Minister To Facilitate Economic Tripartite Summit

November 11, 2013

michael_fahyLater this week, the Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy will oversee a two-day retreat which the Ministry said is “aimed at finding solutions to ease the economic hardship Bermudians are facing during these tough economic times.”

This Thursday and Friday [Nov 14/15] at the Fairmont Southampton, the Minister will be joined by close to 150 representatives from the Island’s business, hospitality and union sectors for the Tripartite Economic and Labour Retreat.

The Tripartite Economic Committee held an introductory meeting late October with a view to having a more substantial summit this month, and it will also involve the participation of the Premier Craig Cannonier.

Minister Fahy, who is also the Chairman of the Tripartite Economic Committee, will facilitate a meeting agenda that will assess the current state of the economy as well as engage in mediation and negotiation training sessions.

“There are several goals we are seeking to achieve with this summit,” Minister Fahy said. “First and foremost we want to enact meaningful solutions to ease the burdens that Bermudians are facing.

“We are already moving in the right direction as evidenced by one of our Throne Speech initiatives, the pledge that our grocery chains will offer a 10 percent savings for residents on Wednesdays starting December 1.

“We also want to have an open and frank conversation about where we are economically and what we can reasonably expect to achieve in the months ahead. So it’s hoped that this retreat will enhance our communication and the critical working relationships among the Unions, Government and Business.”

A Memorandum of Understanding [MOU] between the Bermuda Government and the Bermuda Trade Union Congress [BTUC] was signed in July this year, which saw civil servants agree to one day a month unpaid furlough, and also called for the formulation of a Tripartite Economic Committee.

It was against this backdrop that as part of the MOU the formulation of a committee with the active participation of all tripartite partners was agreed and accepted by the Government.

The Ministry said is anticipated that representatives from the following organisations will be in attendance; the Bermuda Industrial Union, the Bermuda Union of Teachers, the Bermuda Public Services Union, Prison Officers Association and the Bermuda Police Association, while the private sector will be represented by the Chamber of Commerce, the Bermuda Employers Council, the Bermuda Hotel Association, ABIC and ABIR.

- This post originally said it would be held at the Fairmont Hamilton, which was amended to say Fairmont Southampton

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (14)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Vote for Me says:

    This seems to be one step forward and two steps backward.

    With SAGE to be debated in November, this group should wait for the report. Min Fahy is also not known for genuine collaboration. Is the Min of Finance available to Chair – or Min Gibbons. Both of them are elected MPs.

    Also 150 people? A smaller working group would be more effective.

    • Positive Thinking says:

      I completely agree with “vote for me”.

      It will be difficult for 150 representatives to communicate their input effectively in just two meetings. Will these representatives adequately relay the hardships that Bermudians face?

      It’s great that two supermarkets are offering 10% off, but I believe this will simply cause these supermarkets get ridiculously busy on Wednesdays and put up their prices across the board. Instead, I think the government should have set price controls for a basket of “staple” food products in every supermarket. This would enable those that are truly struggling to be able to purchase the basics to survive.

      • Overton Window says:

        Try this…collect your reciepts for a year – calculate the inflation in food prices from those numbers and you will see that this 10% Wednesdays is nothing more than a bandaid on a gaping wound. It is a nice gesture but it is not fixing the real problem…our dollar (pegged to the phony fiat USD-what does that make our dollar I might ask?) is buying less and less…that is why global currency devaluations have begun in earnest and exporting countries vie to stay competitive in this environment of QE.

  2. What about me? says:

    The government should reduce stamp duty rates by 50% for all first time Bermudian home buyers. This will motivate the country’s youth to strive for home ownership at all house price levels and may help kick start the housing market.

    • Overton Window says:

      Yes there are so many places left to build homes…

      Lets build build build…and not worry about the fact that we cannot even sustain ourselves for a month should a disruption in our food/energy supply occur.
      The days of easy wealth generated from having a house sitting there and appreciating in value are long gone my friend…but keep on looking rearward to the policies and mindsets that got us to where we are now…because they have worked so well.

      • Fresh Prince says:

        Overton, What about Me has said nothing about building. Perhaps some constructive criticism and dialogue would better serve this conversation. Try this on for size; in light of the fact that homeownership can no longer be looked at as a “guaranteed return on capital investment”, what policies, if any, should the Government look to support or put in place to encourage homeownership that does not cause its citizen’s to spend 50% of income on it over the next 30 years of their lives? For my part, I think the Banks should be asked to (or required) to offer interest rates that are more realistic. 6.5% P.A. over 30 years is a lot of cash. And that is after a 25% down payment.

        I agree with Vote for Me. The stakeholders should have waited before meeting on this issue especially in light of the looming SAGE report. I’m afraid the Unions may have “missed a trick” again on this one.

  3. bluebird says:

    So many of you are concerned about the 10% discount on groceries ??
    Maybe you should be more concerned about the $300million per year that the GOVERMENT IS “borrowing” to help pay the 8,000 ON THE government payroll.The Government and Civil Service get to share the $300million and we get to share the $300million Debt each year.
    And that is what they call shared sacrifice.

  4. bluebird says:

    you do not need 150 people to go to the Princess for two days at our exspense to try and decide what to do with our “FAILING ECCONOMY’ for the (5)fifth year.
    It is very simple.
    Our Government is HUGE 8000 out of a 25,000 working population.
    Our Government Payroll is HUGE at $750million per year.
    Our DEBT is HUGE for such a small population of 65,000 .
    We will have to CUT the Huge Government
    We will have to CUT the TAXES which will make it more affordable to live.
    We will have to pay off the HUGE DEBT that is costing us now $10million per month in interest going out of Bermuda.Wecome to the financial plantation thank you PLP.
    But non of the above will be done as we will wait until we collapse under the weight of our own DEBT.

  5. Help US says:

    Please enlighten us once you have completed your spelling class.

    • Legal Eagle says:

      Spelling criticism is a rather useless contibution to the real issues!

  6. Legal Eagle says:

    I agree that something needs to be done about the banks–who pay little to 0 on deposits–but then lend those same $$ out at 6.5-7.5pct! Outright banditry!!

  7. blackbird says:

    I thought OBA had the solutions when they became the gov’t!!

    • Mike Hind says:

      Who said that?

      • Chris Famous says:

        Establish an independent Contractor General to oversee government construction projects to ensure fairness, enforce rules and eliminate wasteful cost overruns.
        Protect Bermudian jobs by cracking down on employers who abuse immigration rules.
        Grow jobs, business and career opportunities by extending the North Hamilton EEZ and developing the Marsh Folly area
        Create Bermudian construction and tourism jobs through the redevelopment of the Hamilton and St. George’s waterfronts.
        Use growing government revenues to reduce debt and restore and strengthen social programmes.

        Cost of living

        Our mission: Making Bermuda more affordable.

        The high cost of living imposes a tremendous financial burden on Bermudian families. We will make Bermuda more affordable for them.

        An OBA Government will:

        Reduce the cost of electricity by properly regulating the energy sector.
        Lower energy costs for households, hotels and businesses through the promotion of combined heat and power generation (cogeneration).
        Reduce the cost of health care through a strong focus on the Bermuda Hospitals Board, which accounts for 40% of all health care spending in Bermuda.
        Waive stamp duties for first-time homeowners on properties valued under $1 million.
        Open a hospital medical clinic to ensure access to medical care for the vulnerable.
        Work with social agencies such as the Salvation Army to provide good quality transitional housing and support programmes for the most vulnerable in our society.
        Ensure stronger family benefits by working with employers to extend family and maternity leave for caregivers, parents and guardians.