Premier Extends Apology To BTUC Leadership

January 26, 2015

[Updated] Acknowledging the delayed start of this afternoon’s joint Government/Union meeting, Premier Michael Dunkley this evening [Jan 26] extended an apology to the leadership of the Bermuda Trade Union Congress [BTUC].

Earlier today, BPSU President Jason Hayward said, “Government was supposed to meet us at 3pm, they asked for an extension to 3.30pm, after 3.30pm they called back and asked for an extension until 5pm.

“We waited around until 5pm when no Government official showed up. They then informed us they were on their way, we waited until 5.25pm, still no Government official showed up.

“So members of the BTUC left dissatisfied with the lack of respect that was shown towards us. So what we have decided to do is, all public service employees are to report to the BIU at 9am tomorrow morning,” added Mr. Hayward.

14-minute video of Union leaders and Premier addressing the crowd outside Cabinet today

A statement from the Government said, “The start of the meeting had originally been planned for 3.00 p.m. at the BPSU to discuss further budget reduction options, including the continuance of the Furlough Day option.

“Following the commitment to dispatch technical officers to re-engage in the process, the Premier determined that it was important to convene a special Cabinet Meeting late this afternoon to agree additional specific proposals that would allow the technical team to present definitive options to the BTUC.

“The BTUC was advised that the meeting would be deferred until later in the evening, however by the time technical officers arrived, the BTUC representatives had left the meeting.

“It is the Government’s intention to seek to reconvene a meeting with the BTUC tomorrow to continue in good faith with its commitment to conclude this process.‎

LinksTo Other Articles About The BTUC/Govt/Meeting

“Earlier today, the Government and BTUC representatives had frank discussions to try and find common ground solutions to some of the issues being faced.” the statement added.

“Again, the Government expressed its ‎appreciation for the dedication and commitment that the Unions have shown towards this process.”

For our live blog on the Union meeting click here, and for all our coverage of today’s meeting click here.

Update 11.32pm: ‎In response to the planned BTUC meeting of BTUC ‎tomorrow morning, ‎the Premier Michael Dunkley this evening “urged public sector workers to allow the Government negotiating team and the union leadership to meet before participating in another general membership meeting. ”

Premier Dunkley said, “For several hours today I chaired a meeting of Cabinet focused on this issue of further cost savings. We have identified what we think are useful additions to the work already done by the BTUC and members of the Working Group.”

The Premier continued, “Further disruption of public transport and important school days is not helpful to the process nor is it productive for the Country.

“The Government team will be ready tomorrow (Tuesday) to outline these further savings. Not only does a meeting as we have suggested make good sense, the letter of the law is on our side. As sensitive as these issues are, we must all abide by the law and a meeting without following on established legal process is not in keeping with the spirit of the work and collaboration we have enjoyed thus far.”

The Premier concluded, “I call on all public sector workers to await the important discussion between our respective teams before inconveniencing their fellow Bermudians and residents.”

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Comments (24)

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  1. Jus' Askin' says:

    OBA had no intentions on meeting with the BTUC, as they had No Excuse, not to. They could have at least shown up, as their decision has already been made, “Give it to Us” or “We’ll Take it From You”

    I really like “…before inconveniencing their fellow Bermudians and residents.”
    Please tell me that OBA is not playing US against one another ;-)
    We can be inconvenienced for a day, a week, a month, as these workers have been inconvenienced for a year with furlough days.

    And when some one says “…the letter of the law is on our side.”, be concerned. If OBA is using the law to force people to work, they have definitely reset the dial. Is OBA taking us back to a time, when forced labor was legal?

    The country needs to Unite and Want “Better for All, All of The Time” :-D

    • Mockingjay says:

      Apology not accepted
      We called your BLUFF.

    • Harsh but Real says:

      Hold on, ya former government played you when they promised Jobs for ya vote! And don’t be mistaken, I voted for them fools too.

  2. smokey says:

    What a lame and cowardly excuse by the premier.He even sent his apology to the press before the unions to whom it was directed. He states that he had meetings on further cost savings after his furlough proposal was refused and made a massive crowd wait.Thats why the buses went back late. He should have had a plan B and C ready. Why was the furlough day not discussed during earlier talks by the government reps. Seems like trying to get something in through the back door and when it backfires blame the unions. This gov. is arrogant especially the finance minister. Another thing all union members should be present and they should bring their children tomorrow as this decision will effect their livelihood. Disgusted with the racial overtones in this blog . Must be all folk spreading disinformation to convince themselves of something other than whats happening. We blacks are more educated and not back in the 50s,60s, 70s, etc We are knowledgable know and will not tolerate being abused by anyone…

    • Mockingjay says:

      I agree but during the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s they had HEART and ENDURANCE to withstand the force of de Oligarchy System.

  3. smokey says:

    The gov team will be ready tomorrow .they should have been ready today. they did impose the deadline didn’t they..

  4. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    A reasonable statement of why the Government’s team failed to appear on time, but in equal measure, as expressed by the BPSU president, they (the unions) were patient, willing and accepted many delays in order to engage the Government yesterday.

    The contention lies in the Government’s inability to be on time for this critical meeting.

    Sounds familiar? It is always stated that Bermudians cannot ‘make good time’, well now we know that this problem exists at the highest levels of Government.

    And how much in lost productivity has this caused us, Premier Dunkley? The ability to ‘make good time’ or rather to ‘show up’ is a vital link to productivity and maintaining confidence in what you are negotiating for.

    Do not let this country down then give us the fall back position that the law is on your side, for even the law will note mitigating circumstances.

    Let’s move swiftly, with integrity and fairness to all including being ON TIME.

    London, England

  5. Skink says:

    We need to get some pins out to deflate some of these over-inflated egos………. keep it up, Karma is a prick sometimes ;) #bermudainflategate

  6. Vote for Me says:

    “Not only does a meeting as we have suggested make good sense, the letter of the law is on our side. As sensitive as these issues are, we must all abide by the law and a meeting without following on established legal process is not in keeping with the spirit of the work and collaboration we have enjoyed thus far.”

    When will we all learn…

    I am sure the Premier and his ‘Technical Officers’ have the phone numbers for all leaders of the TUC. Pick up the phone and directly apologise to them!!

    Unfortunately the veiled threats of “the letter of the law is on our side” will only serve to escalate matters, especially after yesterday’s missed meetings.

    ..Bermuda deserves better..

  7. cromwell says:

    Good luck with that!

  8. Cleancut says:

    Lack of respect? who’s idea was it to march down to Cabinet and demand an immediate reply from government by 2pm?

    • Nuffin a Gwan says:

      Whose idea was it to have the union a reply by 12:00 on Monday, knowing the membership of thoses unions would have to meet? Sit back and enjoy the ride.

    • Outkasted says:

      Where was this comment on Friday? 12 noon no doubt.

    • Common sense ain't Common says:

      Whose idea was it to send a letter on Friday expecting an answer on Monday…..considering that thousands of workers had to be notified and respond?

      • Ann says:

        You can tell people the truth a million here a million times and they still make something else up and the people follow, this agreement has been going on of months, why don’t you ask the union why it has not been settled, Government got tired of waiting for them to make a decision. I pray the Government stands it’s ground and we are able to stop being held hostage by the union. I believe there are many great people in the civil service, but there is also a lot of dead weight, we have to get rid of it!

        • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

          @Ann…

          And where was the truth told one million times that I have not heard, Ann? And precisely what has been fabricated “make something else up” in this article? It is no secret that all negotiations start early in the anticipation that work disruptions do not occur.

          So, the Union lied when they stated that they presented cost cutting measures to the ‘joint working group’ only to have their contributions rejected and a subsequent letter sent by working group stating that they no longer wanted to engage with the Union?

          Now you have advanced the theory that the Government got tired of waiting for the Union, and your ‘source’ for this insider’s knowledge of the negotiations is/are whom? The Premier? A member of Cabinet? And/or any member of the joint working group? Or, are you simply misinterpreting the facts by inventing your own theories on this blog?

          But, since the Union is at fault here (in your knowledgeable opinion), then why did Dunkley apologise or, did he apologise as the headlines state?

          Honestly Ann, whose comments are really spewing misinformation here?

          It pays to be responsible even when posting anonymously otherwise your opinions only serve to add to the ‘dead weight’.

          London, England

  9. Um Um Like says:

    Entitlement will sink this country. Wake up Bermuda.

  10. mixitup says:

    I hope the rest are now seeing this Gov’t's ways, of which many saw before they were sadly voted in… ‘One term Gov’t’ hasn’t rang so loud as NOW…

    • LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL says:

      Its on line…..um errrrrrr……wait wait I know where it is, its in paragraph……errr ummmmmmm…….fac bie, ya asking tough questions!!

  11. just wondering says:

    I read the article above – can anyone tell me where exactly the “apology” is located?

    • LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL says:

      Its on line…..um errrrrrr……wait wait I know where it is, its in paragraph……errr ummmmmmm…….fac bie, ya asking tough questions!!

  12. ImJustSayin says:

    Micheal Dunkley will not give in. He’s stubborn and likes to have his way. It’s his way or the highway..

  13. MAKE MY DAY says:

    The BIU / PLP are even MORE stubborn – have been for 50+ yrs!!