PLP MP & Minister On Work Permit Waivers

January 26, 2017

In light of information regarding advertising waivers for churches granted by the Department of Immigration, Shadow Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown said that Minister Gordon-Pamplin is in an “untenable position” and is “ill-suited to be making any determination” in regards to Reverend Tweed’s work permit.

Shadow Minister Brown said, “The revelation that the Department of Immigration has granted not less than 27 advertising waivers for churches in the past three years has now put Minister Gordon-Pamplin in an untenable position.

“The Minister has not been forthright in providing the public with critical information on how church work permits are currently being handled. What we have seen instead is incremental information reluctantly released. It is clear that waivers are far more common than the Minister indicated in her public statements.

“When I consider these facts alongside the Minister’s publicly expressed disagreement with Rev Tweed’s pastoring it seems clear that political interference has contoured the Minister’s actions.

“On June 24, 2016 the Minister told Parliament why she ceased attending St Paul AME Church, “I have refused to go to the church that I have been a member of for 60 years because I was getting barbs coming from the pulpit Sunday after Sunday after Sunday when I go for spiritual rejuvenation.”

“This statement alone is sufficient to warrant her ill-suited to be making any determination on the Tweed application.”

In response, Minister of Home Affairs Patricia Gordon-Pamplin said, “the statement that the Department has granted 27 waivers for work permits for churches is misleading.” A video of the Minister’s full remarks follows below.

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Good afternoon and thank you for coming.

I would say upfront that the statement that the Department has granted 27 waivers for work permits for churches is misleading.

In my press conference of January 6th, I provided statistics for advertising of positions for the clergy for 2016 only. This information was taken from the Job Board. I also noted that in 2016 we received one waiver for that category of job; i.e. the clergy.

In contrast, the applications in the PATI response dated back to, as early as, 2013. The information provided in the PATI request included all active applications submitted by churches for all job types including: 15 missionaries from the Church of Latter Day Saints; 2 Musicians; and 7 positions that, either, were not required to be advertised or where there was an automatic exemption, such as a guest speaker and sound technicians for special events.

There were a total of six clergy that applied for a waiver of advertising and all six made proper application and paid the requisite fee.

It has been alleged by MP Brown that I misled you. It is unfortunate that he did not review the attachment like I did. I stated that we received one waiver in 2016 for a member of the clergy. We determined subsequently that the specific application referred to was received in 2015.

However there was only one application listed; the Emmanuel Methodist Church for a Minister of Religion. That application, which was for a short-term permit, was approved administratively; i.e. by a Technical Officer which is aligned with the normal process for short-term work permits. The other 5 work permits for the clergy went to the Board.

In my press conference of December 28, I underscored the consideration respecting advertising policies that were put into effect in the new policies of 2014, and indicated that all positions must be advertised if they were offered to non-Bermudians. I also specifically pointed out my reference to S1.15 and S1.16 of the Work Permit Policy.

I indicated that the policy [meaning the WHOLE POLICY] applies to everyone – every individual, every company, every charity, every church. It is worth noting that every other denomination has complied with this requirement since the new policy was put in effect.

I reiterate, the Policy – meaning the ENTIRE policy of S1.15 and S1.16, applies to everyone.
For clarity, I will read both policies in total, to hopefully alleviate what may be perceived as misinformation on my part to the public.

1.15 Advertising Criteria

Employers are required to advertise available positions prior to applying for Short Term or Standard Work Permits [unless otherwise set out in this policy]. The position must, at a minimum, be advertised three (3) times over a period of eight [8] days, in a local newspaper as well as, at a minimum, eight (8) consecutive days on the Government Job Board at www.bermudajobboard.bm.

Each advertisement must include the following details: the title of the job being filled and the name, telephone number and mailing address of the employer; the title of the job being filled; clearly specify the minimum standards of qualification and experience; a brief description of the job to be filled which should be consistent with the normal functions associated with the job. An advertisement will be invalid if it contains a job description that appears to be tailor-made to fit a particular existing or potential work permit holder; and notice of the deadline for application.

The work permit application must be submitted within three [3] months of the date on which the position was last advertised in either the newspaper or the job board [which ever had the longest run date]. However, in cases where the length of the recruitment process does not permit the employer to submit an application within three [3] months of the date the position was last advertised, employers may pay the Advertisement Extension Fee which will permit them to submit the application within six [6] months of the date on which the position was last advertised.

Should any advertised details change prior to the expiry of five [5] working days following the date of the last advertisement, the advertisement shall be invalid and the employer will be required to re-advertise the position. This is intended to allow sufficient time for Bermudians, Spouses of Bermudians and PRC holders to apply.

1.16 Waivers of advertising

Upon request of the employer and upon payment of the requisite fee, the Board/Minister may waive the requirement to advertise a position where a Short Term or Standard Work Permit is being applied for. A waiver of advertising may be appropriate where: the person is uniquely qualified for the position; or the position would not exist in Bermuda if it were not for the applicant filling the job; or the success of the business would be detrimentally affected if the person were to leave the business [detrimentally affected means that jobs of Bermudians, Spouses of Bermudians or PRC holders would be put at risk]; or the employee is integral and key to income generation for the business by brokering deals or attracting/retaining clients or funds.

Each request for a waiver of advertising will be decided upon by its merits. The decision of the Board/Minister may be appealed to the Minister [see section 1.4] upon payment of the requisite fee.

Waivers are automatically granted in respect of: the post of CEO or other Chief Officer; the post of Resort Hotel General Manager at a hotel with greater than 175 beds; Periodic, Occasional, New Business, Global and Global Entrepreneur Work Permits; Permits granted pursuant to sections 7.3, 7.4 or 7.13 [subject to restrictions listed].

Where an employer demonstrates that it has Bermudians, Spouses of Bermudians or PRC holders training abroad to gain international experience with the plan upon completion of a specified period not exceeding three [3] years to return to Bermuda, an employer may apply for an automatic waiver of advertising for guest workers that fall outside the aforementioned categories equal to the number of Bermudians, Spouses of Bermudians or PRC holders being trained abroad for the same length of time in similar positions of employment.

Such proof shall include the identity of the selected Bermudians, Spouses of Bermudians or PRC holders training abroad as well as their respective statements of employment, training program details and company organizational chart. The Department reserves the right to request further information regarding the training of the Bermudians, Spouses of Bermudians or PRC holders.

Specifically, with respect to today’s response by the department to the PATI request, it appears from the newspaper article that the question was for ALL positions within the various churches. Notwithstanding that our press conference was in respect of a particular matter, the response to the PATI request, and further investigation of the responses shows clearly that Policy 1.16 WAS FULLY ADHERED TO, as applications were made and fees paid to request the waivers.

The other matter that was under consideration and was the subject of the previous press conference, did not comply with the policy within the prescribed time, but as that matter is now sub judice, I will make no further reference thereto.

 

click here Bermuda Rev Tweed’s work permit

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Comments (31)

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  1. Whistle-blower says:

    Do the public a favour and RETIRE Pamplin-Gordon!! I knew you where lying from the beginning.

    • We had to change de license plates on GP cars because of security reasons.
      LMFAO

    • Codfish says:

      Whistle-blower: Did you not read the article???

      • hmmm says:

        No, he and Onion Juice clearly didn’t read it.

      • Widget says:

        @Codfish. whistle blower doesn’t know how to comprehend what was said. He only knows how to blow is own whistle.

    • Hey says:

      How many applications like Rev. Tweeds have flown under the radar and missed by whistleblowers.

  2. aceboy says:

    So, the PLP are again showing that they can’t get any of their facts right and go running to the press before checking.

    Not a sign of a good governance.

    • hmmm says:

      Exactly if you can’t get your facts straight PLP, then good governance is NOT achievable.

      PLP is simply abusing the picture to suit an agenda. NOT good governance.

      Minister applied the rules which is good governance.

      PLP appear to not want to apply the rules, which is extremely poor governance.

  3. Average Bermudian says:

    PATI is very helpful to really see behind the scenes.

    • OBA one term says:

      It’s helpful to see that she’s so full of crap, the toilet is jealous. I can’t wait to see her face after the election. PATI doesn’t tell you everything friend. Ask someone that works for Immigration.

      • hmmm says:

        The church missed deadlines, did not apply for a waiver.

        Perhaps you need to chastise Walton Brown for once again trying to deceive you..

  4. Lualaba says:

    Walton has always been very good at twisting the facts to suit his political needs…

    I really wish the PLP would spend less time on the political rhetoric and more on doing things to help improve Bermuda for all..

  5. Kevin says:

    When will the plp be held accountable for there misleadng statements this has be one of the worst and Walton Brown should be made to apologize to the Public.

  6. just wondering says:

    Isn’t there a fundamental distinction between GRANTING waivers and the facts of the present case where the Church was given the choice of advertising OR applying for a waiver – as I understand it the Church did NEITHER – so what’s the relevance of how many waivers were granted in the past if the Church never applied for one in the first place? Or am I missing something?

  7. Madog says:

    what a liar she needs to resign

    • James H says:

      You are an idiot

    • hmmm says:

      No, Walton is abusing the people by not being transparent.

      What do you want, someone who paints a picture or the truth. (OBA = truth, PLP = their version that suits an agenda.

      Stop being taken for a ride people. Turn your backs to the PLP taking you for a fool.

    • sandgrownan says:

      What was the lie here? Walton is the one spinning the facts.

  8. San George says:

    She specifically stated for 2016 – another example of deception. Instead of stating the law was specifically enacted in order to deport Tweed they extend exemptions to all comers. The rules are the same for everyone; another bold face lie.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Er no. Did the AME apply for a waivor for Genevieve? No?

      Did they wait until the last minute to apply for a permit against the rule..that they know? Yes

      Was the application incomplete and containing untruths? Yes

      You need to get angry at the AME. Except you won’t, this is all a manufactured situation for political gain.

  9. Onion says:

    The PLP shadow minister clearly doesn’t know the first thing about immigration rules and should either apologise and get up to speed or resign and allow someone else to take the role.

  10. Terry says:

    The PLP remind me of a fully layden sewage tanker making frequent stops to discharge and not concerned about the outcome.

  11. clearasmud says:

    The Minister’s attempt to spin this is painful. Two Government Ministers said that since the new policy in 2014 all other Churches had advertised clearly that did not happen. They said there are one set of rules for everyone clearly that did not happen. I don’t think that the Minister should resign but her weak efforts to explain this debacle reminds me of the saying “when you find yourself in a hole STOP digging”.
    There is no need for any further explanations the Chief justice will decide how truthful she is.

  12. TGIF says:

    Click like if you no longer trust either party!

  13. Infidelguy says:

    Well, if nothing else, the one thing that can be said about the PLP is that they are very persistent. Nice try Walton but I’m afraid it’s back to the drawing board!

  14. Infidelguy says:

    Here is a brilliant quote Tweeted out by Neil DeGrasse Tyson yesterday in relation to Donald Trump. I think it’s also very fitting in describing what may be going on here in terms what the PLP is doing.

    “When facts are what people want to be true, in spite of contrary evidence, witness the beginning of the end of an informed Democracy.” –Neil DeGrasse Tyson

  15. karen says:

    THE PLP ARE JUST LOOKING FOR A LOOP HOLE TO KEEP TWEED ON THE ISLAND.

  16. Trisha says:

    If her desition is based on personal judgment she is not suitable for her position.

  17. Alvin Williams says:

    The AME church is one of major Black churches in this country and the OBA government’s attempt to pull a minister out of his pulpit is not only a direct attack on the black community but it also an attack on religion.

  18. Broken Glass says:

    Tweed’s leaving,on a jet plane,
    he wont be back again………