Live Video/Photo Blog: BPSU March On Cabinet

April 26, 2011

[Updated] Members of the Bermuda Public Services Union [BPSU] have gathered this morning [Apr.26] to voice their concerns, and are marching to the Cabinet grounds on Front Street. A flyer mailed out last week said “should the membership agree to take a 1.25% pay increase or salary freeze, the Government should agree there will be no redundancies at all or no wage cuts whatsoever”.

The flyer also asked Government to “take all general and reasonable steps to advocate a price freeze for all essential products and services and to consider taking a paycut from their Ministerial salaries.”

The latest updates will be posted on top:

Update 2:45pm: BPSU President Kevin Grant addressed the membership after the march. He said that the communication needs to be enhanced, thanked the members for coming out and said they will get back to work to show they are responsible as well. He also said that it is important to have lunch at their desks.

Update 2:01pm: The BPSU members leaving the Cabinet Grounds:

Update 1:01pm: On the note of the statements made by both the BPSU and BIU about having essential services freeze their prices, BELCO has already done so voluntarily for 2011, which they announced last year. BELCO said they have also implemented a freeze on their own employees salaries in 2011, saying it is an effort to prevent redundancies.

Update 12:50pm: Video below of the BPSU entering the Cabinet Grounds, singing “solidarity forever”,. MPs coming out to meet them etc. We apologize for the audio quality, however were unable to set up a microphone.

Update 11:55am: We spoke with BPSU President Kevin Grant after the march, video below. Mr Grant said he felt it was a “positive march” this morning, and they wanted “to march to have an impact, an impact that sent a message that the BPSU is not crying out specifically for the membership, we are crying out for the whole of the whole island.”

Update 11:32am: A copy of the letter handed by the BPSU to the Acting Premier Michael Scott this morning is below. The BPSU is requesting that there be no compulsory redundancies, reasonable steps to work towards a price freeze for essential goods, and that Ministers consider a salary cut – which the Premier ruled out last week.

BPSU March Letter To Premier Bermuda April 26 2011

BPSU March Letter To Premier Bermuda April 26 2011-1

Update 10:46am: Photo slideshow of the group on the Cabinet grounds, courtesy of John Manderson

Update 10:42: They are arriving back at BPSU headquarters

Update 10:35am: The marchers are leaving after presenting Acting Premier Michael Scott with paperwork expressing their concerns.

BPSU March On Cabinet Bermuda April 26 2011-2

Update 10:23am: They have arrived at the Cabinet grounds


Update 10:05am: The members have begun to march:

Update 9:55am: Members continue to gather, and Ed Ball, General Secretary of the BPSU, addressed the membership:

Update 9:43am: BPSU Members are currently meeting at BPSU Headquarters. There is no Cabinet meeting today [as the Premier and Deputy Premier are off island], and it seems unclear if they will proceed with the march today, or delay it to another time

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  1. What about the Unemployed? says:

    BPSU should be ashamed of themselves.

    In the US public sector workers are being laid off by the thousands. In the UK the Government cuts off 500,000 public servants. In Barbados and Jamaica public sector wages were cut. In Europe public sector workers are being forced to take pay cuts, redundancies, and pension/benefit reductions.

    Those are all reasons to march, a one year pay freeze after your own bosses admitted that your pay awards over the past years have been excessive is not a reason to march.

    But we live in an alternate reality called Bermuda. While Government could have cut the work week and instituted real cost saving measures, they decided to keep things largely untouched and they get a march. I wonder what would have happened if the government was really tough and did what the BDA called for and that is to reduce the civil service via redundancies, maybe a riot.

    Its wild, BPSU members who have secure jobs, healthcare, pensions, are marching in protest, meanwhile we have multiple unemployed Bermudians and BIU Hotel workers that earn half as much and aren’t marching.

    In an era of sacrifice, we can see who the selfish ones are. Get back to work, and give thanks that you have a secure job with guaranteed benefits. Save your march for when it’s needed, like when your jobs or pensions get cut.

    Better yet, let all public servants from Ministers on down take a 5% paycut, and save the budget $20million and spend that money on temp assistance to the unemployed. Oh wait, the union members want the Ministers to do it and not do it themselves (of course not, many managers make more than ministers)… ahh, yes, where is the hypocrisy button.


    • So what says:

      But you forget that we would not be in this position solely because of the US recession. What I see is we who voted in a the labor government being let down by the same government, by mismanagement and overspending on unnecessary things when the recession was well underway. Now we are being asked to pay up for their mistakes while they pull in huge salaries, fly off to a royal wedding, and spend millions on their Caribbean resort projects. That’s what the march is about. This is an anti-government march. Let’s get them out!

      • Preto Plato says:

        The problem isn’t overspending, the problem is there are too many civil servants being paid too much. The issue isn’t what was built, it is what it costs to maintain and staff. Don’t confuse the two.

        The main mistake made was to expand the size of government and the civil service. That has nothing to do with building things.

        Ministers make 112K per year, on par with middle managers in the BPSU who work 35 hour a week. Give me a break on huge, Many BPSU mamgers make more than them. The real issue is the bloated civil service. I guess that was the march, fear that the government may acutally reverse their real mistake and start cutting back the size to something that the country can afford.

        • Whoyafoolin says:

          Preto Plato, where do you get your 112K figure from? There is only one part-time Minister and that is the Minister of Tourism. She already has a full-time job in the private sector. The remaining Ministers’ full-time salaries are 168K +; get your facts straight before you comment! We are speaking of representatives of the public who are supposedly not in it for the $$$$$$. They are, supposedly, concerned about the well being of this Island, therefore, a reduction in pay should not be an issue. They didn’t apply for these positions if you want to compare to the private sector. They were merely elected to represent the interests of the people. The problem is, many of them are there for personal gratification and have gone way off course.

          • Preto Plato says:

            Take a look at the Budget book and see what minister’s salaries are. A Full Time Minister’s salary is 112K, a part time is 56K. Sorry, facts are facts.

            And you do know that minister’s pick neither their position or their pay. The fact that this is an issue is more amusing as the premier doens’t set the salaries of Minister’s nor any other member of the legisltature, it is set an independent panel.

            Get YOUR facts correct next time.

            For the record, I beleive that ALL members of the public sector from Ministers on down to the custodian should take a paycut. That is real solidarity and sacrifice, but you heard the BIU President last night say, no way.

            • Whoyafoolin says:

              Preto Plato, the RG reported that the Premier and Finance Minister Paula Cox’s salary is $224,092; the Deputy Premier Burgess’salary is $181,514; Attorney General Scott’s salary is $193,786; the remaining full-time Ministers and MPs, Dame Jennifer Smith, Terry Lister, Zane DeSilva, Neletha Butterfield, Walter Roban, Glenn Blakeney and Michael Weeks each receive $168,069; Full-time Minister and Senator Kim Wilson gets $142,413 and part-time Minister Patrice Minors receives $112,046. Are these not the facts?

              • LOL (original) says:

                Also its been pointed out the independent board is recommended by the Premier.


                • Summer says:

                  This is an internal family quarrel. If an election was called tomorrow they will support the family from outsiders and vote PLP and Queen Paula knows it.

    • Organic Bermudian says:

      I concur, Government workers have the worst record for maintaing jobs they show up late for, hours the lie about and sick pay that is abused. While I am at it the have the WORST customer service WORLDWIDE!! Get your SPOILED, thinking your ENTILTED backsides to work and INSTEAD CHANGE for the PEOPLE of Bermuda who are REALLY SUFFERING!!!

      Are you for real??

    • Justdon'tknow says:

      This isn’t about money? Their jobs are no longer the ‘secure government jobs’ that they once were. They’re marching to save their jobs so that they don’t become one of the growing number of unemployed individuals with no job and no prospects. These folk have kids in college, morgages to pay … what will they do when they lose the job that they’ve had for over 20 years? For many, this is the only job that they’ve ever had, straight out of highschool. Look … I have a friend who is a college graduate. He’s recently returned and cannot find a decent job. He’s a single person barely making ends meet at a company that’s already made jobs redundant. I shudder to think what would happen if he had kids to feed, and he can’t even feed himself somedays. He’s educated … many of these folk have no college education. Seriously … what hope do some of these folk have if they lose their jobs? What will happen to our financial institutions as more folk lose their jobs and cannot pay mortgages and loans??

      • Ridiculous! says:

        If they are so worried about losing their jobs, instead of “marching,” why don’t they show up for work, be on time, not be stoned or drunk, not call in sick and then work a 2nd job, not drive a ferry whilst wasted… That to me sounds like more of a starting place for job security than a stupid march.

        Seriously people, if you want job security, start performing your job as the job description states.

        Absolutely ridiculous!!

        • Serious times says:

          The vast majority of civil servants are productive workers. If you are unhappy with any service that is provided to you…make a complaint about it and hold civil servants accountable! Also…the examples that you gave were actually BIU workers (call in sick & work a second job, wasted while driving the ferry etc), NOT BPSU workers. And…the actions of those persons is not representative of BIU workers as a whole.

          • Scott says:

            with all due respect Serious Times, when there is a complaint made, nothing is done.

            Perhaps you have a valid point with regard to most current complaints bein gwith BIU vs BPSU members, but your last statement is false.

            The actions of those persons who commit the offences (drinking, late, lying, etc) are representative of the whole BIU mainly because when there is an issue the whole BIU strikes to represent the one offender.

            If there was an offence, and the BIU admitted the offence and that was it, then i would agree with you.. but when something happens and all BIU members down tools in support of hte person, then in my mind they are condoning the action.

      • Preto Plato says:

        I’m with you and I agree, but we need to face facts. The world in 2001 is a lot different than the world of 2006 where jobs were plentiful and govt coffers were full.

        Look around the world at what is happening, governments are being forced to cut jobs, reduce wages and pensions, increase retirement ages, etc.. Civil service jobs may NOT have been as secure as they once were, but they are still the most secure on island. What the union needs to recognise is that for Bermuda to pull through we all need to work together.

        The effect on Bermuda was delayed as we had the ability to borrow for the last few years to make up for the deficit, but now as that is less possible we have to all make sacrifices. I have no issue with everyone taking cuts, and the government using its powers to examine prices as they have promised to do, but we need to be honest with one another and stop trying to throw blame around.

        I am not insensitive to the plight of the unemployed as my brother is out of work, but if we spend so much time being selfish and just worrying about us, we miss the larger picture.

        The civil servants you are talking about are all of our cousins, aunts, uncles’s and frieds, but they are part of a larger Bermuda where everything has to work together in order for us to survive. When we spend time talking about Minister’s cuts as opposed to talking about items that will make a serious impact on our budget it is self defeating.

    • Bubba says:

      Has the BIU President and his top 10 staff taken a pay cut. Off course not and never will. and nobody questions that or the Governor’s salary or the salary of a PS who makes much more than a Minister.

  2. PAS says:

    Paula Cog “I cannot possibly address the concerns of those who voted for me as I’m getting ready to go to the wedding of a couple that no one voted for”.

    • Preto Plato says:

      Seriously.. SMDH, she’s off accepting an award. Unlike in Bermuda people actually admire and respect our leaders

      OK, so she goes to the Royal Wedding you criticise, what would have been your reaction if every leader of ever other overseas territory was there except for Bermuda. I can read your post now “Paula Cog for Indepedence, snubbed the UK an damaged relations with the UK by not accepting the invitation”

      Ahh i get it, you are used to having your cake and eating it too.


    Fire them all and replace them!!! waste of TAX payers money. they all just want the day off! It must be hard work driving round the island not giving a c%%p about other road users and complaining.
    @PAS its by royal appointment so she has to go and I didn’t vote her in and neither did you and last I looked there was still a union jack flying above government.


    did it ever occur to you that what they are marching for is just not because of pay it is to save jobs as well!! We are marching becaue we are having to sacrifice to put our country back in good shape when the ones who put us here dont have to sacrifice a dam thing!! Some Government officials have another job besides being minister and are therefore taking home 2 salaries! you wanna talk about ppl being unemployed now???

    do some research and get the facts before you shoot off at the mouth! The BPSU is a well respected union that knows how to pick its battles!

    • Preto Plato says:

      Are you serious, why don’t you march IF jobs are cut. Do you really think a pre-emptive march has any effect? What are you protesting? What are you sacrificing? If you were really serious about sacrifice, you would offer a pay cut to be matched by the ministers. Last i checked no one asked the BPSU to cut their pay, and the BPSU didn’t offer?

      Put us where, in the Great Recession… The only thing that the poeple who put us here did was hire too many civil servants! Now when they ask them to take a pay freeze, not even cut back the numbers as they SHOULD, they get a march.

      You may need to learn how to pick your battles and see what is happpening in the rest of the world with public sector workers.

    • Gov worker says:

      Maybe the private sector person or unemployed person should have been at BPSU to hear the speech that was given which Bro. Jason said we are fighting for what is right for the bermudian people not for the gov worker cause its hurting the people.. If people took a stand as a WHOLE country and marched with us we could get out points across to Minister Paul Cox and let her know that WE the BERMUDAIAN people arent slacking off from what we need as a people. I say good job BPSU for standing for something for the bermudian people..

      • Preto Plato says:

        Enlighted us, what did he say? What is it that we need as people, that you don’t think the premier understands?

        • Gov worker says:

          She doesnt understand hardship she doesnt understand having to work a 2nd job which i do. And im not one of the gov workers who call in sick, I work through my lunch and i even stay behind afta 5 to make sure work is done. Im not one to turn down a hustle for that extra $.. Come walk in my shoes or aomeone else who is having a hard time saving and paying bills… Some people just dont know what survivial is !!! smh !!!!

          • OMG says:

            Walk in the shoes of someone who hasn’t worked in the last 14 months and I can tell you what TRYING to survive is!

            I did some temp work at a Govt. dept for a couple of weeks and it was shameful the state of the work that was not being done, and no reprimand was given to those dept workers….

          • 2 jobs says:

            Well.. you could argue that she does know what it is like to work a second job as she was part time until she took office of the premier. (she was working as legal council at ACE while also being in charge of our finances)

  5. Not Suprised says:

    I think that Bermuda as a whole should march. Nothing to do with Unions. I think the unions right now are what’s holding the country and it’s concerns back. They are marching for valid reasons, based on Bermuda as a whole… but i think because they are a union it’s seen as selfish and for different reasons, and they should have gone about it a diferent way. They should have marched for the island and it’s people who are suffereing and in support of them rather then for themselves. They should have made this a “Island thing” for those who are unemployed to stand up for the island, not just themselves. We need to get togther as a whole to let government know we mean business.

  6. the truth shall set you free says:

    Hold up, they left cabinet grounds already??!!

    • sandgrownan says:

      Want to get back to the office in time for lunch.

  7. Just Curious says:

    Once Again 3500 BPSU members, we pay you! there OVER 35,000 jobs out there, if you don’t like what “we the people” are paying you, Well it is a free country go look for another J.O.B, for real !

  8. Get a grip says:

    This is ridiculous. There are many people in Bermuda that have not had a pay raise in 3 to 4 years and more. You dont hear them complaining as they are happy to be employed. People are being made redundant nearly monthly. Many have been unable to find jobs for over a year and they also have mortgages, school fees etc. By the way, having a mortgage or paying rent are both just as bad because we are all struggling to keep the roof over out heads. We are in a GLOBAL RECESSION.. When will Bermuda get it through their heads that we cannot keep doing the same thing that we did when we had unlimited funds. It is time to cut back, spend less, go on less trips, eat out less. Isnt it better to have a pay freeze and keep your job than to have no job. If I have to work overtime, I dont get paid a penny over my regular salary and I am not an Officer, just a regular employee. Hundreds, probably thousands of people are in the same boat. Overtime is not something that should be banked on, it is extra which means you should not “HAVE” to work overtime and if you do, you are living beyond your means. Yes, the Government purse has been mismanaged and it is not fair that we have to pay for their mistakes but if we dont then there will be a lot worse things coming down the plank than wage freezes. Houses are being repossessed and this will increase. It isnt nice but we are not the first generation that has gone through this and my guess is we wont be the last. Bermuda PLEASE stop being so greedy and expecting things to be given on a silver platter. What are we teaching our children!!!!! The silver platters are gone it is time to start working for your money and stop whining. Show our children what our ancestors showed us. Hard work pays off and it is worth it in the end.

    • Preto Plato says:


    • So what says:

      Get a grip, you are right, but that leaves unsaid that we are having the same people continue to drive this ship that has put on the rocks. As they say, you can’t keep doing the same thing and expect to get different results…..we need change and we need it now. Even if we don’t get a regime change, we at least should expect a change in attitude from the powers that be, something other than ‘we did no wrong’. Yes, you did do wrong. You ran us on the rocks.

    • Concerned says:


  9. Death Spiral says:

    This government is unable to make the hard decisions necessary to get Bermuda out of the death spiral it is currently experiencing. Those in government have a limited understanding of economics and what you are seeing is the beginning of the end. Preto Plato’s will continue voting for the PLP and towing the party line. The PLP will win the election and just wait until the next budget…that is when it will get ugly. So keep arguing amongst yourselves and watch the hole get deeper. Never have I seen a more incompetent group in power governing over the most spectacular nose dive in history of the Island. You better hope those British passports still work in 2013…

  10. Micheal Smith says:

    I hold the PLP deligates responsible for all the mess we are in anyway. They are the ones who caused this mess from bringing in Alex Scott to Ewart Brown to your current leader. Dame Jennifer Smith is who we voted for and they Trojan Horsed us and took her out of office. Since they have played their behind closed doors games and have destroyed this great country at the expense of all us, for their own personal gains. PLP Deligates You All Should Be Ashamed Of Yourselves!!!

  11. Patricia says:

    Do you all know what a Union is, what it stands for. If you did we may not hear so many negative comments. There are some members of unions who do not agree when it comes to protesting or marching but as a union members must stick together or divided they fall. So whether it was right or wrong members have to show solidarity and if there is a majority vote, members should stand together. We saw some of that today.

    When those in authority begin to listen to workers on this issue and there is a price freeze on basic goods the entire country benefits from those workers that marched. Its not only about the job cuts and pay freeze (which I agree civil servants should not be immune to). Let’s talk about the whole picture not half of it.

    • Stupid does stupid says:

      So who pays for the price freeze on goods? The employees who work at these establishments may have to take a reduction in pay – or may lose their jobs. But why should you BPSU people care? You got yours huh! You people are PATHETIC!

  12. Power to the people says:

    For those of you in the private sector who havent lost your jobs, I would have thought you would have been out marching to save your own jobs instead of criticising the BPSU for marching. Admittedly there are some Government workers who have abused the system but those are few but the abuse goes for workers all around (look at those being brought up on fraud charges – they were defrauding private companies!).

    The BPSU members marched for the whole of Bermuda and not just themselves. I dont see any other groups marching because the price of groceries is getting ridiculous. I dont see any other groups marching because they are tired of the gun violence and are demanding the Government get tough on crime.

    Many exempt companies and foreign workers have the option to pick up and leave when the going gets tough so lets face it, it will be up to the rest of us who remain to make the demands for change.

    Stop criticizing the BPSU and get out there and do something about it. Hiding behind meaningless words on this blog is not helping your neighbor who just lost their job or the student who cant afford to go to the Bermuda College to further their education! Again, not everyone is calling in sick when they are not, or bucking the system. There are some really hard workers in Government and their efforts should be recognised.

    • Preto Plato says:

      I’m sorry. If your issue is food prices, Why are you protesting governement and not Marketplace, Lindos, Barrits, or Dunkleys?

      Gov cut payroll tax, and there is minimal duty on food, isn’t your fight with the sellers of food?

      • Gov worker says:

        Doesnt gov set the 5 on the things that we need ? Really you sound like you have a good pay check every month and dont spend out much and not living pay check to paycheck. That pay roll cut we dont even see that in our pay. Gov workers get more deductions taken out than anyone in the private sector. I think you just want to talk thats all.

      • RobbieM says:

        Preto Plato, you are misinformed. There is minimal duty only on the very basic food items. Other foods are taxed 10-70%! Also the Government taxes oil imports 100%, so everyone pays extra for any service provided in the community (from delivering food to eating it in restaurants).

        • Preto Plato says:

          I may stand to be corrected, but I’m sure food isn’t taxed at those rates. However basic items are the ones subject to price control. Moving on however, you suggest we reduce the fuel tax? OK, cool, and

          1) Borrow the money to pay for the loss in revenue?
          2) Fire civil servants to make sure you don’t borrow anymore?

          Which option?

    • CB says:

      The people in the private sector are not marching because they are at work trying to save their jobs. Boy, what a concept.

      • Power to the people says:

        @CB since you such a valued employe of whatever company you work for, I suppose if you get cut tomorrow, you will just pack up and leave, unlike your Bermudian comrades who have no place to go!

        • CB2 says:

          What says he is not Bermudian?!?!? I’m Bermudian and I agree 100% with that statement and said the same thing at work this am!

        • CB says:

          Yes I am Bermudian. The people in the private sector have alreday suffered wage freezez and job losses. They cannot afford to goand fight your fight. Yes, I am a valued memeber of staff where I work I want to stay that way so guess what – I show up for work.

    • Get a grip says:

      @Power – I understand what you are saying however, in my experience marching does not work. I worked for Government and was a BPSU member for 8 years so know that it is not all Government workers that abuse the system. However there seems to be a feeling of entitlement island wide and it is probably seen worse in Government and unionised companies because they feel they cannot be fired as easily for poor performance or attitude. In the private sector whether it is with an exempt or local company if you are not pulling your weight you are warned etc or even fired. I also know many VERY lazy private sector employees who think that because they are Bermudian they can’t be disciplined – well we are now in an economy that every employer needs a hard working employee and there are many to choose from if someone doesnt pull his/or her weight. Unfortunately, many also have attitude problems or lack in good work ethic.

      Being promised no redundancies is not only unrealistic but in itself will breed a sense of entitlement. If that does get agreed upon you will see the poor workers getting even worse because they will know that nothing can happen to them. It is time for us all to wake up and realize that we have to earn our keep, no matter how small the take home earnings are. Half or quarter loaf is better than none and there is no guarantee when when it will get better.

      This is a time for us all to stick together and help each other. Not complain amongst ourselves but to give our brothers and sisters a helping hand when they need it because it will definitely be returned.

      And maybe we will all be fed up enough to make a change when we have the chance. If the people we elect are not doing their job, it is OUR job to find someone who does. I am not necessarily talking about parties as much as people.

  13. Terry says:

    Agree Patricia. It’s not the Unions fault and solidarity is important.

    It’s all the UBP’s fault.

  14. Its time to STAND UP says:

    As a civil servant who PROUDLY marched today (and yes I am educated with a Bachelors AND a Masters) I am appalled at how so many ppl think that civil servants are lazy. While some are, I am sure there are just as many in the private sector.

    We are standing as ONE, not for some! Some of the abovementioned mindsets are really scary. Betcha a few of you are silver spooners….

    • Terry says:

      Well apparently, your speaking out of ‘three sides of your mouth’.

      “Its time to STAND UP”. Like many others your a hippocrite and do diservice to the annonamous title you use.

      Oh the irony in your comments. Batchelors and Masters mean diddly. So much for principal and being such a big time ‘stand up’ person.

      Your still annonamous even by your words that mean nothing. Must have been the one with the dark sunglasses………

      How the hell can you be ‘united’ or did you just become a number.

      Hell in a handbasket. The Easter Bunny has left the room (island).

    • Just Curious says:

      Well, Then since you have a Good education join the Private sector! what is there to Loose!

  15. Closed mouths don't get fed says:

    Many people on here are so quick to get at their keyboards, on their little computers in their own little worlds, and type A LOT about what they know LITTLE to nothing about. Always judging and criticizing. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t…Enough of just standing by, and just letting things happen. It’s time for EVERYONE on this island to take a stand TOGETHER. Because soon the middle class will no longer exist. If we just sit aside and continue to allow certain things to happen. This world is being divided into the haves and the have nots; You people need to start educating yourselves, and stop waiting around for this ‘recession’ to end, because it won’t. This is all by design, not just for Bermuda, but for the world. Governments stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. WAKE UP AND TAKE A STAND. Even if it doesn’t affect you now, it will later on. UNITED WE STAND, and DIVIDED WE ALL FALL. Good job BPSU for taking a stand, not just for government workers, but for the people of BERMUDA. If they’re gonna cut, cut from the top down. The selfish ones are the ones who sit aside and let everyone else do the dirty work, but should change happen, they will reap the benefits anyway in the end. Closed mouths don’t get fed…get up get out and DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!

    • WELL SAID says:


    • Hudson says:

      I agree. But marching alone won’t make enough of a difference. We elected this government, and until members of the community chose to elect a different government, then there will be no real change.

  16. the truth shall set you free says:

    I’m not for the BPSU’s push to get any sort of increase. Their wages should be frozen. I do agree with their position( and the BIU) that Ministers should take a cut given all the services that have been cut. And it appears they are the only ones willing to march on Government taking a pay cut, because Job Blow Bermudian is only complaining about it on bernews and facebook, but not doing anything beyond that to show their displeasure.

  17. Gloria says:

    PLP Parliamentarians often say that Bermudians have a sense of entitlement. I speak for myself and other Bermudians, that we are entitled to work in my own country. Premier Paula Cox and Dr Ewart Brown has brought Bermuda in the state that it is now. She quietly sat by and allowed Dr. Ewart Brown to bring the economy in the state that we are currently in. Refusing to challenge him on his gross over spending. Her objective was to become Premier, that is why she allowed Dr. Brown to do what ever. She is guaranteed her wages, while the rest of us suffer.

    Imagine being made redundant in a Govt. position, while your foreign contract workers remain on, and watch you (Bermudian) leave. Imagine the only job you have is a part time job paying $220.00 bi-weekly, ensuring that you buy a monthly bus pass, because you need it to get back and forth to work, and also to be able to get out there and look for full time employment, only to find out there are no buses running. Imagine having lost your job and you have a mortgage to work, Financial Assistance can’t help me, because I own a house. Wow, I have been paying taxes all my life and now I am in need and Govt won’t help me. This is the rich and fortunate party, not the people’s party.

    • Hmmmmm says:

      Your failure to diversify your economic portfolio beyond owning a house is not the Government’s fault. Wake up and understand that owning a house does not equal economic success or self sufficiency. Your ignorance does not impose a responsibility on the part of the Government to supplement the choices you have made. Your taxes pave roads, keep street lights on, pay policemen, allow your children and grandchildren to get free care at the hospital until age 16 and much much more; all services from which you benefit. Stop hating on the Government and follow the example of some people who don’t depend on the Government as source of income. They have diversified economic portfolios of which property is only a part.

      • Power to the people says:

        To Hmmmmm, first of all if you can talk about an economic portfolio, you have no room to talk because most of us dont have money to put in an economic portfolio let alone diversify one! You sound like a silver spooner who has plenty of money in the bank for a rainy day. You are correct, my personal inability to plan for the future is not solely the Government’s fault but then I dont have my Daddy leaving me a house either, nor do I have a secure job at my Mommy’s exempt company that she hooked up for me while I was going to BHS/Saltus! Some of us are trying to make the best of a bad situation. If all you have is your paycheck and you want to the best for your children, there is a lot of juggling to do. So, think about that the next time you take you family to a restaurant while the rest of us have to enjoy eating the $2.00 box of Shoprite spaghetti and a bottle of pasta sauce because that is all we can afford on the ONLY income we are getting!

        • Hmmmmm says:

          And why does the best for your children equal money? HOw giving your children everything you had as opposed to trying to give them everything you never had while still turning out alright. I refuse to get purely personal but you don’t know me or my story. My parents left me nothing because for them my education was more important and that’s what they spent their money on. I lived through years when my father couldn’t get a job and my mother’s salary bought only hamburger and not meat.If my parents had spent their time trying to leave me a house or feed me steak as opposed to investing in my education then I too would be a part of the cycle that plagues us now. Just because I don’t let my outlook be dictated by what my fellow Bermudians deem success don’t assume anything. The fact that you think the mere mention of economic diversity is not for you is exactly why we as a people are condemned to fail. We are our own worst enemies. Because I want to do it differently something must be wrong with me. Reminds me of the kids at school who accused me of “trying to be white” because i was off reading my book and not skylarking.

          • Preto Plato says:

            Amen, preach on. Since when did we become so dependent on government. Why is it that the lady working in the fast food joint has the lastest blackberry that i can afford but don’t buy? Why is it people on financial assistance have flatscreen TVs and cables. Since when were these necessities?

            Oh thats right, we need to keep up appearances.

        • CB says:

          First you assume I’m an Expat, now you assume Hmmm is a silver spooner. You know nothing of either of us but that we have a different opinion. We know something of you though – you have a huge chip on your shoulder. Get a life.

  18. Sympathy says:

    I have worked in both the private sector and for Government (I work in the private sector now.) Let me tell you the truth – for those who think that gov. workers get such good pay and benefits, you are WRONG. If you work in the private sector, for the banks and those fancy exempt companies, you are making much more money than a government worker. Bonuses, better health care (because GEHI sucks) and other benefits. I support the BPSU marchers, because I know that most of them have families and are just trying to get by. I have relatives who work in government now, have been there a while and what will happen to them if PLP decides to start cutting jobs?

    You say that the civil service is “bloated” – well, maybe you should try working there! If you cut the staff, who will do the work? Just pile it on the few remaining workers left? No, that’s what the private sector does. My company cut employees this year, and I did not get a pay raise. Yet they dumped on my desk all the work from people they let go! I am doing twice the work for not a penny more! But my health insurance, etc. is going up this month! That is not right! If I was in a union, I would be on those Cabinet grounds too!

    So, BPSU workers, keep marching until this stupid government gets its right. Ministers won’t take a pay freeze, why should you have to?

    • Get real says:

      You have a job Sympathy…be thankful for that.

      If you don’t want it, there will be at least 40-50 applications for your position..

    • Critical says:

      I wonder how many private sector jobs get 22% taken out of their pay?

      • Just Curious says:

        Give a scenario!
        I would weekly pay lets say $700
        filter in the deductions! and lets the people be the judge

      • Not Suprised says:

        @ critical, are you being sarcastic? Actually quite a few have taken pay cuts. Days have been cut therefore reduction in salary. And this has happened all over the private sector. Are people really serious in thinking the private sector has not been affected? They are one of the biggest affected. Unemployment is all over the private sector! Layoffs and redundancies…. are you living in the same country? That does not require a response.

    • Preto Plato says:

      Corrections, All ministers and MPs have not had a pay increase since 2009. Get your facts right. BPSU are calling for them to be cut, but don’t think their salaries should be cut, even when a decent number of BPSU memebers make more than miinisters at 112K per year. Good for goose, not for Gander..

  19. Whoyafoolin says:

    The BPSU hierarchy should have led their members in protest when it was announced that the MPs were going to receive a vast salary increase, and should not have waited a few years after the MPs have already benefited from the increase, to request that those MPs consider taking a pay cut. All what has occurred the Unions have allowed to happen over the years and should shoulder some of the blame for the inflated salaries of the MPs, together with the hierarchy of the Civil Service, which was unaffordable to begin with. The Government has mismanaged and emptied the public purse and is now asking the Civil Servants and the general public to assist them in replenishing it. Now that the BPSU members are feeling the pinch, they are reacting. As a Trade Union, they need to be far more proactive.

    Accountability is what happened to the Manager in charge of the Air Traffic Controller who fell asleep while on duty in the U.S. The Supervisor’s head rolled because he was the one ultimately responsible for the work schedules. In Bermuda, there is no accountability at the top and the small fry are always used as the bait.

    This whole scenario reminds me of those bulls that are released from their stalls (the MPs are the bulls) with the BPSU members as the riders. There is always resistance from the bull when the rider attempts to stay on and score a few points. The aim of the rider is to stay on for as long as he possibly can. The ride is often unpleasant with the threat of the rider being tossed aside. The bull exerts his power and tosses the rider aside at the first opportunity. There’s never a dull moment and the bull really acts up when he sees red.

    • Preto Plato says:

      OK, so 112K a year for a full time job, with no overtime, and a workweek often 7 days is bloated. Oh yeah and on top of that they have to be a MP aswell. C’mon man, lets not get it twisted. Some ministers run 100 Million dollar ministries. You think anyone in the private sector has that much of a buget or that much or that many staff under them and get paid 112 thousand for it. lets get real.

      • Get real says:

        Only 2 or 3 Ministers are remotely capable of managing a 100M budget.

        The Deputy is clearly not – and it looks like the Premier agrees (she took all the major departments from him)

  20. Yng Black Mind says:

    My Bermudian family:

    The facts are these:

    1. The BPSU marched today to indicate to the current Govt that the BERMUDIAN COMMUNITY is hurting and wants the Govt to be a part of the solution to the problems we all face.

    2. The BPSU is willing to have their members’ pay frozen if certain concessions are made – a. freeze tax as they stand, b. no job cuts, and c. ministers CONSIDER a pay cut (they already said no – but it was suggested).

    3. The march was about highlighting the frustration felt by ALL BERMUDIANS not just the Govt civil service – they are worrying about all of us. Listen to the comments of the BPSU President on the news if you don’t want to believe me.

    4. Your voice (all of our voices for that matter) needs to be heard – - when it comes to my family, my job and my country, I am very serious and this is serious business. My voice will be heard and those persons who run my country will be held accountable (as I am everyday at my job – fair is fair). If they are unable to hold up their end of the bargain, I will exercise my right to do something about it – - at the polls. DO NOT LIVE IN FEAR BERMUDA – - THEY ARE OUR GOVERNMENT – THEY WORK FOR US – plain and simple.

    Walk in love,

    YBM (those who know, believe)

  21. Rose says:

    Would be interesting to do a survey of those that are marching and complaining now and ask them who they plan to vote for at the next general election. Same old – same old follow that party. They may complain but they will never vote for a change!

  22. 32n64w says:

    Until the BIU and BPSU members withhold their support (and votes) for the PLP – who are directly responsible for our current economic condition (regardless of what their mouthpieces say about the global recession) – things will not get better.

    • Preto Plato says:

      Ahh yes, and Ewart and Paula are responsible for the budget cuts in the US, Canada, UK, Carribean, and Europe aswell right. All the PLPs fault guiding the world financial markets to near collapse in 2008. I’ll drink you Kool Aid! #sarcasm

    • Terry says:

      There is irony in your comments 32n64w……….

      The ties that bind in so many ways and current lie 18-15′N -77-30′W

  23. Hudson says:

    I’d like to conduct a poll of the workers that marched today:

    “How many of you will tick the PLP box during the next election?”

    My guess is greater than 70% despite being frustrated, angry, ignored, and financially worse off than you were 10 years ago. Keep banging your head against the wall and thinking one day it will all get better. Here’s a newsflash – this government is incompetent. Only once the voters realise this and get them out, will they be able to see the change that they want. But sadly, even when the next government comes to power, there is so much damage and mismanagement to undue, we won’t feel the benefits for years to come. Our children would be happy though…

    Food for thought…

    • Preto Plato says:

      Tired of hearing this crap. Yes i’m a PLP supporter, but do you really think that union memebers are going to vote for a party that said the government should balance the budget by making govt workers redundant. Incompetent, you wish. When given the choices that governments have had to face over the past 4 years, i’d say we’ve gotten it right about 80% of the time. Don’t mistake not agreeing for incompetence.

      Financially worse off than 10 years ago? What planet are you living on. Though the recession is tough, you won’t find many to take you on that one. Get with the facts, world economy is screwed, govt bugets around the world are out of balance everyone is needed to move the wheels to recovery.

      In all of this, its so interesting to note the absolute silence of the opposition on this issue of “price freezes”. No one is talking abut the increase in the price of milk, they are coming after the government. Lets be clear, while you are hurting, the supermarket owner isn’t.

      • 32n64w says:

        … and don’t mistake blind loyalty for critical thought.

      • Terry says:

        Classic comment der Plato. With referance to “Milk” you are refering to Mike Dunkley.

        Buy a freeking cow. You can afford it but you just want to carress not suck them………

        Glad all my other family members moved to Paget Island….yes eye… lan, fishin, eeleegal pots, make day own rope, …detz rite……..nax veek vah taykin owa Pahort Eyelan….dets rite…ann vant dem graves wiff dee yalla feevar ann get rid of “IB”…..detz rite…. “IB”..sand dem dahn dee rowed…..’Ignorant Bermudians’……………………….greed……..

      • Hudson says:

        Yup, that’s about what i thought. Keep marching then. Nothing will change, but i guarantee you this – the rich will get richer, and the poor will get poorer under this model. Look forward to chatting with you in about 5 years Preto when you wish you had voted on the basis of platform and policy and not blind support like some sheep. Good luck in the future.

        BTW, your comments about global economies, govt budgets and price freezes show your ignorance of basic economics and your lack of understanding of global news and politics.

  24. Terry says:

    Hmnnnnnnnnnn and det lutt are just dee BIAW rabbitts…gotta be everyhare……

    There’s an empty Doctors Office for rent…..Vineyard not included.

  25. What do you expect? says:

    Aren’t the grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in the letter to the Premier quite embarrassing, but quite telling?
    Are these the people who should be representing the interests of the Bermudian working population?
    Isn’t the very least we can hope for is for the working men and women in the 21st Century can be represented by someone who can use the spellchecker on Microsoft Word?
    Or maybe even admit that there may be some structural problems in Bermuda that cannot be addressed by shouting like a spoilt teenager?

    • Hmmmmm says:

      I am so glad that you posted this. This is exactly the issue. Performance. That letter symbolizes exactly what is wrong with them and us. Mediocre is acceptable and when corrected one is labelled as bullying or being unreasonable.They marched today to protect mediocrity and to ensure that at no stage are they required to “up their game”. Stuck in neutral.Proof of why its so easy to employ expats here. They don’t need to be rocket scientists, they just need to write “then” and “than” in context (i.e. P5 english) and they’re employed over us. Sad.

      • Whoyafoolin says:

        Hmmmmm, there are many more high ranking supervisors who write worse than that in the civil service. If these people were to be weeded out or paid according to their writing ability, a BIG savings would be made in that area alone. Some don’t know the difference between to and too, then and than, there and their, roll and role and the list goes on. What’s irritating is that they receive high salaries regardless and have to assess people who are smarter than them, and even have the nerve to give them low ratings. I recommend a complete overhaul of the civil service and the introduction of performance based pay minus favoritism.

  26. stop the BS says:

    Preto Plato you are corect that the PLP is not responible for thr Global downturn but what they are responseble for is their careless , spending and failing to pull in their belt 4 years ago when it was obvious we were headed for trouble, now we are drowning in a sea of debt, Remember Bob Richards saying there are dark clouds forming on the horizon.Instead of shortening sails the PLP put up bigger sails and now we have capsised!

  27. Bubba says:

    We don’t want foreign experts. So what do we do, beat up on Bermudians.

    We need everybody at work and not marching getting a sun tan.

    So what did the March achieve. THey din’t even get to see the eyes of the Premier. Whoop de do!!! A few hours off with pay. How lucky. Maybe it is part of the new exercise plan.

    Let’s get busy and get back to work.

  28. Nemesis Alton Towers says:

    Lazy effing Government workers. They want a guarantee that nobody will be let go, and for this they’ll accept 1.25%??? WHAT F*****NG planet are they living on??? Obviously not earth and in this economy.

    Newsflash: Nobody can EVER guarantee there’ll be no redundancies. If they can – they are lying. Second – you are lucky to have a job AND be getting a raise at all!!!!!!

    You are nothing more than frickin spoiled children who have inflated opinions of themselves.

    Best of luck in the future – you’ll need it!!!

  29. Bad English says:

    Hmmmmmmm…..preach it…so true and so sad. I thought it was just me so disgusted with the poor english, poor grammar and just bad expression that Bernews allows to be posted in the name of “free speech.” But you are absolutely right. The sad thing is that the writers or supporters see nothing wrong with their poor written and oral representations…P5 english as you say qualifies them to be employed over us.

    I work in the Bank and the Bank had to introduce approved “form letters” because they did not want the client facing staff “writing” to clients with such poor English skills. Absolutely pathetic. I was even disgusted in the preface letter written by the Health Minister in his introductory letter at the front of the National Health Plan – Doesn’t he have people to look and correct this stuff?

  30. Watching! says:

    Ha when we have the chance to make a real change, which is at the next election, we will give them another 5 years! Deal with it! You got what you wished for! And no I am not white and yes i have a job BECAUSE I work hard to keep it!!

    • Watching too (that means also) says:

      And your rather unintelligent point is what?

      • Watching! says:

        Stop complaining….nothing will be done! Does that make sense to you now?

        • Watching too (that means also) says:

          You work hard to keep your job – unlike these idiots calling in sick. So thats good!

          • Watching! says:

            Yup, real hard. Too many mouths to feed. My responsibility. I do not rely on Govt for anything. That’s why I get angry when I see protests that make no sense. People should be glad they have a job and work hard for their employer. Bermuda is facing difficult times and we must not panic. If we work together, we can pull out of this recession faster. I am pretty sure the employer will reward you accordingly. Oh well!

  31. Head Scratcher says:

    United you stand for divided you fall.. good job turning out but know this.. your leader thumbed her nose at you to attend the Master’s son’s wedding instead of listening to your concerns.. your voices.. the voices of her people. PLP is no more.

  32. BPSU MEMBER says:


    • Watching! says:

      Idiot! That is the reason you would vote PLP? Because of comments! I think it is statements like that, that prove who the real idiots are. Sometimes you get what you wish for so enjoy it. What a clown! Well you keep on voting based on comments and keep up the marching…your doing a good job!

    • Hudson says:

      No, it’s comments like yours that make people shake their head as it shows a complete lack of understanding of what is going on around you. Don’t you get it? PLP relies on people just like you voting on emotion and not the facts!! This worked particularly well the last election, and fear among many in Bermuda is that it will work just as well this one. And what in any of these threads suggests that “their vote is not welcomed anywhere else”? I don’t follow your train of thought here?

      The fact is that Bermudian’s want CHANGE! They want their lot to improve, they want the Island to unify, they want social stability, and they can’t see it happening if people blindly support the PLP despite their getting us into this mess in the first place.

  33. BPSU MEMBER says:

    Yet you still fail to adress what I stated. Stop assuming because people are member of a union they automatically vote PLP. That’s all I was eluding too. Because I no first hand that not all do. They view these blogs too and see the comments. I have heard people talking and when they see 20 plus comments saying the vote PLP because they are union members don’t help.

  34. Power to the people says:

    For those of you who continue to ask (or even criticize) why the BPSU members decided to march citing that ‘demands’ were unreasonable, please think about this – if the persons who work closely with your tax dollars are telling (through a public march) that something is wrong, the rest of Bermuda should be concerned. As civil servants we are not allowed to take sides or voice our opinions, if the BPSU members decided to march there must be a legitimate reason so people read between the lines!

    • Tired of nonsense says:

      People have been saying that there was something wrong for years…

      And these individuals were duly called racists, white supremacists, house ni**ers etc.

      Where was the BPSU then?