Govt. On Negotiations With Police Association

December 18, 2015

Following today’s [Dec 18] gathering of police officers on the Cabinet Grounds, the government provided an update on discussions, saying that “agreement on the issues, including cost sharing of GEHI, furlough, and overtime rates, among other important matters, was not able to be reached through informal discussions.”

A government spokesperson said, “Government and the Bermuda Police Association [BPA] have been engaged in discussions through their respective negotiating teams since January 2015 in an effort to find common ground on issues relating to the terms and conditions of employment of police officers.

“Unfortunately, informal agreement on the issues, including cost sharing of GEHI, furlough, and overtime rates, among other important matters, was not able to be reached through informal discussions.

Police officers arrive at Cabinet today:

bpa-cabinet-dec-2015-4

“Government wrote to the BPA on 31st March 2015 in accordance with section 29A [4] of the Police Act 1974 [“PA 1974”] advising that it had formally appointed negotiators under the legislation, and invited the BPA to commence negotiations. Government received no response to that invitation.

“Section 29A of the Police Act 1974 permits only the BPA to give notice to the Commissioner of Police to commence negotiations. Where notice has been given, there is a responsibility on Government under section 29A [3], to respond within fifteen days, and “to negotiate in good faith in relation to the Association’s wish to enter into negotiations with the Government.

“However, very unfortunately, the Association refused to give notice of intent to negotiate. Therefore, Government had to advise on 17 June 2015 that it intended to take action to amend the terms of employment without the input of the Association. Only after that time did the BPA agree to negotiate.

“After negotiations between Government and the Police Association over the summer, the parties reached and signed an agreement on 20 August 2015. Government negotiated in good faith and believed that the parties had reached an agreement that would be recommended for acceptance by the Police Executive to their members.

“Instead, the Association Executive refused to recommend the terms of the settlement to their members. The members replaced the Executive that negotiated the settlement, and the police membership voted to reject the settlement reached by their negotiating team.

“Under the statutorily mandated process, the dispute was referred to conciliation. The conciliator was unable to reach a conciliated settlement with the parties, and the conciliator reported to the Minister that there was a failure to reach a settlement.

“Under the Police Act 1974, the Minister is mandatorily required to refer the dispute to the Permanent Police Arbitration Tribunal. The referral has been made and the dispute is now before the Tribunal, which is the only body that may decide the issues in dispute or to adjourn the arbitration.

“The Premier and Minister of National Security Michael Dunkley encourages the Police Executive and officers to respect the Arbitration procedure required by the legislation. It should be noted that statutorily, the Premier has fulfilled his obligation and it would be highly inappropriate to interfere with the arbitration process.

“However there is an opportunity for both parties to agree a way forward and bring it to the attention of the Arbitration Tribunal Chair.

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Comments (42)

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

    Govt. need to go after all those unpaid parking tickets and payroll tax arrears and from the previous administration without having to go after Policemen/women’s pay and landtax increases!!!

    • LET'S BE REAL says:

      I agree, but Govt. Need to do what they said they would do.

      Trimm ALL the fat in managerial possitions in ALL government departments.

      This should include cutting politicians pay to 25%.

      On the Police Service, The Seargants and constable’s are the one’s that do the work; they should be rewarded for the work they do and keep all their benefits.

      They do what most won’t. They run at what everyone else is running from.

    • This is History in the making, this Government is Pathetic.

      • Come Correct says:

        Still nothing to say on the AG reports? You’re like the new Betty, have to make a reply to the first comment on the article with absolutely nothing to do with the initial comment. Maybe you were Betty all along. Anyway, I don’t think you have any room to throw out the word pathetic.

  2. Terry says:

    A picture speaks a thousand words.

    Who amongst you will get my comment.

  3. Jr Smith says:

    welcome to austerity Bermuda, we live in a world of debt, and will continue to do so unless we are willing to sacrifice….

    • Common Cents says:

      Or find new sources of revenue…

      • Spectator says:

        Any suggestions?

        • Zevon says:

          Online gambling, undersea mining, and tracking soace ships. And legalise marijuana, of course, that’s always thown in. What could possbly go wrong.

  4. bluebird says:

    We are $2.385BILLION dollars in DEBT,borrowing $220Million dollars a year that increases tge DEBT,
    INTEREST APPROMATELY $500,000.00 a day and the Police want more money.
    Goverment cannot live on $1.1billion dollars per year as we dont have it comming in.
    SOLUTION….fire/terminate 4,000 goverment jobs which will BALANCE THE BUDGET but will not pay off the DEBT.
    This is the beginning of the END.Dont matter which way you look at it.
    We cannot keep living on other peoples money otherwise someone else Will own us,and then you will lose your freedom.Just think about it? Atleast you will not have to pay your morgage anymore as someone else will own YOU……SLAVE.

    • fed up says:

      Police do NOT want more money , they are actually willing to negotiate to loose money , but CANNOT afford to loose $1000 plus dollars each month from their paycheck as government has proposed .

    • The one and only says:

      500,000 per day interest ends up being 182500000 per year.

      Math anyone?

      • Just to think we are paying Hanbury $1000,00 a day and gave him a $80,000 bogus bonus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Rockfish#1 and #2 says:

    Not sure why the BPS should not feel any pain during these tough economic times. There are many of us in the private sector who must accept reductions in hours/days and in some cases redundancies. Furthermore, salaries paid to the BPS are very good, but many of us civilians are forced to do much more with much less. It is understood some officers occasionally face risks,and work unsociable hours but they knew that could happen when they joined,and they are not the only people doing that.
    Eventually, numbers in the service will be reduced,if it becomes too costly to maintain. Lastly, it is felt in many quarters that the service is far too large for such a small population. Perhaps the powers that be will have a look at that. Remember two old sayings,”greedy killed puppy” and “be careful what you ask for”.

    • Barnacle says:

      The size of the service is quite large when compared to other places around the world. However, other places around the world have the luxury of another police department in a neighboring county, or state. They also can call on the FBI, ATF, etc.. So it is not as simple as saying the service here is disproportionately large compared to the population. Something that should not be forgotten is that the The Government of the day AND the then opposition should have seen all of Bermudas financial woes coming. It started in the USA and we continued to spend like it was going out of style. The PLP were in power and spent like drunken sailors and the UBP etc as opposition sat back and did not perform its role as an opposition effectively. Now the OBA are in power and want to solve Bermudas financial issues off the backs of their employees within 5 years! Well I tell you this, Neither party will have my vote in the next election as they are all a bunch of tools.

  6. Oh Well says:

    Agreed ‘Bluebird’ BUT Police are NOT asking for more money. Police have been cutting back for last few years and saved OBA $7 million.
    Police want a fair shake in helping cut costs but not when govt wants to have police solve their problems financially by proposing Police take up to $1,300 per month in cuts then forcibly add GEHI payments into the mix.

    No reasonable person can expect to take that much in an officer’s pay?!

    Agreed ‘Bluebird’ that govt first take 25% right off top of their salary. Trust me. They will not feel that much ‘pain in their wallet’.

    Oh Well…

  7. Paying plps’debt every day now…erry where we turn…….their spending habits….ah……me personally…I wouldn’t mess with police budget…you might just need them…and that job is difficult at besst…;

  8. Kevin says:

    They need to start with the housing allowances

    • Public says:

      You shouldn’t call 911 the next time somebody breaks into your house or you get into an accident or you get robbed. Start with that.

  9. planeasday says:

    Has anyone thought of eliminating the remittances foreign workers send home per year never to used in our economy thereby decelerating the money velocity in the process?

    You have to imagine every foreign national from insurance executives to pot washers are sending a portion of their pay home. Eliminate this. If they want the benefit of working here they should not at the same time be allowed to decelerate our economy and reduce taxable revenues from the government at the same time.

    If this was done then you would truly see who cares about Bermuda’s welfare and is not just using her as a big tit to suck off from…

    • jt says:

      And when they leave?

      • planeasday says:

        As above – the ones who stay care to fix the problem…

        • planeasday says:

          And then TRULY deserve to call Bermuda home…

          • jt says:

            So they work here for say 6 years, can’t send money home in that time and can’t take any savings with them? Get real.

    • stunned... says:

      maybe not eliminate but there should be a “repatriation fund” tax of say 5% if the remitter wishes to send money out of Bermuda and holds a non British/Bermuda passport. this info is already captured by western union and the like.

  10. For real says:

    Why should the police NOT have to pay their share of GEHI and their co-pay for precriptions like the rest of the civil servants! They are well paid and get loads of overtime. This is plain selfishness and over-rated entitlement. If a police officer is injured in the call of duty then yes they should have full medical. But for all other needs they should be in line with other Government workers!

    • Public says:

      Then all over government workers should work rotating shifts and be forced to retire at 55.

    • Public says:

      Then all over government workers should work rotating shifts and be forced to retire at 55. You obviously need a clue.

    • LET'S BE REAL says:

      The police Service are the only Gov’t dept that actually work night shift, something that is documented to cause known illness. Hence they were the only Gov’t dept given certain GEHI benefits to offset what will happen to them.

      Plus they pay insurance once a month, actually pay more than the other dept’s

  11. bluebird says:

    When your income cannot be increased you have to decrease your expenditures.
    That is what is happening in BERMUDA.And if we do not do it,it certainly will be forced upon us.
    No one has ever said life would be fair,and i know manny would like it to be but it aint so.
    The police have had a very good ride and it is comming to an end.
    I have been wishing for years but Goverment refuses to pay my health care.
    NOW JUST WAIT until we have to start cutting Goverment Pensions in half because we again dont have the money.It is comming as we cannot suck blood out of a stone.
    And dont worry teachers you will be next.

  12. Zoab Yob says:

    The Police Association have got this horribly wrong and have backed themselves into a corner. Begging for public support is a last ditch strategy.

    They had made a deal with Government,but without consulting with their membership, who ultimately rejected that agreed upon deal and ousted the seniority of the association, replacing them with the current executive.

    Government have followed the law and have no obligation to offer further procedural concession.

    Much of what Government wanted to negotiate were the numerous generous allowances the Police enjoy, not salary cuts. They must also be prepared to contribute more to their generous GEHI coverage, which is free, and covers them 24/7, and not just the 8hrs per day when they work and may be exposed to danger.

    The BPA has demonstrated poor leadership and has given Government a position of strength from which to push home a settlement favourable to them. Had the BPA been wiser from the outset, they would be far better placed to offer a better result to their membership.

    • Young Bermudian says:

      I hope the other Unions learn a lesson from this. KEY WORDS: Consult your membership!

  13. Oh,I see now says:

    “The police Service are the only Gov’t dept that actually work night shift, something that is documented to cause known illness.”……….

    News flash….so do prison officers.

    • LET'S BE REAL says:

      Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I was informed prison Officers have beds and get to sleep at night same as fire men

  14. sebring says:

    I think prison officers have a much more difficult and dangerous job than the police ,. just imaging they demanded as much ? and they get a lot less in money or benefits a lot less.

  15. Zevon says:

    A couple of weeks ago it was Belco employees who have dangerous jobs, because they deal with electricity and some of them climb ladders. And before that it was bus drivers, because they meet the public and catch all sorts of diseases. It’s a wonder there’s anyone left with all these dangerous occupations.

  16. Oh,I see now says:

    LET’S BE REAL says:
    December 19, 2015
    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I was informed prison Officers have beds and get to sleep at night same as fire men.

    You asked to be corrected if you are wrong, so here I am correcting you……that is not true