BPA: Impasse With Govt. Has ‘Negative Impact’

December 17, 2015

“This continued impasse with Government is directly affecting the morale, health and the welfare of Police Officers,” the Bermuda Police Association said.

Chairman of the Bermuda Police Association Sgt Andrew Harewood said, “The Bermuda Police Association [BPA] is concerned about the present state of affairs in relation to the current impasse with Government and the negative impact it has on our members and the general public.

“The BPA entered into negotiations with Government to formulate reasonable concessions to benefit the country and not to put our members under undue financial and psychological burden.

“The Government has reduced the Police Budget by 7% in 2014, 5% in 2015 and an additional 3% is anticipated in 2016 [approximately $10,000,000.00 in total]. The BPA has been contributing to Government’s budget reduction strategy and our members have saved Government approximately $7,000,000.00.

“The Government is now asking us to make further contributions to its budget reduction strategy in the region of 12% to 18%. Our members rejected this proposal and Government is seeking to force us into arbitration, despite our desire to continue negotiating in good faith.

“The BPA entered into the negotiation process recognizing that every person in Bermuda should give concessions. The recent reduction in staff and other austerity measures have added additional stress and hardship to our members. Recent testing shows that 1 in every 4 Police Officers have high blood pressure at critical levels.

“The BPA is also very concerned that at least eleven serving Police Officers out of 419 are suffering from the disease Trigeminal Neuralgia, commonly known as ‘Suicide Disease’. Statistics has shown that 3 to 4 in every 140,000 people worldwide suffers from this disease. This is of grave concern to our membership.

“This continued impasse with Government is directly affecting the morale, health and the welfare of Police Officers.

“The BPA is committed to helping the country by returning to the negotiating table with Government so that both parties can attempt to reach an accord that is acceptable to the membership of the BPA and the Government of Bermuda.”

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Comments (25)

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  1. Rockfish#1 and #2 says:

    Can someone produce the pay scale of the BPS from a day one constable to the Commissioner?

  2. Politically Motivated says:

    Is This accountant general the same Curtis Stovell that was put in charge of the Herotage Wharf project ?

  3. Babylon says:

    If the BPS performed an ounce of maintenance on their vehicles instead of prematurely replacing them, they could save a few constable salaries.

    Better yet, contract the whole garage out to a car/truck dealer and a cycle dealer.

  4. Public says:

    Sounds like the the government is trying to alienate the police. Not a smart move on the government’s part. How many voters do the police have…

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

    I have landtaxitis along with the rest of the homeowners on this island!!

  6. jt says:

    And taxes are going up.
    The OBA are not dealing with the real expenditure problem. Everyone in Bermuda knows where that problem is but it seems the rest of us are destined to be the scapegoats.
    Finding the damn missing money wouldn’t hurt either. Now there’s something the BPS could do to help themselves.

  7. wondering says:

    “The Government has reduced the Police Budget by 7% in 2014, 5% in 2015 and an additional 3% is anticipated in 2016 [approximately $10,000,000.00 in total]. The BPA has been contributing to Government’s budget reduction strategy and our members have saved Government approximately $7,000,000.00.

    You haven’t saved the Govt $7mil!

    This kind of thinking must stop!

    The Government can’t afford to spend that amount so they had a recurring diminishing budget amount set for the BPS.

    It isn’t a savings – it is money simply not (over)spent!

    • serengeti says:

      Yep. It’s a bit like saying – I was thinking of going to Vegas on vacation but decided not to, and I therefore ‘saved’ $5,000.

    • enough says:

      It’s not thinking, it’s reality. Unpaid day off per month for nearly 2 years AKA furlough days; 5% or so pay cut right there. Combine that with no pay increase in maybe 4 years or so, which obviously means a real-terms spending power decrease for each member compounded year on year as cost of living increases. An embargo on promotions in BPA ranks for years, with more to come. Given the above and considering the raft of changes the Government has on the table which total the 12-18% FURTHER reductions and quite simply all you’ll have is many, many (mostly) Bermudians unable to cope. I know it’s hard for people, perhaps like you, to separate the job from the humans in the uniform, but what we’re discussing here is the viability of many Bermudian families to function.
      What Harewood seems to be saying is that of the budget reduction % handed to the Commissioner and with any budget being in large part due to salaries, the BPA (Chief Inspectors and below) have done a lot to assist the COP in meeting these cuts by reducing payroll. COP has also reduced staff numbers, all from BPA ranks.
      The COP of course could do a great many other things to reduce the operating budget of the Service and I’m sure has, all that’s being discussed here is how the rank and file are contributing, in my view, far more than their fair share.

  8. Boo Hoo says:

    Minimum $70k annual salary to patrol paradise, you all must be having a laugh! Maybe we can transfer some officers to Jamaica for training, so they gain some perspective.

    • fed up says:

      You get out and do it then. Work every holiday away from your family , work night shifts, deal with members of the public who can’t stand you, get to deal with the worst of people every day . Risk your safety for the sake of others . Shut your mouth as you clearly have no clue

      • Rockfish#2 says:

        Police officers are aware of the job description before they sign on the dotted line.
        Now they want to complain about things that they agreed to do.
        It they cannot carry out their agreed duties, for goodness sake move on to another job.
        70,000 for a brand new constable not bad huh!

        • fed up says:

          Yes I agree it is a decent salary , but the government wants to take $1000 per month from Officers ! Would you stand for this ? Police are not asking for more money , just not to loose more !

    • Missed it says:

      Why don’t you compare crime statistics while you’re at it.
      Oh wait…that would invalidate your whole point…

  9. Um Um Like says:

    Police frugality.

  10. Realist says:

    Mr. Dunkley,

    This impasse must not continue. An unhealthy or unhappy police service is not good for our country. This situation can lead to the compromise of the safety and security of this island. Mr. Harewood said that he is willing to get this resolved by getting back to the table. Why is the Government trying to force the issue. Shouldn’t you be happy that they are willing try to do their part?

    Is it your intention to have all the unions tied up in court for the next few years? It is my understanding that the police is the only union that is not tied up in an unnecessary court battle with the Government. 12 % to 18% cut is a lot to ask someone to take. That’s unreasonable.

    The Government’s stance is counter productive and is not in the best interest of Bermuda. I am very concerned that if this is not settle soon things might escalate and Bermuda becomes unsafe.

    You and the police should work together. This is what is expected if out elected officials and our public officers. The police appear to be willing to do their part.

    • Terry says:

      My thoughts exactly.
      Dammed if you. Dammed if you don’t will not work here Mr. Premier.

      Grow a pair and let it be seen that it is for the people and the countries best interest.

      We do not need insurrection from any portion.

      Shalom.

  11. Frank says:

    They do not want it to go to arbitration as what it says in there contract as they are worried of the decision from the arbitrators.Get on with it all ready!

  12. Confused says:

    What does Trigeminal Neuralgia have to do with the government?

    If you don’t like your job or don’t think you are being compensated fairly, then quit. Find another job, move somewhere else, etc. These are all choices within your control.

    • Jim says:

      It means that there are health risks associated with this type of shift work, wearing heavy vests, etc.

      This is not the private sector where u can drop your pen at one office and run up the street to join another. This is a career choice that takes a lot of sacrifice for families, and has been proven to put officers at increased risks of health problems.

      What is being discussed here is not ‘police want more money’, it’s that they don’t want to lose things that they have earned/fought for the right to have.

  13. Oh,I see now says:

    I see the Government is taking aim at the favorite son (BPS) now heh heh my how fast the sun sets.

  14. Sailboat says:

    25% have high blood pressure to critical levels? That’s a result of poor command, resource management, and departmental policy, not dollars and cent. It’s misguiding to blame the former on the latter. The department should not diminish the value of a fitness policy for all of its officers.

  15. Please govt…police are not a compromisable entity….not at all…just introduce medical marijuana and realise a truth…money and tourism…and…well…most importantly behaviour modification. I believe this to be most important.

  16. Money does grow on trees… Please
    ..let’s grow some!

  17. mj says:

    there are far too many foreign officers in this small island and quite frankly for the size of 22 square miles, we do not need so much enforcement. Understandibly, we require certain officers for the state of affairs we find ourselves in with persons committing murder or injuries however there are far too many unnecessary laws that seem to require more officers, people are stopped AFTER the fact of committing a crime such as speeding but there is no deterent. Traffic offences are offensive, we have a right to travel to and fro in the land and on the roads we built,; this is a right and not a priviledge, unless people are doing business than that should be the only tax. It is unnecessary to penalize people for traffic offences that did not harm anyone, or any offence where there is not an injured party..monies could be saved and officers would not be so stressed. We had parish constables back in the day and less crime, we had schools in neighbourhood and no “gangs” now we cry foul and penalize our men for not joining an army when there is no such war in our land.. We have put ourselves in a precarious position of not learning from our own studies and failing to correct our mistakes because of greed. People should not be doing a kob that makes them not want to live, or we need to deal with the situation in our island without inviting others because it has proved fruitless.