is your point.

          • Anbu says:

            No mate the average private sector worker cannot roll over any sick days or vacation days so stop that nonsence right there. Gov workers have the best of everything save those select insurance workers who have everything payed for by their employer. U lot can do whatever u want whenever u want and at the very worst have your position demoted but not ever lose your job. Where as private sector workers can and have lost employment at anytime. Stop ya eegrance

      • Believe says:

        Yes and govt does not have many CEOs of international business either that swings the average the other way. Also there may not be kitchen porters but there are laborers, custodians, junior clerks etc in govt.

        So in private sector if the average wage is $60,000 those kitchen porters etc referred to are earning Less than $60,000 whereas according to the statement above the average salary in the Public Service is actually $78,000.00. That is an $18000 difference from the national average.

        The 66,000 mentioned means nothing – it was an estimate somebody made up. If it IS the low end of the govt payscale, then the it highlights a massive disparity between the private and public pay at that end of the scale – one that is clearly in favour of public employee.

        Everybody needs to stop skewing figures to suit their own narrative. The real figures need to be known or no progress can be made !

  4. js says:

    generally

    a destitute person sees from day to day

    an unemployed person sees from month to month

    a working person sees from year to year

    a person who benefits from inherited wealth sees from generation to generation

    the union is too short sighted and the government is too long sighted

    thus an impasse

    • Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

      Actually many working persons see from week to week, it entirely depends upon how often they’re paid.

    • SMH says:

      Union sees from sick day to sick day and coffee break to coffee break

  5. Terry says:

    Same sheet.
    Different day.
    Better cultivate your gardens folks.
    Shalom.

  6. Politricks says:

    And how can you save $10nm on current vacant positions. If they are vacant you aren’t paying anyone, so how does that exactly equate to $6mn in savings from existing expenditure. Are they paying ghost workers?

  7. cromwell says:

    Don’t go back to the table without the discussions open to the press and public. Don’t hide or let the government representatives hide behind secrecy saws. If they cant state their true positions with the union in open transparent meetings they are hiding some other agenda.

    The Unions are now directly in setting the economic policy for the country and needs transparency all around.

  8. Jeremy Deacon says:

    I do not understand why the Premier and the Finance Minister do not simply roll up their sleeves, order in the beer and sandwiches (a la Harold Wilson) tell their partners they won’t be home for 48 hours and meet the unions to get it sorted.
    Having a go-between seems ready made for misinterpretations.
    Nothing like hearing it at first hand?

    • Onion says:

      Because that’s what they’ve been doing since October.

  9. Terry says:

    As I have stated prior; timeline/s in posting should be made.
    Shalom.

  10. cromwell says:

    Why cant the OBA, or the Cabinet Secretary(Dr.Bins) who is responsible for the Civil Service release any studies they have made regarding the sustainability of the civil service.

    • Bermyman says:

      Its called the Sage commission and it was released sometime ago

  11. Strike fund says:

    “The BTUC recognized that the original cost savings from overtime equated to $2.5 million. After further calculations, it was realized that an additional $2.5 million could be achieved.”

    How can the civil service be overstaffed if there is so much OT floating about. If $5m has been cut, how much are we expected to actually pay and why is it needed?

    • what... says:

      Thats simple… don’t do now what you can put off until overtime!!!

      Lack of management!!!

  12. serengeti says:

    With my own ears, I heard the union representatives say, in the live press conference announcement on Wednesday evening at 6.00pm, that furlough days remain on the table as a last resort. The Premier said exactly the same words. They all said that furlough days remain on the table. I heard it.

    And now the BTUC says ‘furlough days are off the table indefinitely’, and accuses the government of misrepresentation.

    They are lying. I heard them say that furlough days are still on the table. How can anyone trust people like this? They are liars.

    • serengeti is a liar says:

      You need q tips for your ears.. With my own ears I heard the opposite. I do not know who your handlers are but please stop telling blatant lies.

      sincerely,

      • serengeti says:

        Whatever mate. Say what you want. It was broadcast live. I heard it as it happened. The BTUC said furlough days were back on the table as a last resort. That is what happened.
        The BTUC are liars.

      • serengeti says:

        here is what they all said, one after the other, on Wednesday:

        Gary Philips: “The Government and the Bermuda Trade Union Congress (BTUC) agree that furloughs will be considered as a last resort.”

        Michael Dunkley: “The Government and the BTUC agree that continuing the furlough day will be considered as a last resort.”

        Chris Furbert: “This was a good day for the labour movement. Having furloughs yesterday and today, from our point of view, that is a good compromise,”

      • hard at work says:

        Re-read the article. Listen to the press conference again. Both sides DEFINITELY said furlough days would be considered as a last resort.

        January 28 2015 5:58 PM
        Rev Tweed: Govt and BTUC agree furloughs will be “considered as a last resort”

      • Rockfish #2 says:

        Just reviewed the video tapes. Both Dunkley AND Furbert said the furlough days remain on the table as a last resort.

    • Rockfish #1 and #2 says:

      Just reviewed the videos again, BOTH Furbert AND Dunkley said the furlough days remained on the table as a last resort!

      The BTUC are NOT being honest brokers!

  13. ERJ says:

    Furlough days off the table? So it’s layoffs & redundancies instead…

  14. San George says:

    Cut this civil service now! It will be pain now or more pain in the future. There are no silver bullets folks.

    Quo Fata Ferunt

  15. Unbelievable says:

    I’m so bored with this back and forth between the Govt and the Unions. Absolutely bored. Nothing is getting done.
    It won’t make a blind bit of difference anyway. All these little band-aids are only temporary measures. How is $22, mil $27 mil or $40 million going to make a difference against $2.5 billion.

    There is no way Bermuda can avoid default.

    • Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

      Hi Unbelievable, the difference is between the debt and the operating deficit. You are correct, that little bit of money will not help the debt. But this money is not for that, it is for the deficit, or the money the govt is using to operate. For example, you maybe $10,000 in debt, but you get paid $4,000 per month, and your expenses are $4,500. There for you have a deficit of $500. The government is trying to find the “$500″. The $2.1bil in debt is a whole different situation.

  16. Terry says:

    From just snipits it appears the Premier is correct.
    Give or take. Maybe at that time he was not informed by his Government representatives.

    I await.

    • I totally agree with your view Terry. The Premier may not have received the info./ invitation said to have been extended to him…

  17. Grow up! says:

    He said, she said.

    Teacher, he called me a name.

    Are you lot kidding me?

    How dare you tinker with the state of this country and the future of our people with this childish nonsense.

    You are leaders–Act like leaders.

    Here’s some advice–instead of figuring out what name to call next, or play one upmanship–why not figure out how to get this country out of the fiscal mess that’s been building and that plagues our very future.

    The whole lot are you are disgraceful.

    Have a Blessed Day.

  18. Unbelievable says:

    I’m so bored with this back and forth between the Govt and the Unions. Absolutely bored. Nothing is getting done.
    It won’t make a blind bit of difference anyway. All these little band-aids are only temporary measures. How is $22, mil $27 mil or $40 million going to make a difference against $2.5 billion.

    There is no way Bermuda can avoid default.

  19. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    I wonder how much would be saved if the civil servants health insurance was cut back in the same way most in the private sector have been.

  20. Dockyard Lackey says:

    Let me put a different slant on this latest series of miscommunication.
    1. The BTUC did not get the support they expected from the non public sector union members.
    2. The legal notice posted that made the action illegal had a damaging effect on those participating in the protest. Illegal action means no pay, and you know the union is not going to pay out anything.
    3. It was getting close to the end of the week and the end of the month. If Accountant General staff were sitting on their bottoms at the Cabinet Office, who was going to authorize payments of wages and salaries.
    4. BTUC knew this was happening and agreed following the meeting to get back to work. This included NOT taking the furlough day dispute of the agenda.
    5. In an effort to save face they held a press conference and gave out skewed information about how they had reached a resolution.
    In other words, they lost ground but refuse to admit defeat.
    Time to sit down properly and get this sorted out once and for all. This stupidity could kill this Island completely. Chris Furbert made a comment at the beginning of the action that the Premier sounded like David Gibbons in 1981. To refresh memories and to inform those not around at that time, he forecast the end of tourism as a product in Bermuda. He was spot on and had it not been for the fortunate and timely arrival of IB on the Island, we would have been sunk. Over the last six years of the PLP tenure in Goverment, IB was hounded out. This coupled by the global recession, which the PLP refused to acknowledge, and the blatant financial mismanagement contributed entirely to our current state of affairs.
    Let’s right the sinking ship NOW!

    • Unbelievable says:

      This right here.

    • Cow Polly says:

      Spot on………

    • watching says:

      There is so much wrong with your post, but I will say that if anyone refused to acknowledge the global recession it is the current Finance Minister Richards who blamed every financial problem on the PLP. Now that he is in the hotseat he has no answers.

      • Family Man says:

        Not true. Bob is publicly on record as warning the government of the day that things were going to get bad and the government needs to make preparations.

        The Col. is also on record as calling him an alarmist and saying his green people see nothing but good times ahead. Perhaps the Col was just speaking for certain individuals and not the country as a whole though.

      • LiarLiar says:

        Mr. Richards stated that the economy was overheating.

        The PLP response was that he was a fear mongerer and that the PLP would rather have an overheating economy as opposed to a luke warm one. Exemplifies the brilliant economic minds in the Opposition’s ranks at the time (and probably still).

    • Bermyman says:

      Very good points!

      This is an orchestrated coup by the PLP, BIU and Tweed. In every they spread false truths via propaganda, the transmission methods are Radio, Church and Town hall. The Sheeple allow this hate filled and divisive propaganda to cloud their judgement. But as soon as the sheeple see their protest days go unpaid they go back to the feeding trough of government, slowly sucking the marrow out of our Island’s financial future.

      99% of the people who were out there earlier this week are PLP voters. They supported the financial demise of Bermuda by failing to question their PLP government when Billions was borrowed and squandered. Now they must pay the price for the actions of their masters. The OBA do not need to pander to these people, these people will leech Bermuda into the third world given the chance.

      LET 500 JOBS BE AXED THEN THEY CAN GO CRY TO THE UNION!

  21. LiarLiar says:

    I don’t understand the Union. In the first paragraph they confirm the reduction target was $22mn.

    Then in their last summation point they note only $18mn was achieved.

    Therefore, the Premier is correct that the target has not been met as agreed by all parties involved.

    Also, when calculating the likely savings from the hiring free why would they use the upper estimates of the civil servant salary of $78k. So if they are going to fill 20% or 72 jobs out of the 360 vacant positions are they saying that each and everyone of those positions average a wage of $78k annually?

    If that is the case then one must assume that all the supporters of the actions over the last week were either exaggerating or lying about how poor the average government salary is in comparison with the private sector.

    I even read and heard claims that most government workers make only around $40k a year with others claiming that because of the one furlough day a month some were required to get 2 extra jobs to make up the one day’s missed pay.

    When calculating the possible cost savings of the hiring freeze wouldn’t it be sensible to use the lower average salary figure of $66k (which is still higher than the average private sector salary) for conservative purposes?

    Sounds to me that the Union reversed engineered their numbers to achieve the result they desired. Glad to see the Government representatives were smart enough to catch that and reduce the Unions’ unrealistic $15mn estimate to a more realistic figure of $6mn.

    Either way no matter how you slice it the two ends of the civil servant average wage ($66k to $78k) is still superior to the average private sector wage of around $60k.

  22. Dylan says:

    How can 2 groups at the same meeting give different accounts of what was agreed and achieved. Surely there is a document signed by both parties so this very thing doesn’t happen.
    I was very surprised to hear that the “average” salary in the Civil service was $78,000 , i bet you i wasn’t the only surprised.Makes me look at things a little different
    I do know this 2020 is not far away and where is the monies coming from to pay the first loan off

  23. Why haven’t we heard more from the Auditor Generals Office in reference to the millions of dollars,(that Govt. can use)spent on various projects an example, the Port Royal Golf Course? There’s still unaccounted spending of $ that were wasted for starters :-(

  24. Toughchit says:

    I love the logic of the hiring freeze.

    It is akin to me saying, “well I was going to build me a mansion in Tucker’s town, but since in decided against it I saved $10mn!” Genius I am I tell you. Pure and utter genius.

  25. Believe says:

    Can anyone answer the following:

    If as according to Sage commission all government departments are overstaffed, why is there EVER a need for overtime (excluding major events for certain services) ?

    What does “non-essential overtime” even mean ? Why would it ever occur ?

    Are salaried government employees actually receiving overtime payments ? If so, why ? Salaried employees generally do not get overtime in the private sector.

    Why, if government is overstaffed are they budgeting for 360 vacant posts in the first place ? They are vacant, they should remain so unless there is specialised expertise required.

    Finally – why does it cost $400,000 to run a 3 day agricultural show on grounds that do not need to be rented and where there is an entrance fee and the concessions pay fees to be there ?

    There seems to be so much inefficiency everywhere, it is mind boggling.

  26. Just asking says:

    Question: With the closing of the Ag show. Will schools still be opened as they are normally closed for students to attend and participate . They will have to change the school calendar now.

  27. ImJustSayin says:

    It seems that under the NWO like every country Bermuda is under a monetary system. That prevents Bda from printing money. You have a physical policy and a monetary policy. Monetary policy is when you print money, witch could be bailout money. Physical policy is budget and spending. In order to get out of debt is to spend using physical policy. Being on that system is why Bermuda doesn’t have a monetary policy. The GovernmentGovernment’s passed and present are hiding a lot from the people.

    • never never says:

      PMD you have lots all creditably from the first time Bob sent that letter It was clear you weren’t being genuine you will go down as the worst premiere congratulations SMH

  28. Triangle Drifter says:

    Canceling the Ag Show does not even cover the cost of interest on the debt for 2 days.

    Surely it can be run by non Government people. Even grounds clesnup. A landscaping company could have the job done in less time with far fewer people costing much less.

    • Believe says:

      How is the cleanup a cost to government. They have parks dept, works and engineering and even the regiment all of whom are already being paid. Would/Could they not just be redirected for 3 days ?

  29. tom cooke says:

    I was speaking with a buddy earlier on this evening. .. this 20 or 30 mil..that we are trying to save … is a drop in the bucket… if we don’t or can’t pay… the boogie man will come…and he will just say goodbye 3000 govt workers… Cuz the govt has NO money.
    I was also saying we need a well known but non party aligned person to explain in words that even the most uneducated person could understand what will happen if we don’t or are unable to pay….

  30. GRIZZ says:

    I am a little confused at the fuss. Yes Chris Furbert went into the meeting on Wednesday agreeing with the Government that furlough days would be the last resort. AFTER the meeting he stated that savings were found and furlough days would be off the table indefinitely. So he didn’t lie he just changed his position on the matter. Am I wrong with my understanding of what went on

    • Sad says:

      He didn’t find the savings. It says so in the BTUC release

  31. Never Never says:

    After they union found the cost savings they were mad and do what they usually do move the cheese. They really don’t give a rats a@@ about working Bermudians well just the paper ones shame on you lol hahahahaha smdh

  32. Hang up and try your call again says:

    Just out of curiosity, what does the management of the union make? I’ve heard some pretty hefty sums, and wonder whether they’re also going to make any sacrifices towards cutting their own costs – and do it for the members they look after? Will they disclose their own finances and have it vetted by an independent auditor?

  33. Reality Check says:

    I hope nobody is fooled by the BTUC hype about who did or didn’t say what , and when they did or didn’t say it . The issue remains that the BPSU wants all of the rest of us taxpayers to continue funding their unjustifiable employment . I don’t think anyone cares if it was the Gov or the unions that proposed the latest cuts ( Ag show etc ) ? It is sickening that Bermuda is supposed to satisfy the greed of the BPSU at the expense of the poor and school children . Disgusting !!