PLP: ‘Protest Illustrates Deteriorating Relations’

May 28, 2017 | 57 Comments

“Nothing illustrates more the ongoing deteriorating state of labour relations in the minority OBA Government’s Bermuda than the recent protest by the Bermuda Union of Teachers on the Cabinet grounds,” PLP spokesperson for Labour and Workforce Development Rolfe Commissiong said today.

This statement follows after the Bermuda Union of Teachers [BUT] held an Emergency Membership Meeting on May 25th, after which they gathered on the Cabinet Grounds, then marched through Hamilton.

Speaking at that time, the BUT’s Shannon James said the teachers met “over negotiations or lack thereof,” adding that they “have been negotiating since January, but there has been some sort of breakdown in the process.”

Quick video pan showing teachers gathered at Cabinet earlier this week:

Mr Commissiong said, “Nothing illustrates more the ongoing deteriorating state of Labour Relations in the minority OBA Government’s Bermuda than the recent protest by the Bermuda Union of Teachers on the Cabinet grounds.

“Having seen their negotiations stalled since January, the BUT was right to protest the length of time it has taken to secure a new collective bargaining agreement.

“But they are not alone. Every union in Bermuda which represents Government workers are in the same unacceptable position. The Bermuda Industrial Union and the Bermuda Public Services Union have also been without a new collective bargaining agreement since 2012.

“While they go without a raise in over five years, inflation eats away at these members’ stagnated salaries. They experience their standard of living, and that of their families, decline as the ruinous cost of living in the two Bermudas continues to erode the middle class.

“The OBA Government does not have teachers’ interests at heart, nor that of their students who have been shortchanged again and again.

“In their fifth year as Government, the OBA has shown they have plenty of time to negotiate an airport contract with a Canadian entity, find the funds for America’s Cup, and provide concessions left, right and centre for foreign investors. But when it comes to employment contracts for our mostly Bermudian teachers, they are last on the list.

“The Progressive Labour Party makes a firm commitment that as Government we will establish a healthier relationship with our trade unions and enhance worker protections.

“We view our unions as valued stakeholders and public servants who make Bermuda work; and not as adversaries to be treated as if they are surplus to requirements.“

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Comments (57)

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  1. aceboy says:

    It illustrates that the PLP are all about stunts during game changing events. The PLP and the Unions are harming Bermuda.

  2. But says:

    We get it Rolffe, the PLP are in bed with the Unions.

  3. Yahoo says:

    I see it’s Ralph’s turn to get up in front of the media and spew nonsense. Predictable PLP.

  4. Trump supporter says:

    YAWN……

  5. wahoo says:

    Is this a protest against the civil servants?

  6. Scoalsy says:

    Race Card Race Card Race Card Race Card Race Card

  7. Com says:

    Teachers should concentrate on teaching not politics
    Unfortunately the but have always been big supporters of the biu and that’s why many of pay our dues to charity

  8. Lois Frederick says:

    An election stunt if ever I have seen one.

  9. Bermuda Union of Teachers and The Preserve Marriage Supporters, did an outstanding peaceful demonstration, of showing their discuss and dislike for our present climate in these Islands, under the Administration of Mr. Michael Dunkley and his Government, The O.B.A.

    Yet still I feel we need to go further, sooner rather then later,Marches and peaceful protest has it’s place but I think we have reached the time to take this to the next level.

    This next level has to be seriously debated and more importantly done without any form of violence, but I for one say shut this Island down and bring all key stake holders to the bargaining table and do not back down until they meet us at a point that we can agree.

    • Powder says:

      Ah, so hold the island to ransom just for the few. Great call. This is exactly why we are in the mess we are in.

      I hear Burt flapping his lips on the radio the other day, saying that teachers hadn’t had a pay rise in 5(?) years. Well, Burt, the private sector was losing jobs during the same period because of PLP policy, and you wonder why teachers haven’t had a raise??

      • What few, this aint nothing new.
        We been through this before to get what we need. From Revolts to Civil Rights to now.
        And guess what, as long as we live in a racist society, we will be going through this in 100 years.

    • aceboy says:

      You want to go back to the glory years of the PLP huh?

      Gawd.

    • puzzled says:

      Your a fool Duane.
      Shut the island.
      We just got it’s head above water.
      Your comment is subversive.
      Shame.

    • Real Onion says:

      even IF you succeeded in shutting down the island, which I doubt,aint nothing good going to come of it.

    • Risk Mitigation says:

      Really, when are economy is already at risk? Stop hitting us in the foot!

      Some folks just don’t realize how economically fragile Bermuda remains!

      Smiths

    • sandgrownan says:

      Christ, really shut the island down? So, blackmail then?

      PM lost fair and square in court – get over it, it’s done – progress is being made with or without the bigots and homophobes.

    • Earth watch police says:

      Yah Duane I’d like to see you try

    • Navin Johnson says:

      If you attempt to shut anything down now you fool your Union or whatever’s you call preserve marriage is finished…all of the protests are now political background noise……also the term “Two Bermuda’s ” has been given to the PLP as a political buzz phrase….

      • Navin Johnson says:

        Oh I forgot ” the minority government ” another paid buzz phrase

    • Rasta says:

      PLP broke de island and it’s people suffer now.

    • Um Um Like says:

      Haha, people showing their “discuss”!

      I suppose you’ll blame the UBP for your education (or lack thereof). Perhaps if our educational system were more advanced, you’d be able to form a sentence, or perhaps even know complicated things like the difference between disgust and discuss.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Or you could try democracy and bleddy we’ll wait for the election!

      This “we’re not getting our way, so we’re going to hurt the entire island” tantrum mentality you espouse is not going to help ANYONE.

      Do better. Grow up.

  10. ImJustSayin says:

    And no mention of race, well done Rolf well done.

  11. FUI says:

    nothing is more demoralizing than the deteriorating crap that the PLP spouts on and on about.useless negative drivel

  12. Northrock says:

    Its hard to read this stuff and not laugh. Whilst I’m somewhat sure that the unions and its members would probably like the PLP suggesting that they’ll pretty much give them whatever they want…the rest of Bermuda can see this is just a way to buy votes, create even more debt and just do anything they can to put their party first..

  13. asampson says:

    Straws…..grab them…..grab them all lol

  14. Trail User says:

    Tell the teachers when they stop passing out grades that children don’t deserve just to pass them through, stop putting children that come with one problem in the same basket for the rest of the time they are in school, and really take the time to fill out your paperwork like Power School reporting then you can talk about your issues and also politicians to hold the education department over loaded with Doctors, and civil servants accountable instead of worrying about a vote then we will truly be helping our children. Also has anyone taken the time to document how many teachers have their children in private school I am just asking

    • Hmmm whatever says:

      Teachers have VERY LITTLE control. You may wish to start with the Minister for Education, PS and the Ministry of Education. The buck STOPS with them. Teachers can only teach with the resources they are given, in the climate that is created and within the capabilities of the children. When teachers DO show their displeasure as with a silent protest (reported above) THAT DISRUPTED NOTHING that was worth disrupting, OUT come people like YOU. You’re damned if you do and your damned if you don’t. Teachers have NOOOOOO control over things like PowerSchool being implemented, take out your angst with the powers that be.

    • FYI says:

      I think teachers would agree to holding students and parents accountable to a higher academic standard. Unfortunately, policies in place have created a culture of laziness in some instances. Many students do not prepare/study for knowledge/understanding for life long learning/tests/assignments the first time because the policy says they get as many chances possible to resit in order to pass the test/assignment/project. As a result, they do not apply themselves.
      If there is two BDAs, then certainly one group values education and the other not so much. Schools are a reflection of their communities and children are a reflection of their homes.I’m certain children that come from healthy homes where education is valued and supported are doing well in the public school. Unfortunately, many homes may profess the value of education in theory but certainly not in practice. 2nd BDA, lets do better and model better examples for our kids.
      Students, Parents, Teachers, Administrators, & Government, lets all raise the bar, so its a win win for Bermuda – ONE BERMUDA.

  15. casadanale says:

    Rolfe and the rest of the PLP/UBP/BIU cohorts just making noise again with no substance at all. This is the reason they are unelectable. The OBA has it going on. They get my vote.

  16. Ct says:

    Why didn’t the BUT just email the MoED PS and the Minister to say they are not happy with the progress. The first the Minister heard about it was the news because contracts are negotiated by the civil servants public contract negotiations team (whatever they are called). Hoenstly, some people wouldn’t last 5 mins in the private sector where it is expected that you “reach out” if something is wrong. People are not mind readers.

  17. Francis says:

    Three days to come up with this drivel! PLP/UBP forgave a union bond for Berkeley in exchange for no more wild cat strikes and then…. oops . Still had them! Hey Rolfe give it a rest. Our students were again punished by teachers who were supposed to be on a professional development day! The irony is shocking!

  18. Long bay trading says:

    PLP scrambling to stay relevant. Sad.

  19. Honestly says:

    I’ve had enough of the ignorant comments that are everywhere! Clue: if it doesn’t directly affect you or have something constructive to contribute,,,say nothing.

  20. AD says:

    Yes thanks but we already had the main PLP talking points: minority OBA, 2 Bermudas, Canadian airport. Really stunning stuff, fantastic work…yawn.

    How about some plans or solutions?

    Maybe get tourism going again? Build a couple new hotels to provide job opportunities?

    Whats your track record on that?

    Oh right.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Flip Flop singing at baseball games! Christ was a useless National embarrassment that was – compare with what happened this weekend.

      The Platinum period indeed.

  21. Bully Beef says:

    PLP spent all the money. Government is broke. No money to pay workers raises.

    And it is the Government’s fault?

    PLP LIES.

  22. Zevon says:

    They haven’t had a raise since 2012? Welcome to the club. There are plenty of private sector people in that position. The only difference is we don’t have guaranteed jobs no matter how incompetent we are.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Indeed.

      • Ringmaster says:

        Don’t forget the plentiful weeks of vacations and carry over sick days and guaranteed pensions. Far more than in the private sector who, by taxes, pays for them.

      • And if it wasnt for de Union you wouldnt have de benefits ya enjoying now and de wage ya getting.

    • FYI says:

      It’s not about a raise

  23. jim hill says:

    “While they go without a raise in over five years”. Welcome to the real world. Many non-unionised workers have also gone without a raise for 5 years, sometimes more. We realise the need to get the economy back on track before demanding that we get paid more. We look to the best interests of the future, rather than trying to greedily satisfy our own personal now. And, as we have only ONE Bermuda, we have no need to try to live in two.

  24. JH says:

    Whining losers.

  25. Mary says:

    clueless bunch of backward travellers

  26. LostinFlatts says:

    Just nice to see another PLP politician presenting well thought out solutions to the island’s problems.

    Oh.

  27. LongBay Trading Inc. says:

    I have not had a pay rise since I can remember…….2009 perhaps and even that was .0001% or some such nonsense………..whatever it was, it was immediately eaten up by riseing cost of living………PLP …. or spent (you chose) all of Bermuda’s money. There is NONE left. Teachers stop whining and work like the rest of us have to do. Put in the work INTO BERMUDA and eventually, as things start to turn around, WHICH THEY ARE UNDER THE OBA, we will get a long overdue increase (hopefully). PLP put Bermuda into such a fragile state that 4 years of OBA is not enough to mop up the mess. OBA is working as hard and as fast as it can. Support them and do your job and your bit to help. The rest WILL FOLLOW AS BERMUDA HEALS AND GETS BETTER AND BETTER WITH EACH AND EVERY DAY.

  28. Rasta says:

    No solutions by plp, pure nonsense.

  29. Up D hill says:

    Empty barrels make the most noise!

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