Teachers Union Welcomes 2.5% Pay Raise

November 17, 2017

The Bermuda Union of Teachers [BUT] has voted overwhelmingly to accept a 2.5 percent pay rise.

Union members met this week, and according to BUT President Shannon James, voted unanimously to accept the pay award.

“For five years, our members have not had a pay rise, or they have been asked to take furlough days, but prices have continued to rise. As a result, our members have endured a drop in their standard of living in real terms,” said Mr James.

He added, “The previous contract ended in 2012. Therefore, teachers have had a pay freeze since then, and to add to that, they gave up a furlough day in 2014.”

Mr James said that a study by Bermuda College economist Craig Simmons found that “teachers’ buying power had fallen by 12 percent in real terms.”

“That is an enormous drop and shows the level of sacrifice the teachers have had to make. In that context, the 2.5 percent rise is quite small, but we do understand that there is still a need to be careful with Government spending,” said Mr James.

“This was not a negotiated raise, but an offer from the Government as they realized that there had been no increase for any government worker for many years.”

The BUT will return to the bargaining table early in the New Year to begin talks for a new collective bargaining agreement. The present Agreement expires on August 31, 2018.

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Comments (23)

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  1. Interesting says:

    As I am happy they get an increase, we know most of them still feel it’s not enough for doing less. I am interested to know exactly where PLP has found ALL this money for the number of this about to take place in Bermuda?

    Every time I look money money money going out….!!!

    • Gina says:

      I guess they found it the same place the OBA found 70 million to fund the AC after taking from teachers for almost 2 years.

      • Sherbet man says:

        Hope ya not a teacher lol

      • Ringmaster says:

        Enjoy it while it lasts because a lot more than 2.5% will be taken away when the PLP announces numerous tax increases in their 2018 Budget.

    • Onion Juice says:

      De same place where O.B.A. found money for a Billionaire sailboat race, after SpongeBob threatened to take more furlough days (and those funds were not accounted for, mmmm) and told seniors money dont grow on trees.
      But you negate the fact that this Government found it deplorable how Government workers have not had a pay increase for five years while everything has increased and O.B.A. were spending money like drunken sailors (no pun intended).
      So instead of giving praise to the noble gesture, you say that you’re happy they got the increase and then your horns stick up.

  2. watching says:

    Well done!

  3. jt says:

    The debt ceiling will soon be raised so that we can continue what the OBA started and balance our budget in the next two years.

  4. Question says:

    Have our levels of education improved by 2.5%? This will help reduce our debt for sure. Everyone needs a pay rise at somepoint. But the Govt is chucking money around like we don’t have debt!

  5. puzzled says:

    Apply for citizenship in the US, or move to Canada or go live with the Bermudians in shanty towns in the UK.
    RIP Bermuda.

  6. Marcus s says:

    Wow so I wonder what the outcome had the OBA would have been in power? Would the out come be the same? Would the union membership be as sympathetic to the economy? Very interesting isn’t it.

    • Onion Juice says:

      They didnt worry about it for five years, so what makes you think they wouldve did it if they got back in.
      Thank you P.L.P. for taking care of the people after we saw a certain segment of society make off like fat cats from AC.
      We finally got our trickle down.

      • bdaboy says:

        “… after we saw a certain segment of society make off like fat cats from AC.”

        The people you call fat cats are the ones who got up off their a.. and did something…you just sit there, waiting for handouts.

  7. bill says:

    lil post election hand shake for all good work with the mould drama thank goodness its solved

  8. Oh,I see now says:

    Chucking money around hmmm…..let’s see “For five years, our members have not had a pay rise, or they have been asked to take furlough days, but prices have continued to rise.” I guess you missed that part of the conversation.I’m sure dividends have already and I hope for the future do pay off with the Americas Cup investment.My only argument continues to be the tens of millions of dollars they found in some old jeans in the closet when they cried broke.People have been working without a contract for years in good faith it’s time to honor that good faith.P labour P don’t hide behind the previous Governments folly you wanted get in and right wrongs.

    I hope you aren’t the same beast as the previous Government just wrapped in green and white ribbon.

  9. Trufths. says:

    Has anyone ever heard of this ‘new concept’ called MERIT-BASED pay increases? Hmmm….I wonder if we should ever do that?

    Nah, that would mean teachers would actually have to be accountable and perform to standard. Just give them all the same increase regardless of their effort or lack of effort.

    • Anbu says:

      Hey thats the point of getting a gov job here right? I mean who wouldn’t want job security for life ( as long as u join the union and meet certain criteria of course). Thats how its always been, do nothing, get paid, down tools? No problem, heres some more money. Got a drug problem? No worries man, come work intoxicated, or better yet dont come to work at all we still pay u anyway. Just make sure that when we ask u to act up, you r ready to do so with no questions asked. Oh, and dont forget to smile when we stick u just the same as the last administration. Only its cool cause its different, just the same. Smh

  10. Annoyed says:

    Guaranteed the negative comments are posted by none government workers who have had pay increases.

    Government workers are the lowest paid workers in comparison to the private sector. Some private sector receptionist get paid more than government workers in supervisory positions. Do you expect government workers to keep sacrificing? There have been furlough days, major increases in health insurance, cost of living and so forth in the past 5 years yet there has been no increase in pay to sunsidise any of theach increases. Studies also.show that most government workers have to work part time jobso in order to make ends meet.

    I know the government purse is tight but the government workers are also tired for doing more for less.

    • Onion says:

      Government workers voted PLP who put their employer on the edge of bankruptcy and imploded the economy. They did this to themselves.

    • Ringmaster says:

      Government workers enjoy the best benefits. Final salary pension, healthcare, vacation and sick days are so much better than the private sector workers, who pay for it. Also consider. Since 2007/8 there are less people. That means less children in school, technology means less mail, yet the Government work force has hardly changed. There are way too many government workers for the population. In a year or so when the IMF takes over, which they will, thousands of public sector jobs will go. Get ready for it.

  11. bdaboy says:

    “Government workers are the lowest paid workers in comparison to the private sector.”

    Lies, fake news.

    You’re obviously a government worker…in other words, you have absolutely no marketable skills.

    LOL, loser

  12. Ringmaster says:

    I’ll go a bit further. The OBA did all they could to not slash Government jobs, and this was a mistake. The job cuts will come, and the PLP will have to make them. There is no way the cuts won’t happen. It is basic Real Life 101.