Minister Foggo Updates On Union Negotiations

April 27, 2018 | 2 Comments

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [April 27], Minister of Government Reform Lovitta Foggo provided an update on the status of the Government’s Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations.

“There are six Union and Association partners and seven Collective Bargaining Agreements. Upon taking office in July 2017, all of the Agreements had expired,” the Minister said.

“Since that time, the Government has successfully negotiated four new Agreements. These include: Bermuda Public Services Union [general membership]; Bermuda Industrial Union; Fire Services Association; and The Bermuda Union of Teachers Collective Bargaining Agreements.

Also, the Government has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bermuda Public Services Union [Principals], pending further review and consultation of an Agreement in principle.

“Whilst the Prison Officers Association and the Bermuda Police Association Agreements remain outstanding, negotiations for both are currently in progress.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Good morning, Mr. Speaker.

I rise to provide an update to the Members of this Honourable House on the status of the Government’s Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable members will know that there are six Union and Association partners and seven Collective Bargaining Agreements. Upon taking office in July 2017, all of the Agreements had expired.

Since that time, the Government has successfully negotiated four new Agreements. These include: Bermuda Public Services Union [general membership]; Bermuda Industrial Union; Fire Services Association; and The Bermuda Union of Teachers Collective Bargaining Agreements. Also, the Government has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bermuda Public Services Union [Principals], pending further review and consultation of an Agreement in principle.

Whilst the Prison Officers Association and the Bermuda Police Association Agreements remain outstanding, negotiations for both are currently in progress.

Mr. Speaker, Bermuda Public Services Union [general membership] Agreement will reach term on 30th September 2020; Bermuda Industrial Union Agreement will reach term on 31st December, 2018; Fire Services Association Agreement will reach term on 31st March, 2020 and Bermuda Union of Teachers Agreement will reach term on 31st August, 2018.

Notwithstanding the milestone of having successfully completed negotiations with most partners, varying expiration dates, as well as provisions to re-open specific clauses in years two and three of the multi-year Agreements, will require new talks with the Unions.

Accordingly, it is expected that talks will re-open with our Unions partners in the coming weeks and months.

Mr. Speaker, having taken the opportunity to assess the effectiveness of the new approach to negotiations, the Government has determined that the model which relies upon non-technical officers to lead negotiations is indeed reasonable. The Government has therefore taken the decision to appoint new members to the Public Sector Negotiations Team [PSNT].

The original members of the PSNT, appointed by the then Government in 2016, include Gary Phillips, Chairman, John Harvey, and Martin Law.

I take this opportunity, on behalf of the Government, to publically extend thanks and appreciation to these gentlemen. It is well documented that they commenced their initial discussions in 2016 without a mandate. A matter that served to frustrate the process. This notwithstanding, once issued a bonafide mandate under the current Government the team worked diligently to ensure positive outcomes. It is expected that the original team will conclude their current work in the coming weeks or upon conclusion of negotiations with the Prison Officers Association.

Mr. Speaker, effective May 1st, a new team to include Jonathan Smith, Chairman, Orin Simmons and Vincent Hollinsid will assume the role of the Public Sector Negotiations Team.

As a priority, the PSNT will complete the Bermuda Public Services Union [Principals] negotiations and simultaneously enter into new negotiations with the Bermuda Union of Teachers as well as continue the Bermuda Police Association negotiations.

Mr. Speaker, the Government, through its actions, has reinforced its commitment to maintaining a healthy and harmonious workplace, as well as good industrial and employment relations.

Priority has therefore been placed on monthly scheduled Joint Consultative Meetings, which include management and Union representatives within each Department, to deal with conditions of employment and effective operations. Of equal importance are the quarterly scheduled Central Consultative Committee Meetings, which include the Civil Service Executive and Union representatives, to address management issues.

Mr. Speaker, communication is vitally important to good employment and industrial relations and is the hallmark of effective leadership.

Our aim Mr. Speaker is to build morale and enhance job satisfaction which will ultimately result in increased productivity, and as a consequence, a future-forward Government for the people of Bermuda.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    Ok, so “the Government has successfully negotiated four new Agreements”. What are the terms of those agreements and how do they relate to our economic climate?

  2. wahoo says:

    Can we now fire people who are not performing without risk of a shut down?

Leave a Reply