E-Polls: Vote On Suggested Cost Cutting Ideas

January 30, 2015

Suspending the Ag Show for a year, consolidating schools, reducing the travel budget, and putting a cap on financial assistance are all some of the cost reduction proposals that have been agreed to by the Government and the Unions, the Finance Minister said yesterday.

The measures — which as described by the Minister would achieve a total savings of $9 million — came after three days of disputes between the Unions and Government, which resulted in schools being closed and public transportation suspended, as public service employees convened on the Cabinet Grounds.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday [Jan 29], Finance Minister Bob Richards said, “To ensure that the public are fully aware of the kinds of cost reductions being considered, I wish to share some of the proposals that have been agreed to by the Government and the BTUC.

Minister Richards said, “The Unions have agreed to our proposed expenditure reductions, including:

  • Place a cap on Financial Assistance to reduce the allocation by $5M;
  • To achieve savings of approximately $1M by consolidating schools;
  • To reduce the Travel budget by $1M;
  • To raise GEHI contribution that employees pay for uninsured spouses from 50% to 75%, saving $1.6M
  • To suspend the Agricultural Exhibition for one year for a savings of $0.4M

“Some of our proposals which were not agreed to by the BTUC included:

  • A cost sharing of employee pensions, increasing the rate paid by employees and decreasing that paid by the Government by 1 %, realizing a savings of $3.5M;
  • A payment of all overtime at straight time. I‎nstead, the Unions agreed to accept overtime that is normally paid at double time, at time and one half. They did not agree to any changes to overtime that is currently paid at time and one half.

The Minister added, “As a further note, the Bermuda Police Service and Corrections Officers were not in agreement in paying 50% of their health benefits, as is the case with all other negotiating bodies. This option is still being discussed with the Bermuda Police Association as it is just and equitable. ‎”

poll CRM 4 (1)

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Should We Suspend The Ag Show?

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Should We Place A Cap On Financial Assistance?

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Should We Reduce The Travel Budget?

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Should We Consolidate Schools?

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Disclaimer: The online polls above should not be construed as scientific polls, and are for interest’s purposes only

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Comments (103)

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  1. just askin says:

    What about optional furlough days for those govt workers who didn't protest?

    Like(101)
    Dislike(17)
    • tee says:

      I agree..to me it means that they agree to support the Furlough.

      Like(32)
      Dislike(3)
    • hmmm says:

      How about optional furlough or % cut in salary.

      Like(18)
      Dislike(9)
    • what... says:

      How about unpaid vacation? This as opposed to furlough can be taken as grouped days and in conjunction with paid vacation... it can be managed and regulated just like normal vacation.

      Like(17)
      Dislike(4)
    • Artsy Onion says:

      Yes, my significant other being a BPSA member was ticked off that his shop steward never informed them about it . He would rather take a furlough than have colleagues made redundant & social assistance reduced for those who truly need it. He said they should vote on it with the optional question of being of having the option to take one.

      Like(10)
      Dislike(1)
  2. Cut Minister's Salary says:

    Cut Members of Parliament Salaries in half

    Like(155)
    Dislike(27)
    • hmmm says:

      Cut CS pay by 1% and put on overtime ban...only for exceptional circumstances eg hurricaine needs should overtime be allowed.

      Cut ministers salaries by 10% this year and 5% next year.

      Have perfomance based assessments.

      Give CS management the training in terms of HR procedures re late, non-performing employees. As long as all protocols are followed then Union must agree that fair and due process was followed and that the employee contract can be terminated. If management can't manage , then how will we ever get efficient. If there is still a beef, then it goes to employment tribunal. Union needs to agree to this completely fair process and communicate it to their members.

      Like(63)
      Dislike(2)
    • Cha says:

      Maybe the MP's would strike plus they were a lot lower before the PLP got into power!

      Like(16)
      Dislike(13)
    • .am says:

      And any CS worker making over 100k - of which there are MANY.

      Like(26)
      Dislike(5)
    • Trulytruly says:

      The problem is there are only 36 of them and 5000+ govt workers. Guess which cost a few hundred mil to pay a year. I agree the MP's salaries could be cut again but don't expect it to make a dent in the deficit.

      Like(24)
      Dislike(0)
      • boss says:

        Yeah butttt, it speaks to shared sacrifice...

        Like(37)
        Dislike(3)
        • serengeti says:

          It's not a shared sacrifice if the unions give nothing.
          They still have their 14 weeks sick leave, 6 weeks vacation. Overtime. Guaranteed jobs for life. Index linked pensions.

          Like(45)
          Dislike(6)
      • theothersidebermuda says:

        $400k was deemed significant enough to cut the Ag Show...so why not chop $15k from each of the 36 and save another $540k.

        Like(59)
        Dislike(3)
    • SMH says:

      Its not the MP's salaries that are significant - It's the PS's.

      There are consequences for every action, and the cuts listed above still don't bring the government to the figure needed.

      The government couldn't force furlough days but the consequences should be job cuts.

      We need to welcome the civil servants to the real world.

      Like(45)
      Dislike(4)
      • Trulytruly says:

        I think before job cuts it should be pay cuts. Which would you prefer?

        Like(16)
        Dislike(0)
    • J.J. says:

      Yes do it!

      Like(0)
      Dislike(0)
  3. Bermudian says:

    What about the suggestions in the SAGE report- why are those not coming into play?? Why are they searching for solutions when the SAGE report completely details everything that's wrong with government. It's not the people at fault its the complete mismanagement and lack of overall leadership. All these ministers and high paying management and yet no one takes ownership?? We make fun of government all the time about how badly mismanaged it is, about how there are people who have jobs who hardly do anything, how government workers are lazy and have attitudes and we go around and around in circles to get the slightest things done when it has to do with government.. but yet we ignore this to cut the damn AG show and hinder our children's education... YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.

    -Fire half the ministers we have to many

    - Chase after debts- "There was a total of approximately $204 million in outstanding Accounts Receivable as at March 31, 2012. Roughly 80% of this amount is shown under the heading “Office of the Tax Commissioner”. The Provision for Bad Debts as at March 31, 2012 was $65 million; five years earlier, the Provision was only $23 million."

    -Set a five year plan in motion to completely revamp government operations- checks and balances, performance reviews

    Like(136)
    Dislike(4)
    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Looks like the office of the Tax Commissioner is yet another office full of people doing very little. Privatise it. For the cost of commission on taxes recovered put it out to an organisation that is going to chase after taxes owed.

      Also the Sage Report has become one of a very long list of reports that are gathering dust in the back of some Government filing cabinet. Too much in there detrimental to the health of CS personal bank accounts so the higher ups in various departments are dragging their feet as much as possible implementing anything that will make Government more efficient.

      Like(33)
      Dislike(3)
    • wondering says:

      I will give another suggestion or two:

      stop awarding contracts to people who owe the government money

      chase after unpaid taxes from groups such as hotels who still receive govt concessions

      eliminate half the fleet of govt cars - some are merely transport to and from work (95%)with official work (5%) being a by product.

      consolidate the workplace- there are far too may ppl who are not even up to the tasks that they are given which by the way are essential to the operational readiness of Govt on a whole....some ppl are dinosaurs in their offices and really get in the way of progress.......basically eliminate the behaviours that waste money.

      someone said print on both sides of the paper. the finance minister may not see the value in that action but the mentality that supports single sided printing is what keeps us in the Dark Ages and even that will only get us into the Stone Ages - we are living in the Data Age and operating like cavemen my Bermudians et al.

      what boggles the mind is this - the whole budget/furlough day scenario is like a game of Chess (that started the day the furloughs came into play). Govt vs. Inefficiency. the Govt tries to beat inefficiency and in steps the Union who advises Inefficiency and is supported by some Checkers pieces who only can hop forward and back on demand........the Chess game is thwarted because inefficiency is now on the board with Checkers pieces and it is all muddled up!!!

      not once during the buildup up to Stalemate was there any Efficient updates provided to the masses via email (unlike the letter from BPSU President that highlighted all "what we did right" and what the govt did wrong) that was sent after it was too late...

      come on guys - raise your level of intellectual morality and show the people that you are a modern aged group on both sides of the floor.

      has anyone seen the volume of posts on social media yet this tool is under-utilized keeping the masses in the dark and therby under-educated whilst the "leaders" sit in their offices doing who-knows-what getting paid........they always resort to the same tactics....come on bro and sis...PICK UP YOUR GAME into the 21st Century of politics and negotiating.

      Mrs Vivlyn Cooper once said to me:
      there are three things in life you can't take back

      the arrow after it shot
      the bullet after it is fired
      the word after it has been spoken

      one thing is for sure - the unions and government proved that they did not exhaust all measures/solutions/possibilities in the first place in a timely manner that was in the best interests of BERMUDA as there was NOTHING new accomplished but a mere compromise that clearly and evidently could have been reached before this impasse that almost shut the country down!!

      Like(21)
      Dislike(0)
    • blue bird boxes says:

      Good point! We should be able to trust that previous research and public consultation is being used in this process. Improving management is a difficult process. It is possible (and essential) but difficult so maybe government is hoping we will forget so they can go with the easier solution of furloughs. Also SAGE (cost savings) was only half of the equation. There was never a process of analysing ways to increase revenue. This HAS to be done.

      Like(7)
      Dislike(1)
  4. Serious Though says:

    Funding for Ag Show; why no raise the $400,000 through private donations, and turn the Ag show to a private/public funded quango?
    I think Bermuda Corporate citizen and Bermudian private business will be willing to be part of it..

    just some thoughts

    Like(127)
    Dislike(2)
    • stunned... says:

      if the AG were to be axed, i would donate $100 personally leaving only 3,999 people to do the same to ensure that our children, visitors and residents can appreciate our home-grown Bermudian tradition.

      Like(32)
      Dislike(1)
      • Truth Hurts says:

        Honestly do you really think visitors come to the appalling ag show. I would pay to have it cancelled and for our kids to have the extra day of school instead.

        Like(3)
        Dislike(1)
    • wondering says:

      my wife and I said the same thing - we have the Argo Gold Cup, May 24 has corporate sponsoring - maybe the AG Show might even become a tourist attraction (with the corporate brand attached to it - you lnow, attach a discount at local hotels for guests who buy, let's say, tickets to the AG Show or become patrons via a website partnering on expedia.com or hotels.com to entice ppl to Bermuda

      Like(3)
      Dislike(0)
      • Truth Hurts says:

        Why would tourists come to the AG show?

        Like(2)
        Dislike(0)
        • wondering says:

          that is just it - revamp the whole show to include something for the tourists!!! Why ask a question you know the answer to?

          Like(0)
          Dislike(0)
  5. Mr. JiF says:

    Yes please.

    Can all policies be voted on in this manner and usher in a true democracy. We will save millions on cutting government minister positions.

    Like(27)
    Dislike(1)
    • hmmm says:

      The voting can be manipulated so I hear. So not really a good idea.

      Like(3)
      Dislike(0)
  6. Huge Saving says:

    END conscription and stop the regiment overseas trip for a year. That's huge savings right there.

    Like(57)
    Dislike(13)
    • Unbelievable says:

      hey now this is a GREAT idea!

      Like(12)
      Dislike(2)
    • more than enough says:

      close down the regiment completely...we don't need this pompous exhibition, and highly expensive exercise in futility.
      now that is huge savings...
      I would feel safer supporting farmers, and the agricultural exhibition. Furthermore, so much money is wasted on the useless failure of the war on drugs, in particular the prohibition of ganja, which essentially costs gov. or us, to be frank, a ****tload of $$$, and fuels underground, blackmarket, gang related activities, allowing them to set the prices [which are ridiculously high] providing enough cash to fund any sort of nefarious endeavors.
      Not only would this cause significant savings, but also allow us to join the fastest growing industry in the world, one that is not only saving economies, but also saving lives.[google it]
      Then and only then, will we be able to fund "extras" like the regiment and the ag show etc..and what a beautiful exhibition of agriculture that would be.

      Like(7)
      Dislike(9)
  7. Reality says:

    It's starting to look as if the Unions are stronger than the current government. As a BPSU member I am ashamed at the way leadership has assumed that the general membership is in support of removing furlough days. This question was not put to vote.

    Our elected government officials have also much fault as they failed to value the greater numbers of gov employees that are dedicated workers who have endured a pay freeze for 5 years. Countless employees work above the call of duty and receive no acknowledgement. To see colleagues who have given 20 and 30 years of service without an official plaque, certificate etc from Ministry headquarters is just pathetic.

    Now since our leaders haven't been transparent or built relationships the trust has expired and the union and elected officials are cutting programs and services without looking at the data and without giving thought to the impacts.

    For instance:

    The highest population receiving FA are seniors. The face of new FA recipients are abled educated people who are willing to work but can't find employment. Are the unions going to pool their resources to help these individuals? The elderly population is increasing and most of them in the black population were union members!

    Schools consolidating is favorable for Bermuda as our birth rate has been dwindling for years....what are the plans for the teachers, equipment and space that is needed. Guess what...many of the kids impacted are children of union members!!

    Our personal greed and "what's in it for me" attitude is going to be the detriment to more people and the government as a whole.

    Like(80)
    Dislike(7)
  8. kiskadee says:

    Why don't we get to vote on some of the proposals made by Bob Richards that were turned down by BTUC ?

    Like(41)
    Dislike(4)
    • Hmmmm... says:

      I would like see and to vote on ALL of the proposals - those put forward by the Government and those put forward by the Unions. I think there is room for more flexibility on both sides - but egos (Minister richards, the Premier and the Unions) are blocking progress.

      the Unions should condsider voluntary furloughs for those members who wish to retain them after the MOU expires and Minister Richards and the Premier should cease micro managing the process and take more advice from their technical officers. Some of the recent cost savings that the Government and Unions have agreed to were previously presented to both the Premier and the Finance Minister by the Budget office and technical officers, but they were dismissed outright. So, why did it have to take an entire country comming to a halt for them to be considered? SMH.....

      Too often the CS takes the brunt of the public from the silliness, arrogance and hard headiness of elected officials and it is time for it to stop. The OBA needs to learn from the PLP mistakes... when elected officials ignore the advice of their technical officers and cross the line from policy into operational management (often to appease political constituencies and other self interests) things will go awry. Minister Richards and Premier Dunkley, save the operational management to your private businesses and allow your technical officers to manage.

      The Unions also need to ensure that they ae not only feeding into the demands or whims of a select portion of their membership and allow for all of their members to have a voice in this issue.

      Like(11)
      Dislike(2)
  9. San George says:

    Good job Pat/Bernews - please include more polls.

    Like(14)
    Dislike(0)
  10. cut says:

    with all the problem's with trash collection these days, could we not take our trash to the end of our roads, the trash trucks would be able to collect in half the time if they didn't have to travel up and down each road. i'm sure there would be money saved and a cleaner island. We did it after Gonzalo... And before anyone jumps on the some people live to far back or to elderly etc... to walk their trashes to the end of the road, that's where neighbors taking care of neighbors kicks in.

    Like(21)
    Dislike(7)
    • JAWS says:

      You must have 4 houses in your lane! Some roads have up to 50 plus homes. You really want to see 100 trash bags piled up...at the main road?

      Like(13)
      Dislike(1)
      • cut says:

        actually our road is quite long with smaller lanes branching off and quite a lot of houses. The truck could travel down our main road and make 2-3 stops instead of running up and down all the lanes. There are many ways to tweak and make something like this efficient.

        I used to take mine and one of my neighbors trash daily to the drop off on my way to work before the morning hours were changed to later times.

        Like(5)
        Dislike(0)
      • More positive says:

        why so negative? how about great idea but probably only work for roads with less than 10 houses

        Like(4)
        Dislike(0)
    • bob the builder says:

      What about the elderly, the blind, disabled who cannot get to the end of the street? Great idea though for the able bodied. Perhaps the able bodied could assist the others?

      Like(1)
      Dislike(0)
    • democracyrules says:

      Why not cut back to trash pick up once a week? We used to do that before.

      Like(0)
      Dislike(0)
      • Toodle-oo says:

        Let's think about that suggestion for a minute , eh ?
        Yes it was done before , but it was pretty unpopular although it didn't impact me too much .

        What were the savings made when no-one in fact lost their job ?
        All it was was a reduced schedule , so the only real saving would have been for the reduced fuel bill of not having the trucks on the road for 2 days.

        Now , if everyone could reduce their production of garbage by 50% it might work , but you know that as huge consumers that isn't about to happen here .

        So , there'd be at least twice the amount of trash to be collected on just one day of the week now instead of two and they can't keep up with what we have now.
        Overtime would be needed to keep up , and couple that with no-one getting laid off (permanently) or equipment being sold . All this equates to zero savings .. and it might even cost more .

        Like(3)
        Dislike(0)
    • Truth Hurts says:

      And anyway this would produce job losses which is what they are trying to avoid!

      Like(0)
      Dislike(0)
  11. cut says:

    Would be nice if they could put it to the public to propose some savings measures. Plenty of small ideas can add up to allot.

    Like(11)
    Dislike(0)
    • Jayne says:

      This is such a great idea! During the week we have had many discussions at work and there have been a few ideas discussed that sound good to me!! A place to gather them all & have them considered would be good.

      Like(6)
      Dislike(0)
    • Family Man says:

      They did. They produced a whole report on savings. It was called the SAGE report.

      You might be able to find a copy in a dark, dusty corner somewhere. If you do find a copy, can you please give it to the Government. They seem to have misplaced theirs.

      Like(12)
      Dislike(1)
  12. Navin Johnson says:

    Keep those things and chop the elephant in the room. The civil service

    Like(16)
    Dislike(4)
  13. Ann says:

    Years ago there was a shame and blame posted in the paper for the companies not paying there payroll tax, I would like to see this posted again, many private companies are not paying and still taking from the economy. I am not at all in agreement with any thing that the unions do, but if you want to include the private sector, I believe you will probably find the amounts we are looking for there, I don't agree with stopping the AG show many people really look forward to that every year, and I also do not agree with taking financial assistance away from anyone that needs it so Government workers can have their nails done and go away 3 times a year!

    Like(3)
    Dislike(1)
  14. B. Russell Richardson says:

    I see nothing is additional monies being raised such as those Hotels, Restaurants,etc. being made to pay those deferred savings on duty, employment tax, etc.

    Have the Americas Cup pay duty on some of the things that are now being given duty free.

    Like(11)
    Dislike(15)
    • Politricks says:

      So you want to tax an already depressed industry which the most recent labor survey indicated hundreds of jobs have been lost in the industry.

      So you would rather see more people lose jobs in the hospitality industry so that Government workers can be continued to be paid time and a half for overtime? Yeah, what's another few hundred job losses to save the massive civil service from having to miss out on overtime and having to pay an additional 1% in their pension contributions.

      Sounds fair..

      Like(20)
      Dislike(5)
      • more than enough says:

        I thought the concessions, were extended to help struggling hotels, those not maintaining 70% occupancy. The reefs, for example, is never below 70%, and often enjoys a higher level of occupancy throughout the year[s]...is it right for them, or others in this position to still cry poverty and receive these tax breaks?
        I think not!

        Like(9)
        Dislike(1)
        • Politricks says:

          I don't know the specifics of the Hotel Concessions Act enacted by the PLP, but how do you know so much about the Reefs? I just read the other day that air arrivals are down again.

          So we should scrap the Hotel Concessions Act, put a cap on financial assistance, scrap the AGA show just to save the overtime of government workers (which many abuse and is common knowledge) and so they don't have to pay another 1% into their pensions.

          One question - how many government workers have been made redundant? Second question - do you think it is true 'shared sacrifice' when government workers refuse to even give up overtime pay and refuse to increase their pension contributions by a measly 1% (the same pensions that are an unfunded liability in the billions of dollars)?

          Like(1)
          Dislike(0)
          • more than enough says:

            the reefs do a printout of occupancy levels etc..and distribute them among all departments.
            what i would like to know is how the unions negotiated different levels of pay for the same work description eg the reefs pays $16 - $17hr for a gardener, as per the union agreement, yet a government employee makes approximately $10hr more and also better benefits...eg the reefs paid 50% of my health insurance, but after adding my son i was responsible for 100% of that leaving me with less than $500 take home pay for a forty hr week.
            that just don't seem right. how is it that the unionized workers in the private sector are not protected by the unions in the same way as government workers?

            Like(1)
            Dislike(0)
            • more than enough says:

              cue 'the sound of silence'...

              Like(1)
              Dislike(0)
    • stunned... says:

      incidental question - do you want revenue/jobs to come here as a result of AC35 or duty on nothing if the AC35 decide to back out with all the stupidity that we have recently witnessed?

      Like(16)
      Dislike(1)
    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      One of the interesting things about people complaining about losing monies from the AC bring things in tax free is this, if we didn't have the AC coming here, these things would not have been brought in anyway, so we really aren't losing out any revenues, but we will be gaining a huge stimulus to our economy by having them here.

      Like(21)
      Dislike(1)
  15. Y-Gurl says:

    Properly manage or stop Government overtime

    Stop buying these lot expensive embroidered golf shirts and jackets and make them buy their own clothes.

    Reward productivity and penalize lack of productivity

    Put the brakes on the personal use of Government vehicles (including the ones with private plates)

    Get some proper engineers in W&E that can set some realistic timelines for these jobs that take 10 times longer to complete than necessary

    ENFORCE budget reductions across every single Government area and make them accountable and reward those who come under budget and demonstrate actual savings.

    Like every other business, Government needs to squeeze hard until it hurts, and get these lot out of their comfort zone, civil servants work for the taxpayers and people of Bermuda its not the other way around.

    Like(14)
    Dislike(0)
    • Politricks says:

      In terms of your 3rd point, it is impossible to do so for some government workers as the BIU refuses to allow for annual performance reviews to be conducted on its members.

      So how can you confirm is someone is an underperformer if there aren't basic objectives set at the beginning of the year?

      Like(4)
      Dislike(0)
      • Y-Gurl says:

        That's Nonsense! Ask anyone in the private sector electrical companies and the local telephone company

        Like(0)
        Dislike(0)
  16. Onion says:

    Bernews should add "should public employees take a furlough day?"

    Like(28)
    Dislike(2)
    • stunned... says:

      Should taxpayers take furlough/refund days, meaning withhold tax payments equal to the numbers of days that essential services are not performed? that's only fair right?

      Like(7)
      Dislike(0)
      • stunned... says:

        now that would make the bda govt sit up and pay attention to implement the ***kicking that needs to happen...i don't mean kick the can either.)

        Like(0)
        Dislike(0)
  17. Jenny says:

    Also nothing should be free if government is broke. IE bus transport, land tax, car license....everyone should be paying....nothing can be afforded to be given for free! The Pension should be adjusted...it is law that the employer pays 5% and the employee pays 5% for a total of 10%. Government employees are paying 8% and government is paying 8%. Cut that to the required 5% and government is saving 3% for everyone government worker. The Pension for government workers needs to be changed immediately going forward. It is not sustainable for 16% to be paid in and the workers to receive a percentage of their salary at retirement. Where do you think the money is coming from that they did not pay into the plan and are receiving???? The Government purse from the taxes the entire island has to pay. Those in the private sector have to buy a plan based on the money they ACTUALLY put in. This plan should have never been set up like this is the first place.

    Like(8)
    Dislike(0)
  18. very concerned says:

    Government officials say there is no money..........stop locking people up for petty- non violent offenses ie. Unpaid bills, marijuana possesion, traffic offences.. You all can do the math. Approximately $70000 per inmate , per year..... and thats once the person is in jail. Not to mention the many thousands of dollars it takes to put someone in jail..... am I the only one that sees this......these people are doing all they can to make bermudians slave again.....in an island that the people of bermuda built. These people are locking up half of our brothers, fathers, uncles, and sons.....and the taking jobs and money from the other half..... why cant any see this as part of problem and a big part of the solution.....government needs to stop spending time and money on frivolous pursuits....stop locking people up for silly stuff and save money.......!!!!!!! Helllooooooo!!!!!!!! Total waste.....

    Like(4)
    Dislike(6)
    • Truth Hurts says:

      Mate traffic offences can kill! If you were burgled or swindled would you really not want the perpatrator locked up?

      Like(1)
      Dislike(0)
    • Just asking says:

      Make inmates pay for their keep like other places. People getting degrees if the taxpayers, free room and board, free meals. Make them pay.

      Like(1)
      Dislike(0)
  19. Juice says:

    Great post Reality.
    I had mixed feelings about this issue, but i remember a couple years ago, we were told by the previous bpsu president that we know that things are getting bad and we may have to come together and sacrifice for each other and the good of bermuda. What i saw the other day didnt show us coming together for sacrifice, but to get back something we felt we sacrificed. We had furlough for a year and 1/2 yes, but thats not a real sacrifice, that day was our own to do with as we pleased. We havent had a raise in 5 years, thats not sacrifice, thats the real world, raises dont come like clockwork anywhere else. Taxes and deductions go up, again thats the real world. Im starting to think that weve had it so good for so long that we simply dont know what real sacrifice is.
    It would have been a nice gesture for the ministers to take a pay cut (another one) to show their willingness to sacrifice as well, but i honestly dont think that would have mattered, cause in the end, we have dont wanna sacrifice anything at all. Shame

    Like(9)
    Dislike(1)
  20. boss says:

    Local hotels have routinely / historically terminated the contracts of work permit holders when the economy is in bad shape and a siginificant law firm did the very same thing when they made quite a few lawyers and amdin staff redundant a few years ago.

    Surely the Bda Govt could / should follow suit and reduce their expenses on the backs of the 20% of work permit holders that they employ.

    If not, why not?

    Like(1)
    Dislike(0)
  21. Let's think... says:

    People making under $50,000 - no furlough
    People making between $50,001 and $100,000 - 1 furlough
    People making more than $100,000 - 2 furloughs

    No furloughs for teachers. Education is so important I will never understand how we can treat all Depts. as one.

    Like(29)
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    • Serious Though says:

      Education is expensive but ignorance will cost even more for all of us.

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  22. swing voter says:

    at the end of the day (wednesday) nothing was achieved from the mess created by the Govt. and Union negotiation teams....both equally responsible for that mess. This island is full of over-paid over rated 'leaders' that got into a pissing match over their opinion of furlough that isn't even covered in a CBA and yet they both agree (after realizing we were heading for a 1981 general strike) that the furlough will be a last resort.....4 days of strife for nothing, nada, nothing gained. The only looser was Bermuda ;-)

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  23. SMH says:

    Start looking at axing unnecessary capital projects such as the Parks Maintenance, Tynes Bay etc. Millions can be saved just there. Parks Maintenance was one of the dept. to be outsourced in LY budget. What about other departments scheduled to be outsourced? Do they also have current capital projects in the works?

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  24. more than enough says:

    how about renting out 'clifton' the premiers 'official residence' to one, or some of the billionaires due to be here for the ac35?
    this could net us some cash.

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  25. enough says:

    if this gets raise "To raise GEHI contribution that employees pay for uninsured spouses from 50% to 75%" then at the end of the year aren't people going to have paid out more than they would be losing if they took the furlough day. just asking.

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    • stunned... says:

      not sure if arithmetic is the Union's forte.

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  26. PBanks says:

    How much have we lost btw as a result of "free" bus rides for schoolchildren? I'm sure it's a mere drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things, but wonder if that was ever identified by any of the sides in the discussion?

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  27. Ace girl says:

    Too many primary schools with too few students. Amalgamate these schools and bus the children to their new school. A bus and bus driver is much more economically astute than maintaining schools, teachers, physical plant etc., for less than 10 students in a class.

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    • Disgusted Parent says:

      If they would take note of these things then sure, however, they won't. They will simply pick two schools close in proximity with the lowest number of students, regardless of whether or not those schools are adequately or overpopulated already. Education is not something you bargain with to cut costs, it's far too important.

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    • democracyrules says:

      Right. Then we could turn the facilities into a convention center to be rented out or rent it to a local business. Fields can be rented out to sports groups or fitness groups. This could be turned into a source of income instead of a loss.

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  28. cmon says:

    We have a multitude of exempt companies that are registered here who pay a nominal annual fee, let's raise those fees. Let's also raise the fees on the numerous aircraft and shipping vessels that are registered here. It shocks me that it appears this has not be considered. The budget has to be balanced both ways..cutting and generating. We should also look into medical tourism to take advantage of our climate and take some of that business from Turks & Caicos

    Like(2)
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  29. islandguy says:

    In reference to govt assistance, with the AC coming there is going to be a greater chance for employments by all.So social assistance should be cut to nothing then.
    If where thinking intelligently here, mps will still have to travel somewhat so cut there spending wisely.
    The ag show,we should keep, but make vendors and exhibitors pay entry fees, if not he whole thing then something. ill conttinue at a later time on the rest.
    But we have to be smart and remember govt has no money in the kiddy, its not rocket science theres no money. i work in the private sector and havent had apay increase for going on 7 years.But im appreative to be employed.
    And as i have stated before i do not support party politics..

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  30. Ruthless says:

    What about all these consultants we keep bringing in. That's probably 500,000 or more right there. Top QC's for prisoners on tax payer dime. That's an easy $1,000,000 per year right there. And next time everyone goes on strike, everyone bring ten dollars and that will be 5000 x 10 = 50,000 right there.

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  31. Micro says:

    Perhaps cap elected official positions at the median Bermudian household wage.

    Maybe ministers holding more than one portfolio get paid half for the second, quarter for the third.

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  32. Mutualized Departments says:

    Why not put the Parks Maintenance project on hold or kill it all together? Why is Government still spending money on that after Gov. in the last budget that the Parks Maintenance dept was being looked at for outsourcing. Doesn't the left and talk to the right?

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  33. more than enough says:

    with all these consultants, the sage commission, the crc's recommendations, all the politicians and the upper echelon of cs's, how is it the unions responsibility to find the necessary cuts? is the oba really worth the money or what? If i had a network of people doing my work for me i would never have to work at all... are we to presume the same of these politicians?

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    • more than enough says:

      or is the meaning of "team" a hundred workers and a couple of clowns cracking the whip?

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  34. Mutualized Departments says:

    Put the Parks Maintenance yard on hold. Parks Maintenance was listed for outsourcing in the last budget. Doesn't make sense not to now.

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  35. Alvin Williams says:

    Stop paying for Britain's diplomatic presence in our country which cause us over a million dollars a year. Take over government house lands and turn it into an economic benefit for Bermuda. Stop the tax breaks for business interests. Take control of our air space which Britain now controls which it collects fees for it's use and further to that uses Bermuda's air space as a bargaining chip in it's negotiations with other nations over air routes.

    Like(2)
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  36. Sorry Sir says:

    Question:

    Why are we wasting the courts time and essentially our money on having to go to court for traffic offenses. Think how much money we could save by handed out fixed fines, instead of being handed whatever the judge feels like fining you based on his mood that day. How much times a week is traffic court? How much of the courts time and resources are being wasted on such minuscule offenses?

    I say get rid of traffic court and just put out tickets like parking tickets.

    Speeding at X kmph = this fine and X amount of points deducted

    It's not rocket science. In fact it's basic mathematics.

    Like(8)
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    • more than enough says:

      they rely on all the small infractions to keep them employed...otherwise they would be sitting around twiddling their thumbs all day. or, out of a job altogether.

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  37. All point's and views maybe valid and make alot of sense but are useless unless we go independent. We have good ideas that can only be taken serious under a reforandum..

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  38. David says:

    Maybe all of the Parliament leed by example and take a 10% pay cut, with only one pay per seat. Not per ministry head. Then maybe the workers might follow.

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  39. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Just wait one minute here.

    Who is running this country the Government who is responsible for the well being 61,000 people or the Unions who support 4,000 people?

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  40. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    I suppose you know that we are living in a two teared economy.

    We need to stop borrowing Money.

    If all goes well, with the hope that we will get back on our feet and stay there.

    Instead of cutting salaries and sending people home with not enough to pay the food bill, may be the Government could give a refundable numbered lottery ticket or a post dated check to the employee that in its self is a form of savings.

    Other Governments offer savings programs with transferable bearer bonds, " Peoples Bonds" pay out with interest annually and higher than the banks pay out on a C/D just now. oops !

    Oh ! by the way slow down inflation which will defeat the exercise.

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  41. bluebird says:

    I see that you are all nickel and dimeing it.
    The Government spends $300Million Dollars per year more than it takes in.Thank you PLP Administration.
    We are all living large on other peoples money and how long do you think that it will continue ?????
    We have 11,300 work permits issued and 8,000 on the government payroll.
    Do the math before it is too late.

    Like(1)
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  42. Thinking outside the box says:

    How about charging school children a flat rate per year for their bus/ferry passes? It doesn't need to be a huge amount, but if you think of the amount of passes that are handed out a year for free....it adds up. And for those who will say their children don't use public transport, then they can opt not to buy a pass.

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  43. Bermy Bud says:

    Can someone for the life of me please answer this question? What exactly has the civil service sacrificed for the betterment of Bermuda? All i c is the children and the much needy have been sacrificed once again! So where is the shared sacrifice from Chris furbert and his civil servants!? NADA!!!

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  44. Cookie Monster says:

    Cut govt jobs by 20 percent starting with some of the highest earners ! Before anybody ask where would they get a job or how would they pay there mortgage , belco bill etc. let me answer, the same way the 6000 in the private sector do it. The best way they can !

    Like(1)
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  45. Caitlyn says:

    How about reducing 100 sick days a year .The Employment Act 2000 sites 10 day's
    Accountability by means of a time sheet for Govt departments.
    Why buy u forms for some Govt departments just because they have to use up budget?
    Why not when you need it we replace it.
    Get rid if dead wood teachers.When a child reaches P5 and cannot do 2x 2 time tables something is wrong
    Pensions passed on to spouses who never worked in Govt for life cut out.
    Read the Sage report people gave much insight on cost savings

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  46. more than enough says:

    i agree with the sage commissions advice that all government wages should be cut. as it is the wages for these cash cow's that is sucking our country dry... make the cuts from the top down, i don't think we really have a choice, as suggested by sage, large cuts from the overpaid at the top down to smaller %'s for those paid the least...an over-bloated government, along with over-bloated pay packages makes little sense to me. further more most, if not all of the 'higher up's' have more revenue streams flowing cash into their personal bank accounts, unlike most of the 'lower level' workers who only have the one job [which doesn't even equal to half of what the big shots are making, btw]. Suspend ministerial pay packages all together until they can bail us out of this mess, then we will see how interested they are at working for bermuda. I bet you the house of parliament would be a ghost town.

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  47. more than enough says:

    and what of the lifetime benifits packages enjoyed by those top shots? you do realize that we still pay the likes of dr. brown john swan and the rest of them even dunkley and co.[oba] are now in the position to receive these lifetime benifits, whether they are successful or not... who dreamed that bs up?

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  48. G E M says:

    Cut paid personal days for teachers, etc in Education... This came during Mrs. Cox's time as Finance Minister, I think. It must be a very costly line item. The maximum time is 4 days and is based upon length of service. Not only does the educator get paid, they also have to FIND and PAY a sub to cover the day (s) the classroom teacher is absent. Not to mention the time spent organizing the coverage, etc. ... Time is $$$.

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